International Yoga Day Festival

20-21 June 2015,
Saint Petersburg, Russia


Welcome address

Dear friends!

Yoga is almost a 5000-year-old tradition. While most traditions are local and cannot be applied universally. The system of Yoga has withstood the test of time and continues to be relevant even today. It has evolved with various masters contributing their insights and adaptations. Today in almost all countries of the world yoga is practised in some form or another. There are innumerable schools, hundreds of teachers and thousands of followers all over the world. It is a multi million dollar industry in the western world. The growing number of followers, the numerous magazines and journals, the expanding industry of yoga related products are a testimony to this fact.

The United Nations has declared 21 June as the international yoga day. On this occasion we are organising an International yoga festival in Saint Petersburg on 20 - 21 June 2015. It is our effort to bring together various streams of Yoga and serve as a model for mutual existence. We will have demonstrations by various schools, panel sessions by eminent scholars, discussions on the philosophy of Yoga, and an exposure to Indian classical music, dance and culture.

 We invite you to actively participate and showcase to the world the relevance of co-operation, brotherhood and peace. This I think is the need of the hour. We are living in an atmosphere of violence everywhere. Despite consistent economic progress, we are becoming morally bankrupt and emotionally unstable. We are striving for peace and co-operation outside. But any qualitative change has to be from the inside. It is peaceful people who make peaceful communities. Yoga shows us the way to the inner peace. This event is a small step towards this direction.

Russia and India have had a history of mutual assistance. Hopefully yoga will bind the ties stronger and serve as a model for other nations to follow.

We welcome you on this journey together.

 Swami Advaita