The International Yoga Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Pondicherry which has been celebrated since 1992. It attracts spiritual masters, Yoga gurus, saints and philosophers from all around the world. Yoga has always been an essential part of India’s lifestyle since ancient times. The practice of Yoga, and the benefits it confers upon the practitioner, has been well-documented in various Hindu scriptures, from Gita to Upanishads. Realizing the important place it held in Indian society since ancient times, it was included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.
It is then quite befitting that Pondicherry hosts the International Yoga Festival every year. After all, it is this place which was chosen by Sri Aurobindo, one of the greatest philosophers, freedom fighters and Yogi of India, for spreading his spiritual message. The Pondicherry International Yoga Festival is marked by a variety of events. A cultural programme is held which consists of workshops and discussions on various topics related to Yoga. Papers are also presented by renowned authorities and scholars on Yoga covering its various aspects.
Guided meditation is also a part of the cultural program. Participants are introduced to the practice of meditation and the right way of doing it. Yogasana competitions are also held for both men and women belonging to various age groups. This is a fun-filled activity which is looked forward to by everyone participating in the International Yoga Festival in Pondicherry. After the final round of the Yogasana competition, a prize distribution function is also held.
Apart from these, those participating in the yoga festival in Pondicherry are also provided lessons in healing and rejuvenation through Yogic therapy. Yogic food, which is a Yoga diet based on the principles of Ayurveda, is also served to the people. They are made aware of its countless benefits and why its importance has only increased in the modern age. Yogic music and dance are also held during the festival, which is a reminder that the festival can be as much entertaining as educative and enlightening.
International Yoga Festival in Pondicherry is held every year from 4th to 7th January.
Special Highlights/Rituals of the Festival
- Cultural programme.
- Yogic food.
- Yogic music and dance.
- Yogasana competition.
- Workshops and presentation of papers