Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

International Yoga Day Part 2

Reports from many of our centers

We have combined the International Yoga Day reports from around the world into a single longer article. To help, we've also put a mini table of contents at the top of this article and removed the "International Day in" portion of the article's title from the table of contents.

Photos each have a short caption, starting with the article number, a sequencing letter, and the location (ex: #11a_SRSG).— Newsletter editor

Slideshow 2 (Taichung - Milwaukee)


  • 20a_Taichung


International Yoga Day in Taichung, Taiwan (#20)

by Sujata (Francine Kuo)

The First International Yoga Day in Taichung, 21st June, 2015

What is the best beginning of a special day?

For me, it's always practices of yoga, prayer, hatha yoga, pranayama and meditation.

It is the first International Yoga Day today (21st June, 2015). I woke up at 4:30 to prepare myself to be ready to be at National Modern Fine Art Museum at 6:30. I need a meditation with Guruji before I left. I had packed my things last night, and after meditation, I suddenly realize that I need to bring books of Swamiji in Chinese translated by Shi Hong with me. So I repacked my things and carried them in a small suitcase to today’s place for group practicing. I am going to be the role of medium to lead the practicing with Guruji in tradition.

There were already 4 or 5 of them waiting for me when I got there.  We started by a few minutes of meditation after I shared with them how to sit correctly.  After I opened my eyes, like a miracle, 20 or so of people showed up. I am very grateful for these people to come to celebrate our first International Yoga Day.

One of them told me that she is pregnant for 6 months and stopped yoga after she started to feel dizzy. She missed the nice feeling of practicing yoga, but she had no idea what poses she can do or not. She asked me before this event whether she can join us.   The answer is of course: YES!!  (I learnt this little trick from Swamiji as he taught us that we should always answer the question started by yes.) However, as more and more people sign up for joining us, I started to think that I need help. I need someone who can pay attention to her while I can be taking care of everybody else too. Fortunately, one of my old students came back to help. She attended my classes for almost one year before, joined a pregnancy yoga teacher training program and had just become a new-born baby's mom herself. Thanks to her coming, we can help everybody. Some of my present students came to help too. One of my oldest students, Sophia came to help me to take the photos. Another plays an important role by demonstrate sun salutation while I am explaining, and some helped me to help people during the practicing. I really appreciate their assistance.
The sun is an early bird in June here. We started at 6:30, and the sun shines with all its passion before 7:30. After we complete a whole series of Makarasana Diaphragmatic breathing, Joints and Glands and Hatha, we have to move under the roof nearby to do our final Relaxation and Meditation. Due to the contrast, sunny blue sky vs. cool dark walkway, many of them came to tell me that they really had a wonderful relaxation in the end.

All the free donation of the day goes to the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families in Taichung. This Foundation supports those families of low income. One of my students works as a volunteer there and told me that it's hard to imagine that many of the families in a modern city like Taichung still need help to make a living. What they require is not fancy toys for children, but rice and other necessities in life to support everyday life. It is indeed a wonderful day full with love and sharing. Without all the love from many people, it is not possible. I am grateful and pay homage to the divinity in all attendants and Gurudev. Om~

(Photos starting with "20..")

International Yoga Day in Gabriola Island, Canada (#21)

by Pandit Tejomaya

It was a quiet and sunny morning on June 21st, the first International Day of Yoga.  The rain which had been predicted for our small island off the western coast of Canada held off for the day, and we were graced with a beautiful sunrise.  Indeed, Surya seemed pleased as we offered our morning namaskar, slowly, in the Himalayan style, the air filled with mantras.  Our little group of thirty then sat in silent meditation for the summer solstice. It was a Divine morning. 

What was so special was the feeling of inter-connectedness.  I am accustomed to this feeling through our practices such as Full Moon Meditations: physically remote, yet spiritually connected.  On the International Day of Yoga, I had a distinct feeling of connection that was far beyond our Tradition!  There was no feeling of separation, no feeling of resistance.  While we were physically remote, sincerely offering our practice on a beach in Canada, I clearly felt spiritually connected to all who were on their mats or cushions that day.  That day, there was only Yoga and all were welcomed and celebrated - every country, every language, every interpretation.  I felt a deep sense of gratitude to Prime Minister Modi, and I pray that we find more opportunities to experience our union rather than our separation…

(Photos starting with "21..")

