Vedic Rituals energise global Yoga event

Ratna Venkat 

When one hears about a ‘Yoga Festival,’ mere images of people placing their Yoga mats and practicing Asanas (poses) almost immediately dominate the mind, without delving into other possibilities that this ancient Indian form of exercise can offer.

But the ‘Sixth Annual International Yoga Festival’ held at Kawai Purpura, a 19-acre native bushland located in Albany, Auckland proved to be anything but ordinary.

‘Revolution of the Heart’ was the tagline of this three-day event held from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26, 2017, bringing together more than 850 Yoga enthusiasts from different parts of New Zealand.

They engaged themselves in an occasion dedicated to the knowledge and practice of Yoga, along with its interesting modern combinations.

Festival Highlights

Some of these ‘fusions’ were ‘Aerial Yoga,’ ‘Acro Yoga’ and ‘Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP) Yoga,’ besides the traditional ancient Yoga and ‘Laughter Yoga’, both of which originated in India.

Other highlights at the festival included workshops such as ‘Cacao Ceremony’ (utilising the plant source of Cacao to open the heart and develop one’s inner peace), ‘Kirtan’ (singing of mantras) and Meditation.

Running successfully since 2012, the International Yoga Festival has expanded in size over the years, with more international and New Zealand-based Yoga teachers and inspirational presenters sharing their passion for Yoga, as well as significant growth in the number of attendees.

Opening Ceremony

The Festival officially opened with ‘Havan’ on the night of ‘Mahashivaratri’ (prayer to the Hindu Lord Shiva), bringing everyone together to begin their weekend of spiritual transformation.

An ancient Indian Vedic ritual that continues to be practiced today in traditional Hindu ceremonies, the Havan at the festival welcomed people of varied races and backgrounds who made sacred offerings to the holy fire.

During the chanting of mantras, new goals were set with the opportunity to evolve together and be exposed to new perspectives. As one insider put it, the Havan marked “the perfect opening to the perfect weekend.”

Pure Bliss

A range of workshops and classes provided space for people to learn new skills, insights and breathing techniques whilst maintaining a connection between their self, soul and the ‘Source.’

Such positive vibes arose from presenters and participants alike, leading them to experience ‘Ananda’ or pure bliss throughout the Yoga Festival.

Beyond Physical

Its motto, “Revolution of the Heart” was a reminder to oneself to feel the transformation of power within the practice of Yoga and meditation, instead of treating it as just exercises.

The festival provided opportunities to learn how to shed ego and explore the true essence of oneself.

Masters also taught, during their workshops, on how to embody Yoga beyond the physical level to also include the mental, spiritual and emotional states, in order to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment.

Those wanting to experience Yoga in new and innovative ways, and as a revolutionary lifestyle can look forward to the festival next year, of which Indian Newslink will carry a report.

Voices of Sacred Earth

Meanwhile, readers can book their dates for the forthcoming ‘Voices of Sacred Earth Festival,’ scheduled to be held from Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26, 2017.

The slogan behind this Eco-Festival is ‘Embrace the Global Family,’ in which hundreds of people are expected to partake in a weekend packed with ‘Earth Wisdom’ seminars, Well-being and Social change workshops, as well as performances focusing on indigenous cultures.

For more information about ‘Voices of Sacred Earth Festival,’ including on how to book tickets, please visit www.sacredearth.nz

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