Here at Booking Yoga; we love yoga, and we love travel! But the one thing that makes these experiences that little bit more special, is sharing them with like minded people from all walks of life, all over the world. And, you can be sure that no matter where in the world you are, you can always rely on yoga to speak to you. No matter the spoken language, country, culture or society; your breathe, your body, and your mind combined with beautiful energy shared with others, will speak through the universal language of yoga. As you take this journey within yourself at a retreat, a yoga festival, or in a class, you are certain to share positive energy and a connection with others.
My travels soon turned into a little ‘yoga pilgrimage’, yoga truly navigated the direction of my travels.
There are no pre-requisites for yoga. No level of fitness, no levels of intellect; just yourself and a willingness to share the practice. And by that, I don’t necessarily mean the physical asana. Maybe asana practice is not for you right now, maybe you partake in asana to find peace in your mind through meditation, or feel an urge to share your energy helping others by way of giving (this is called Karma yoga). Whatever part of the practice you enjoy, you are guaranteed to reap the most benefit from surrounding yourself with people who share the same love, from all parts of the world.
As I write this blog, I recall my own personal journey with Yoga. Before travelling, I practiced yoga in gym classes on occasion, but never really understood the practice, I suppose you could say it never ‘clicked’ for me. Looking back, I can now see that the ‘penny hadnt dropped’ (so to speak)! Then, all of a sudden I found myself in a yoga class in a tiny little village in Belgium. Who would of thought!! Having little experience and not speaking the language of any other person in that class (including the teacher), I simply followed the movements of the teacher and my peers. I could see their breathe and their movement but most of all, I could feel their energy. Sure, I made mistakes and was a little slow on the uptake, but all in all, I felt connected.
As I continued my nomadic adventures around Europe, I sometimes felt a little bit floaty, lacked direction and found it difficult to focus and make decisions. Yoga helped me, I found grounding, a sense of peace, and mental clarity through the practice (and this was the penny dropping moment!), and so I resorted to continue my journey together with yoga. Over a period of about 18 months, I practiced yoga in eight different languages and nine countries. My travels soon turned into a little ‘yoga pilgrimage’, yoga truly navigated the direction of my travels. I participated in work trades spending months at a time on yoga retreats; meeting all different types of people, helping to make their time on retreat enjoyable whilst being privileged to practice so many different types of yoga, meditation and healing practices. During my nine month stint in Netherlands, I volunteered my time helping as much as I could at local studio, and in return I was gifted access to the classes. Having access to unlimited yoga class and developing my practice was great; but, being part of a community, learning about myself, sharing support and love to develop life long friendships is where the true essence of the experience lies!!!!!!
More recently, I was invited to work with a team of yoga teachers and travelers, in a ‘job’ (if you want to call it that) sharing my two loves with the rest of the world, and this is where yoga has led me so far. I feel privileged to share yoga through stories and articles, helping people find their way to a deeper and truer sense of self through their practice.
So the moral of this story is that no matter where you are from or what language you speak, you can feel the infectious energy that yoga creates at a yoga festival. Not just any festival, but the biggest International Yoga Festival in the world! And what better place? India! The mecca of where it all started. The International Yoga Festival is a place where people from all walks of life come together through their shared love for yoga.
If you, like me, enjoy travel, enjoy yoga and want to experience a celebration of unity in a place that lies on the banks of the sacred Mother Ganga, in the lap of the lush Himalayas, follow your heart to the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, India.
Rishikesh Yoga Festival
You can expect more than 70 presenters, from 20 countries, giving nearly 150 classes, from 4:00 am until 9:30 pm. There is an offering perfect for you; whether it be Ashtanga Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Bharat Yoga, Deep Yoga, Shintoh Yoga and Somatics Yoga, or one of the 60 different offerings throughout the week. You can also immerse yourself in classes for meditation, mudras, Sanskrit chanting, reiki, Indian philosophy and much more. Further, spiritual discourses will be held by revered spiritual leaders from India and abroad.
Yoga is not merely for our bodies, but rather Yoga is for our bodies, minds, hearts and souls. Yoga literally means “Union” – union of breath with the body, union of the mind with the muscles, and most importantly union of the self with the divine. Yoga is not a religion. It does not require you to believe in a certain God or chant certain mantras – International Yoga Festival, India.
The international Yoga Festival, Rishikesh, from March 1 -March 7, 2017.