International Yoga Day in Mallorca, Spain (#22)

By Atma Bonet and Fernando Sanchez

Día Internacional del Yoga

Beloved Swamiji,

From the center of Mallorca (Spain) we bow with love to your lotus feet. 

With our hearts full of gratitude,

Equilibrio Vital
Tradición Himalaya de Yoga Meditación
Centro Mallorca
fernando & atma

(Photos starting with "22..")

International Yoga Day in Kanpur, India (#23)

by S. R. Vidyarthi

As per instructions of Pujya Swami Veda Bharati ji, International Yoga Day was celebrated at 2A/224 Azad Nagar, Kanpur.

The program began with a video of a lecture on What is Yoga by H. H. Swami Rama which was followed by a video describing and demonstrating various asanas and pranayama techniques.

This was followed by three recorded bhajans sung by H. H. Swami Rama.

In the last part, all people present were blessed with a guided meditation session using a video of Pujya Swami Veda Bharati ji.

More than twenty persons were present during the event; they all enjoyed and admired the program.

The proceedings ended with distribution of fruits and sweets as prasad.

(Photos starting with "23..")

International Yoga Day in Athens, Greece (#24)

by Sofia Foteina

Yesterday, THERE WERE MANY CELEBRATIONS IN Athens TO HONOUR THE first Worldwide Yoga Day event on the 21/6/15.  Our Center gathered in our beautiful garden with 15 people present to celebrate. We read Swamiji’s letter-message, we meditated, tried to answer questions like what is Yoga, what is samadhi, how do we know if someone is enlightened etc. We announced among other things that Swamiji’s book Night Birds in Greek translation is at the print house, that today 22/6 starts a 40 day silence in India and, of course, in our home countries, ending with Guru Purnima. We then had dinner and refreshments which were prepared by all of us. It was a very beautiful evening, and we all enjoyed our common interest about spiritual growth.

22nd June 2015

No photos

International Yoga Day in Berlin, Germany (#25)

by Birgit Maes

On June 21st I offered a one-hour-Meditation. Since I don’t have so many students yet, about 14 beginners, I was happy to have two students here. The advertisement in the window and on the homepage didn’t let anybody come here.

They both came moved by the subject “having the same downward thoughts circling in their head” in everyday life. The first half hour we were talking about how to apply Yoga Sutra II 33 with easy explanations in daily life, with help of Samkhya karika and other parts of the Yoga Sutras. We looked at how to find the opposite quality of thought and how to loosen the grip of the downward direction. Their concentration is not prepared to concentrate for a full hour, so it was already a long time for them in the second half hour to sit still where we gave our best to easily recognize that what shines within us and is not subject to change… but lead with other words…

Since their concentration is not so steady jet it would have helped to do some body movement first, but their mind was busy with that subject, so it seemed to be dominant at that time.

Thank you, my dear gurus, for being there and helping me, and for helping me to stay on the way with so much love and gentleness!

Birgit Maes


No photos

International Yoga Day in Innsbruck, Austria (#26)

by Michael Kissener

A short report from International Yoga Day 2015 in Innsbruck.

Over the day in Yoga-Zentrum Innsbruck we offered four programs, two practice sessions and two guided meditations.

Approximately 60 to 65 participants were attending the programs.

Donations from participants were dedicated to Nepal earthquake relief.

I know from some other initiates in Austria contributing to the event in different places, but don't have details.

No photos

International Yoga Day in Bangalore, India (#27)

Students of Chanchala Diggavi gathered in her house for International Day of Yoga.

Chanchala writes, “We watched Swami Veda's interview and then chanted Guru Gita and Mahagurupaduka mantra and did silent meditation for one hour.”

And comments, “My students from other cities celebrated in their own towns.”

(Photos starting with "27..")

International Yoga Day in Nepal (#28)

Hansada Yoga Ashram is located outside Kathmandu, Nepal, high on a hillside facing the Himalayan snow peaks. The location was chosen by Himalayan yogi, His holiness Swami Rama, especially for its view of the sacred mountain Gauri Shankar, symbolizing the union of Shiva and Shakti, which is one of the meanings of "Yoga" and Hansda Ashram was built. Although the ashram no longer directly follows the teachings of Swami Rama and is not an affiliate center within AHYMSIN, Swami Veda Bharati maintains a friendly relationship with those at Hansada Ashram.

Yoga Day was celebrated by Hansada Ashram (1) at the Ashram and (2) in the town of Bhaktapur, Nepal.  It included hatha yoga, collective practices and sharing thoughts on yoga by special guests.

