Gurudev at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh
GURUDEV SHRI AMRITJI
International Yoga Festival, 1st-7th March 2017
Attended as “Revered Yoga Guru”
1st March, 2017 – Inaugural lighting of the lamp, 29th Annual International Yoga Festival 2017, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh. Pictured from left: HH Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Governor of Uttarakhand Dr. K. K. Paul, HH Pujya Prem Babaji, Gurudev Shri Amritji.
3rd March, 2017 – Panel Discussion on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, 29th International Yoga Festival 2017, sponsored by Government of Uttarakhand and Ministry of AYUSH, Ganga Resort, Rishikesh. Pictured from left: Pundit Radheshyam Mishraji, Swami Suryendu Puriji, Padma Shree Bharat Bhushanji, Gurudev Shri Amritji, Dr. Surakshit Goswami, and Chandra Mohan Bhandariji.
1st March, 2017 – Special VIPs of the International Yoga Festival, Rishikesh. Revered gurus included, from the right, Gurudev Shri Amritji (second from right), Padma Shree Bharat Bhushanji, Swami Suryendu Puriji, and Chandra Mohan Bhandariji.
4th March, 2017 meeting of Gurudev Shri Amritji and Baba Ramdevji at the Patanjali University and Yoga Ashram, Haridwar.
After 60 years of teaching and promoting yoga in the West, Gurudev Shri Amritji brings the teachings home to his native state of Gujarat. One of the first pioneers to introduce Westerners to yoga, he is the creator of Kripalu Yoga and the founder of the largest yoga and health center in North America, The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, in Lenox, Massachusetts, USA, both named in honor his guru HH Swami Shri Kripalvanandji. After an extensive lecture tour in India, he will hold his first 10-day training program India, certifying students in the Amrit Method® of Yoga Nidra, based on an ancient deep relaxation meditation technique at the Malav Ashram, Gujarat, 24th March – 2nd April, 2017. Fittingly, Malav is the resting place of Swami Kripalu, where the pranapratistha formally dedicated this magnificent shrine last November.
For his contributions to the global yoga community, Amritji has been received many accolades including the titles “International Grand Yoga Master,” “Jagadacharya,” “Maharishi,” “Doctor of Yoga” and the “Vishwa Yoga Ratna” presented by the President of India. His recent books, Ancient Wisdom, Modern Master (2012), Love and Bliss: Meditations on the Art of Living (2014), and The Yoga of Relationships (2015) have together earned 15 literary awards, including the prestigious Nautilus Award.
Amritji’s recent lecture tour included stops in Kochi and Rishikesh, where he joined such luminaries as H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, H.H. Pujya Swami Avdheshanand Giriji and H.H. Pujya Swami Ramdevji for the inauguration of the 29th Annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, which included a live address from PM Narendra Modi. He led workshops in yoga and yoga nidra and sat on a panel discussion of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The seven-day yoga festival, sponsored by Government of Uttarakhand and the Ministry of AYUSH, was attended by 1,000 participants representing 100 countries, where more than 70 gurus, yogacharyas and experts lectured and led workshops at the event (see internationalyogafestival.org and internationalyogfestival.co.in).
The Amrit Yoga Nidra Training is a modern systematic approach to the ancient practice of yoga nidra, which is rooted in Tantric tradition. Scientific studies in India, the U.S. and Europe have demonstrated numerous benefits of yoga nidra, including improved sleep, reduced stress levels, improved hormonal regulation and renewed cell growth in specific areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with higher level brain function. Amritji’s premise, proven in studies, is that 80 percent of all health-related disorders are stress-related. He advocates that “this practice heals health problems at the root cause level.”
For Amritji, the value of yoga nidra goes far beyond health benefits, saying, “If yoga does not change your life, it is not yoga.” Throughout his career, he has dedicated boundless energy to making transformation available to a wide audience. Founding five major yoga centers in the United States, he developed a methodology of programs in the fields of yoga, health and transformational psychology. Currently, he resides at the Amrit Yoga Institute in Florida, USA.
Kamini Desai, Ph.D. Psychology and Director of Education at the Amrit Yoga Institute, is Amritji’s daughter and will join co-teach the program. Her recently published book, Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep, details the methodology behind the practice and reviews the many scientific discoveries of its benefits. Other prominent lecturers at the training include Shri Dwarkeshlalji Maharajshri and Padma Shri Bharat Bhushan Guruji.