Int’l Yoga Day 2019 at UK Parliament

On behalf of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) - Indian Traditional Sciences, a warm welcome was given by Rt Hon Tom Brake MP, to Committee Room 10 full to bursting of enthusiastic participants for the 5th Int’l Yoga Day at the Houses of Commons on Thursday evening 20th June 2019. He read the proposed one-million signature petition to the European parliament on Traditional Medicines:

“As a citizen, I urge our policy makers, at national and European level, to encourage the medical profession to take a more holistic view of our health, looking at the whole person not just particular symptoms, promoting overall well-being, and recognising the potential benefits of complementary treatments, including respected traditional approaches such as Ayurveda and Yoga.”

Tom also read an Early Day Motion No. 2465 tabled by him on 10 June 2019 and asked all participants to encourage their members of parliament to sign it.

”That this House celebrates the 5th International Yoga Day on 20 June 2019, first adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015; notes the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India that Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition that embodies unity of mind and body, is a holistic approach to health and well-being and a means to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature; further notes that medical research has shown Yoga has proven health benefits from a wide range of physical and mental problems; considers that Yoga is a means of maintaining good health and can help people and patients to care for themselves; recognises that Yoga empowers patients and restores them as agents of their own health and healing; urges the NHS to consider including Yoga in the prevention and well-being initiatives within the NHS both for patients and for staff; and calls on the Government to consider introducing a Yoga Chair in all Medical Schools so that the rising generation of medical students gain a thorough grounding in this traditional and timeless knowledge of health and well-being.”

He also read a message from Her Majesty the Queen for her good wishes on the 5th Int’l Yoga Day.

Elena Greandia from Valencia in Spain an International Flamenco Soprano with musical and vocal technique studies in Casa Verdi of Milan (Italy), Sofia Conservatory (Bulgaria) and classical North of India music presented her delightful vocal Asi Bachara (Bhajan and Flamenco). Ragasudha Rani Vinjamuri an associate lecturer at the University of Sunderland in London and a disciple of Guru Dr Uma Ramarao presented her captivating dance Tributes to Shiva: The Yogi. Shamji Ladha born in Nairobi, Kenya and now living in UK for the last 35 years gave a demonstration on Yoga postures.

Virendra Sharma MP, Rohit Vadhwana First Secretary (Economic) from the High Commission of India in UK and Mr. N L A Haleem, Consular at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in UK along with Dr Tony Nader of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation (via skype) made guest appearance.

Padmashree Dr. Hongasandra Ramarao Nagendra, Chancellor at Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) a Yoga University in Bengaluru, India, gave the maiden speech on India’s gift of Yoga to the world and spoke of his contribution of Yoga into the fabric of Indian society at every level as well as co-ordinating inter-governmental partnerships on Yoga. He was presented the respected YogaAnanta Award.

Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Puriji of Panchayati Maha Nirvani Akhara from Vienna, where he founded the International Srī Deep Mādhavānanda Ashram and Yoga in Daily Life System was bestowed Yoga Ratna for his leadership to the hundreds of Yoga groups across Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Pujya Shri Rambapa is a globally acclaimed humanitarian and spiritual leader from the UK aged ninety-nine and continues to captivate the hearts of devotees of Hanuman worldwide, bringing them closer to divinity through the channels of devotion and selfless service. He was presented Yoga Ratna for his impeccable support to Indian Traditional Sciences. On 21st November 2018, when the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences led celebrations to mark Ayurveda Day with Geoffrey van Orden MEP at the European Union Parliament in October, a Murti (deity) of Hanuman was offered by Shri Rambapa and his daughter Bhartidevi Kantaria to the EU Parliament, where it now resides permanently. A consideration was placed before Rt Hon Tom Brake MP to also find a suitable place within the Palace of Westminster to install a Murti of Hanuman.

Swami Anubhavananda Saraswati, is renowned world-wide for his expositions on Vedanta and Indic thought. Known as the "Smiling Swami", which is reflected in his name "Anubhava=Experiencing, Ananda=Bliss. Although without an organisation or creed he travels and lectures worldwide to diverse groups of people. His uncommon wisdom and witty delivery, based deeply in Indic spiritual thought aims at getting one started on the journey of knowing one's true self better and finding fulfilment, this fulfilment, being something distinct from satisfying desires. Swamiji kindly accepted Yoga Ratna award from the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.

Sister Jayanti is European director of Brahma Kumaris. A spiritual leader and teacher for 50 years, she has dedicated her life to self-transformation and service to humanity. As the Brahma Kumaris’ representative to the United Nations in Geneva since 1982, Sister Jayanti has championed the co-operative role of spiritual organisations in creating a just and peaceful world. With a vision and experience that is truly global and deeply spiritual, she was respected with the honour of Indian Traditional Sciences Ambassador.