Rishi Kumar Panchasheel has written “…every year we will celebrate Yoga Day in 21st June.”

(Photos starting with "28..")

International Yoga Day in Ecuador (#29)

by Adriana Stolz 

Dear Swamiji,

 I dedicated the practice with my little horse and 3 dogs to peace in the world. I remember you Swami Veda every day and hopefully I will be able to share another retreat in your so inspiring and loving presence, like we meditated when we had the incredible blessing to be at your ashram with Gustavo Plaza from Ecuador and attended Bettina Bäumer’s Seminar.

Swamiji, I send you all my love, miss you and all of the staff at Rishikesh! If possible I will make it possible to visit you again! Thank you, thank you so much for the blessing of your presence at the Sadhana Conference 2012 and the retreat in 2014.

Namaste, blessings,
Adriana Stolz from Ecuador

(Photos starting with "29..")

International Yoga Day – Burkina Faso (#30)

On Sunday, International Yoga Day celebrations, Idriss Raoua Oeudraogo attended the main event at Rajpath, India, where he led a small band of ambassadors of other African nations - Ghana, Togo, Mali, Benin and Ethiopia - whom he had been tutoring for the big day.  

Idriss, who has just finished a 3 year tenure as Ambassador from Burkina Faso, has been practising yoga for the past 27 years. He has been teaching it for more than 20 years, runs the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Centre of Burkina Faso, which now has a branch in neighboring Benin, and has also written books on the subject.

There were also activities in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in which the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Centre of Burkina Faso participated. Please see the article written by Boukari Ouedraogo at http://burkina24.com/2015/06/22/ouagadougou-celebre-la-premiere-journee-internationale-du-yoga/  

No photos

International Yoga Day in Thailand (#31)

AHYMSIN Thailand has organized a group yoga/meditation practice on Sunday, June 21st, 2015 which was the first International Yoga day, in accordance with Swami Veda Bharati’s suggestion. Swamiji has encouraged all spiritual seekers on the path of yoga to come to contact with silence within and to reflect on one ‘s own progress relative to the final goal of Yoga; “Yoga is Samadhi” and “Yoga is the path to liberation”.

There were 9 people attending the activity, including Ms. Tinyu Chen from AHYMSIN Taiwan. We would like to bring all our spiritual friends the blessing from Swami Veda Bharati one more time “May you attain enlightenment soon”

(Photos starting with "31..")

International Yoga Day in Toronto, Canada (#32)

The UN recently designated June 21st as the International Yoga Day.

In support of Yoga International Day Canada, we invited people to a modest workshop being offered by the Vedic Centre on a glimpse at some of the deeper roots of this ancient tradition.

From  To       Activity
6:00    7:20    Yoga Asanas
7:20    8:00   Shat Karmas
8:00   8:30    Yoga Asanas
8:00   8:30    Guided Meditation          
8:30    9:00    Light Breakfast
9:00    10:30  5000 year History of Yoga - documentaries
9:00    9:30    Asana Demonstration
9:30    10:25  Gentle Joints & Glands: SENIORS   
9:30    10:25  Asana class -Sanskrit Yoga Sabha  
9:30    10:25  Children / youth to Age 15              
10:30  11:20   Havan (Sacred Fire Ceremony)
11:20   11:55   Sermon on Yoga Sutras
11:55   12:10   Seniors Special
12:10   12:20  Pranayama, Digestive Breathing: Agni Saar
12:30  1:10     Lunch (Observing Silence)
1:15     3:00    5000 year History of Yoga - documentaries
1:15     1:55     Marma Therapy/Yoga Nidra (Siddha Shanti Asana)
2:00    3:30    Panel Presentations with Q & A
2:00    3:30    Yoga in the context of Darśana (Direct Vision)
2:00    3:30    Prana Vidya; corroborates Modern Science
2:00    3:30    Benefits of a Meditation Practice
2:00    3:30    Mudras to regulate Pranic Flows
3:30    3:35    Vote of Thanks

(Photo starting with "32..")

International Yoga Day in Milwaukee (#33)

The photo was sent by Warren Garstecki on behalf of the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, with the message that this is a “description of what the Milwaukee center is doing to celebrate Yoga Day, please let Swami Veda know that we are happy to be participating.”

(Photo starting with "33..")

Part 1 of the International Yoga Day articles is here.




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