20 Jun

Namaste, Welcome and thank you for being part of International day of Yoga. I feel humble to congratulate Yoga Festival and Expo Team to make 4th United National International Day of Yoga sucessful like the previous three years.

Yoga is something that is very close to my heart. It is, I believe, so much more than what it has been reduced to nowadays by fitness fads and is an integral part of Indian culture. Yoga is about health, meditation, wellness, and peace. It is a complete nourishment of the soul and that is exactly what the Yoga festival is meant to convey.

There is also one thing that it is not. Rigid. Yoga allows everyone who practices it to find a happy balance for themselves. Anyone who accepts the yogic lifestyle will come away enriched and find the positivity percolating through every aspect of their lives.

Yoga is, more than anything else, about the union of the mind, body, and spirit. Our festival is open to all kinds of yoga practitioners who may have different philosophies when it comes to the actual asanas. We also try to incorporate par ticipation from yoga schools of different
sizes, not just the large ones but also the smaller ones so that the community outreach can be maximized. I also believe that health and sustainable living cannot be achieved without a careful look at what we eat every single day. The food that has been organized has been done so keeping these principles in mind. A cruelty-free vegan menu has been prepared and every attempt has been made to source only the best ingredients for the entire dinner. The mandate has been to stick to local produce as far as possible and to showcase that health and taste do not have to be contradictory to each other.

This kind of living was the norm in India for centuries and was in fact enumerated in many historical scriptures. I find it very encouraging that the conversation around sustainability has only become louder and is now being promoted by people from all walks of life.

Embracing yoga and the yogic lifestyle can in fact be a an excellent stepping off point to being more conscious about the environment. We all need to think more about where our food comes from, how it is being made, and what are the resources being sacrificed to put that food on our plates. Yoga makes us realize that we are what we put in this world and that there are no small steps. If all of us start to work in one direction then there is no telling what we can achieve.

A sattvic diet, as proposed in yogic lifestyle, promotes purity of the body and the mind. The idea is that everything you eat should help promote peace, sharpen your intellect, and make you healthier while at the same time providing you with a sense of empathy.
It is also important that food that is being consumed have been prepared in a mindful manner. The kitchen environment should be calm and pleasant because the positive vibrations will flow through the food and into our bodies.

This kind of eating is possible every single day in our homes without too much effort. We have become very aware of reducing our carbon footprint in the world. It is something that is going to be necessary for our very survival as a species because the ill-effects of decades of excess and industrialization may already be irreversible. One of the simplest ways that we all can contribute to this cause is to choose local, eat cruelty-free produce, and pick natural organic ingredients over the artificial flavored, genetically modified monstrosities that have become so commonplace in our supermarkets.

As a parting word, my sincere hope from this yoga festival would be to spread awareness about yogic living and hoping that everyone who attended the festival can go back with something worthwhile to take from it. A real change in people’s lives, however small, is the ultimate success of this event.

Thank you
Aditya Tawatia