Ayurveda Ratna Dr Shantha Godagama and Ayurveda Ratna Dr Mauroof Athique stalwarts of the Ayurveda and Indian Traditional Sciences announced the establishment of British Ayurvedic Medical Council, a self-regulatory body, representing the voice of all Ayurvedic bodies collectively in the UK.

Prof John Porter, Prof Venkat Joshi, Joaquín Catalán, Dr Miguel Quel, Dr Juan Crespo de la Rosa, Yogi Ashokananda, Tomas Pfeiffer, Vidhi Sadana, Padma Coram & Deborah Kalstan made powerful case for incorporation of Yoga into the health systems and spoke of the scope for celebrating Yoga and Indian Traditional Sciences in the most powerful building in the UK.

Participants from overseas included:
India: Dr. Hongasandra Ramarao Nagendra, Dr. Manjunath NK, Mr. Dayananda Swamy, Mr. Ravindra Mohan Achrya, Dr. KS Subramanyam, Mrs. Subramanyam, Mr. Raghu Bengaluru, Mr. Srikumar, Dr Satnam Singh, Dr Harveen Kaur, Jatinder Singh, Jasbir Kaur, Pareena Kaur, Hakam Singh.
Spain – José Francisco Rodríguez, Antonio Bartolomé, Carmen Sibaja, David García, María del Carmen Coca, Concepción Rodríguez, María del Olvido Martín, Maria Dolores Cejudo, Jonás Torres, Paloma de Raymundo, Dr. Angel José Norro, Ana María Moreno, Gonzalo Rodríguez, María Victoria Mejías, María del Carmen Viorreta, Raquel Entero, Francisco Aldeano, Joaquín Catalán, Belen Quel, Elena Greandia, Dr. Miguel Quel, M° Milagros Tejón, Sabina María Teresa Salvador, Jesús Barrachina, Dr. Juán Crespo, Estrella del Mar Rodríguez, Cristiana Knudsen.
Austria: Swamy Maheshwarananda with twenty-five devotees. Belgium: Dr Naveen Gupta.
Czech Republic: Tomas Pfeiffer, Markéta Lacikova, Ludmila Dolakova.
Ireland: Tom Mullins. Malaysia: Mr. Chandrashekar. Singapore: Ms. Ruchica Patni, Ms. Pulkita Ashish, Mr. Ashish.
Slovenia: Dr. Dejan Dinevski, Dr. Gregor Kos.
Sweden: Deborah Kalstan.
United States of America: Mr. Murali Venkatrao, Mr. Prem Bhandari, Dr. Rekha Bhandari.

Amarjeet S Bhamra, Secretariat at APPG Indian Traditional Sciences read special messages of support received from Hon Shripad Naik, Minister of AYUSH and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary Ministry of AYUSH Government of India. He reminded all participants to request their MP’s to sign the Early Day Motion on Yoga and offered vote of thanks to all delegates for attending a historic Int’l Yoga Day 2019 at the British Parliament. He offered his appreciation to the continued support of the High Commission of India in UK, S-VYASA University and specifically Ranjula Madani MBE, Dr Satnam Singh, Dr Harveen Kaur, Bilay K Want, Ranjit K Uberoi, Maggie Webber, Saurab Navande, Dr Anjali Joshi, and Shri Swaminarayan Temple Neasden London.

Int’l Day of Yoga Symposium 2019

Founded in 2014, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) – Indian Traditional Sciences organised its second event on Int’l Day of Yoga Symposium 2019 at the Nehru Centre in London on Friday 21st June from 10am to 2pm. There were three sessions of fifteen prominent speakers managed by each panel chair. Amarjeet S Bhamra – Secretariat, APPG Indian Traditional Sciences welcomed all the delegates from both traditional and modern medicines platforms.

The Chief Guest of the Int’l Day of Yoga Symposium 2019 Dr. H R Nagendra spoke on Yoga - a New Revolution in Making. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre in the USA and a visiting associate at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. Currently he is the Chancellor at S-VYASA Yoga University and serves as Chair and Member for various high-powered committees in the Government of India. In 2016 Government of India honoured him with Padmashree Award.

Guest of Honour Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Puriji of Panchayati Maha Nirvani Akhara travelled from Vienna, Austria and is the founder of the International Srī Deep Mādhavānanda Ashram and the originator of Yoga in Daily Life System who spoke on - Goal to create human responsibility towards the world and environment, foster our compassion for all living beings and develop dormant hidden forces.

1. First session was chaired by John Porter, a Professor of International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he works on the Indian concept of the 4th Tier – population self-reliance in health. He is also the Chair of the LSHTM Research Ethics Committee.

1a. Prof. Kambhampati Subrahmanyam MA (Eng.), MA (Phil), PhD is currently the Pro-Chancellor at the S-VYASA Yoga University, at Bengaluru, India. An advocate of yogic studies, he has travelled on lecture tours both in India and abroad propagating Yoga, Vedanta, and Indian ethical and epic literature and movingly spoke on S-VYASA’s Yoga Movement for Global Well-being.

