National Coordinators with the Civil 20 working group for Integrated Holistic Health (IHH) organised a meet for NGOs at this year’s globally renowned International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh. Prominent leaders from India, the US, Europe, and China joined hands to discuss pressing issues and policy changes for yoga, meditation and ayurveda.
The panelists hailed from many different streams, including Hatha Yoga, Naad Yoga, Pranayama, and Vedanta. Topics included fundamental issues such as public financing, the role of technology, evidence-based integration into healthcare systems, and ways of spreading awareness among the common masses.
Narender Anand, a National IHH Coordinator, said: “The discussion truly applied the theme of India’s G20—Vasudeva Kutumbakam—the whole world is one family. Participants were very happy that they were able to contribute towards a change in global health policy. Many expressed their willingness and desire to be more involved and offered help in any possible way through financing, research, and their case studies.”
The International Yoga Festival is famous across the globe for its vision to “unite yogis of every culture, colour, and creed in a one-world yogic family, expanding global consciousness, and bringing healing to the planet, one person at a time.”
Shweta Anand, also a National IHH Coordinator, added: “They were all proud to see that Amma—a woman saint—has been appointed as the Chair of C20, thus appreciating Amma’s humanitarian activities. They were very enthusiastically talking about their experiences in yoga, meditation and ayurveda and how they relate to the challenges the current society is facing and the policy changes that can be made so that this heritage of India can be shared globally.”
The participants included Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; Dr. Raghavan Ramankutty, Founder & Director of DATHATHREYA – Integrated Holistic Health Care; Dr. Smita Naram, Co-Founder of Ayushakti; Dr. Eden Goldman, Yoga and Mind-Body Health Professor, University of Southern California; Dr. Devaki Madhav, Psychologist, Scientific Pranayama Practitioner, and Social Worker; Mohan Bhandari, Co-founder and Director of Yogic Yoga – China; Erica Kaufman, Founder of Lila Yoga; Paula Tapia, Yoga Therapist, Mindfulness Advisor and Research Associate at Attune Health; Sandeep Desai, a Master of T’ai Chi, Ashtanga Yoga, and Martial Arts; Anand Mehrotra, founder of Sattva Yoga & Foundation; and Dr. Nishi Bhatt, Specialist in Children’s Psychoneurological and Pain Management Disorders and a nutritionist certified by Stanford University.