Celebration of Yoga through art

Soon after June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the UN General Assembly, cultural organisations in the city started gearing up to mark the event in every way possible. 

Organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, the festival ‘Yog Parv’ will encompass over 300 selected works of art along with dance and music performances, workshops and other presentations by more than 150 artists from across the globe.

The exhibition ‘Yoga Chakra’ – Tradition & Modernity, will highlight an all encompassing philosophy of life sustaining practices across ages, cultures and continents for meditation and stress relief. It will showcase an all inclusive multicultural multimedia encounter through a convergence of illustrated manuscripts, paintings, photographs, books, interactive installations, digital work,
and films.

The other aspect of this festival, integral to the concept of yoga, includes dance performances, music concerts, theatre, lecture demonstrations, discourses, talks, workshops, meditation sessions and consultations with Yoga experts. In an interactive arena, visitors will be able to experience herbal remedies and
organic cuisine from across the country.

The festival has been organised to highlight various aspects of Yoga on a common platform, where people are able to connect with their inner selves and experience a feeling of well being. “Yuj - to unite is the root word for yoga. Performing arts is understood in the context of Yoga as Naad yoga, Asanas, Mudras, Pranayam, Bandhas, Kriyas and Dhyana (Meditation). In both disciplines the practice combines physical exercise, has meditative and spiritual pursuits that connect
humanity,” says Helen Acharya, secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Instrumental music, Chhau and Kalaripayattu performance will be staged as part of the festival. Renowned artists will perform and talk about their arts in the context of Yoga. The discourses on Yoga and Body, Yoga and Conciousness, Yoga and Bhakti through dance and music come alive in demonstrations that highlight the umblical cord between ancient traditions and tenets that transform body and
soul through dance, voice and music.

A specially constructed pandal will house stalls, photographs and other displays as well as interactive sessions and an open platform, for dialogue and consultancies. It will illuminate the role played by yogis and yoginis and new age gurus and spiritual leaders in Indian society and increasingly now, in other parts of the world, as a life enhancing endeavour for health, happiness and healing.

“The act of creating art itself is a yogic practice for the artists and the rasikas reflected in the vast corpus of visual arts. Encompassing traditions and modernity, some featuring idealised yogic bodies prepared, purified and adorned; and others in abstract meditative forms elucidate unity of the self with the absolute for harmony and peace,” says Sushma K Bahl (curator cultural projects). “The 300 multimedia expressions in Yoga Chakra exhibition rotate around concepts of gyana, karma and bhakti Yoga. They include antiquities selected and sourced from museums around the country as well as fresh commissions created by some of the contemporary artists. The project focuses on the philosophy and dynamics of Yoga, as a way of life, for an interface between mind, body and soul that continue to engage artists across cultures and eras,” she informs.

The festival, to be held on June 21 and 22, will be a celebration for enhancing our lifestyle by providing focus on how to improve our wellness and good health through
different aspects of Yoga.

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