1b. Sister Jayanti is European Director of Brahma Kumaris. A spiritual leader and teacher for 50 years, she has dedicated her life to self-transformation and service to humanity and has brought spiritual principles to the discussion tables of politicians, economists, business leaders, scientists and nearly every stakeholder of our times and spoke on Raja Yoga Meditation and Climate Change.

1c. Vidhi Sadana is a consultant Yoga Therapist and has completed the first ever UK Yoga Therapy service evaluation in an NHS setting. She is also first trainer in the UK for Imperial Medical Students to teach Yoga Therapy short course modules and spoke on Gentle for Mental Health.

1d. Dr James Mallinson is Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies at SOAS University of London where he is currently leading a five-year research project on the history of Haṭha Yoga funded by the European Research Council. He has spent time living in India with Traditional Yogis and Sadhus, and elaborated on Yoga Studies - Teaching and Research across the World.

2. Second session was chaired by Tomas Pfeiffer supported with translations in Czech and English by Markéta Lacikova, and Ludmila Dolakova. Tomas is a biotronicist, working in the area of spiritual healing for more than 40 years in Prague.

2a. Yogi Ashokananda has dedicated his entire adult life in service to humanity by teaching, writing, mentoring, learning, speaking on yoga, meditation, spirituality and spoke on Yoga and Health.

2b. Today, for most people, the word “yoga” usually conjures up images of twisting the body into impossible postures. The physical aspect of yoga is only one facet of this multi-dimensional science. Arundhati Rajesh addressed the audience and shared her experiences on Isha Yoga.

2c. Dr Antonio Bartolome, is chief administrator of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s organisation in Spain and Portugal, who kindly presented Maharishi’s approach to Yoga. Maharishi Yoga provides level of preparation that progresses sequentially from more active to quieter, from grosser to subtler effects on mind-body integration.

3. Third session was chaired by Prof Venkat Joshi, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Principal of Undergraduate Studies, Mentor, Academic Consultant. This session was kindly supported with translations in Spanish and English by Joaquín Catalán.

3a. Dr. Miguel Quel Benedicto MD, PHD is a doctor in Mental Health, Neuropsychiatrist and Secretary General of the Illustrious Official College of Physicians of the Province of Valencia in Spain and delivered an amazing speech on Eclectic Medicine.

3b. Joaquín Catalán is a Business Economist, Lawyer, who has been honoured as a Lifetime member of The International Society of Business Leaders. At present he teaches at EDEM University Centre and Business School in Valencia. He addressed the topic of Collaboration between professionals of Contemporary and Traditional Medicines.

3c. Integrative Medicine Applied to Cosmetics and Natural Nutrition was Sabina María Teresa Salvador’s presentation. She is Pharmaceutical Homeopath, Master in Natural Medicine, Integrative Therapist applying quantum principles based in Spain.

3d. Concepción Rodriguez lives in Malaga and works with Vicente Ferrer Foundation which carries out humanitarian projects in Andhra Pradesh, India, bringing aid to over 2.5 million people. She has written ‘Solar initiation in the new Shamballa’, "The wonderful journey of self-discovery" and "The golden key to have good health" and she allured the audience to her deliberations of Food for Yogis.

3e. Maria Dolores Cejudo, finished her bachelor's degree in Education, and became a teacher of children with special needs, manager of an occupational centre for disabled people and currently presides at the Association of Pepe Bravo Centre which she addressed in her talk.

3f. Stephan Hein spoke on Yoga Nedra: the meditative Heart of Yoga. This practice is an ancient awareness and meditation practice that translates as “the Yogic sleep”. It induces a state of sleep for the physical body and the conscious mind, whilst one maintains illuminating awareness that rises from deeper layers of consciousness.

3g. Distance Healing was Dr Christiana Oware Knudsen’s presentation. Born in the Gold Coast, she holds a degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Aarhus, in Denmark. She has carried out research and published books on Female Circumcision in Ghana

3h. Our Special Guest Prof Dr Tanuja Nesari from All India Ayurveda Institute in New Delhi which is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. Prof. Nesari completed her M.D. and Ph.D. in Ayurvedic Pharmacology (Dravyagunavidnyan) from Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar. She is also the Chief Executive Officer at National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of AYUSH. Her contribution was on Yoga, Ayurveda for Health and Wellbeing.

We gratefully appreciated Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe MP in the Rajya Sabha (Indian House of Lords) and his delegation joining us. He also serves as National Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party and recently appointed as President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations. He was accompanied by Namrata S Kumar Deputy Director General of ICCR and Brij K Guhare the Deputy Director of the Nehru Centre - London. Amarjeet S Bhamra offered vote of thanks to all present including the High Commission of India in the UK and the Nehru Centre London for offering relishing mouth-watering sumptuous vegetarian food for all.


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