Ashada Shukla 8, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: July 1, 2017

1.  FESTIVALS: Rath Yatra 2.  GST is 'good and simple tax', PM Modi says
3. OM FILLS WORLD AS YOGA STRETCHES ITS REACH 4. Yoga Day: In Gujarat, 23 records and counting
5. Life should be made "yogamay" with Yoga : Dattatreya Hosabale 6. Positive Meet : Modi-Trump era signals strategic synergy and common goals
7.  Nasa launches world's lightest satellite designed by 18-year-old TN student 8. HSS felicitated over 1350 teachers in more than 20 states
9. President of Ramakrishna Math passes away in Kolkata at the age of 98 10. Four Vivekananda Kendra elders honored with Shatabhishekam ceremony
11. Hindu Sangathan Divas (Hindu Unity Day) Organized in Houston by HSS 12. Hostel for Orphaned Children in Nepal



1.  FESTIVALS: Rath Yatra marks the annual journey of Bhagwan Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the 12th century Jagannath temple in the chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt. The yatra takes place in Puri on second day of Ashadha Shukla Paksha corresponding to 25th of June this year.

This year, lakhs of devotees not only from Bharat but also from different parts of world, undeterred by the heavy downpour, thronged the town of Puri for the world-famous event. The 'pahandi' of the deities began around 10.30 am, when the three gods were taken out in a procession to their chariots parked in front of the temple. Sankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth Swamy Nischalananda Saraswati went onto the three Raths and offered prayers. Pulling of the Raths began by 3.54 pm. None of the three Raths could reach the Gundicha temple. The deities had to spend the night on the Raths as the pulling was suspended for the day at 6.45 pm.

Sea of humans braving the rain on Monday, the 27th morning resumed pulling the chariots at 9.30 am. The Badadanda (grand road) at Puri reverberated with the chanting of 'Jai Jagannath' by the emotional devotees. Lord Blabhadra's chariot, Taladhwaja, first reached Gundicha temple followed by Devi Subhadra's Debadalan. At the end, Lord Jagannath's chariot reached the destination at 12.15 pm. All three chariots were parked at Saradha Bali in front of the Gundicha temple. The deities will return to their temple 'Sri Mandir' on July 6. -goTop


2.  GST is 'good and simple tax', PM Modi says:  Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi termed the GST as a 'good and simple tax' which will end harassment of traders and small businesses while integrating Bharat into one market with one tax rate. At a gala event to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the historic Central Hall of Parliament, Modi said the indirect tax reform is a result of combined efforts of various political parties at different points of time. GST, he said, is an example of cooperative federalism as the centre and states together thrashed out the new law with consensus.        
Besides being a transparent and fair system that will end generation of black money and corruption, GST will promote new governance culture that will end harassment at the hand of tax officials.-goTop


3. OM FILLS WORLD AS YOGA STRETCHES ITS REACH: From the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and the Great Wall in China to Rama Bai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow and London Eye, the sound of "Om" reverberated through Bharat and the world on the Third International Yoga Day on June 21 in celebration of the traditional fitness regime that combines spirituality and physicality.

Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a mass yoga demonstration at Rashtrapati Bhavan and urged Bharatiyas to make yoga a way of life.Speaking at the event, Mukherjee said yoga was a holistic approach to physical and mental health, adding that it was an ancient Bharatiya practice which was a cure for many diseases and health disorders.

In Lucknow, braving morning showers, Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi led 51,000 participants in performing yoga. Pradhan Mantri did not think twice before coming out of the waterproof dais to join the participants and schoolchildren as rain lashed Rama Bai Ambedkar grounds. Uttar Pradesh Rajyapal Ram Naik, Mukhya Mantri Yogi Adityanath, and Up-Mukhyamantris Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma followed suit.

Dressed in a white t-shirt and a white track pants, Modi took the role of an expert yoga teacher and corrected postures of several participants. "It was a nice gesture by the PM to come out of the comfort of his waterproof tent and do yoga with us in the open. It was not easy. Yoga mats were wet and slippery and water puddles were all around," said 18-year-old student Neha Prakash. Unmindful of rain, the PM continued with his "asanas" and completed his regimen in 20 minutes.

During his brief speech, Modi spoke about the importance of yoga and how the entire world had accepted this Bharatiya tradition, which has a scientific backing. "Yoga is about health assurance and yoga gives you health insurance at zero cost. It is not even expensive to practise yoga. I urge everyone to make yoga part of their lives as it is the gateway to wellness," the PM said.

In Delhi, nearly 77,700 people braved pre-dawn showers and gathered at venues across the city.  The maximum gathering of 50,000 people was at Red Fort lawns, followed by 10,000 yoga enthusiasts coming together in Connaught Place and about 9,000 at a DDA park in Rohini.

While similar scenes were seen in other parts of the country too, many gathered in places across the world, including iconic landmarks like the London Eye and Trafalgar Square as well the Great Wall, to celebrate the day. In the US, a large number of people, including from the Bharatiya community, participated in special yoga sessions organised by the Bharatiya Consulate in New York. Over 1,200 yoga enthusiasts in South Africa’s Soweto Township also got their first taste of yoga.

Yoga Divas was observed in Pakistan, Egypt and many other Islamic countries too. Politicians, bureaucrats, students, judges and simply yoga enthusiasts gathered at offices, parks and even the road at specially held yoga camps to observe the day. Videsh Mantri Sushma Swaraj joined a yoga session organised by her Ministry with nearly 100 diplomats from various missions. -goTop


4. Yoga Day: In Gujarat, 23 records and counting: Enduring the early morning rains, more than 3 lakh people from Ahmedabad and other districts of Gujarat congregated at the GMDC ground and four other venues in Vastrapur early on June 21 and created 23 world records, on International Yoga Day. The event, organised by the government of Gujarat and Patanjali Yogpeeth, staked its claim on two world records - the highest number of people taking yoga lessons at a single place (GMDC ground), and the highest number of people taking yoga lessons at multiple locations.Patanjali Yogpeeth founder Yoga guru Ramdev was the primary instructor at the event that drew political notables such as BJP national president Amit Shah, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, and deputy CM Nitin Patel. Ramdev greeted Shah by congratulating him on shedding about 20 kg with yoga. -goTop


5. Life should be made "yogamay" with Yoga : Dattatreya Hosabale: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sah Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale said in Lucknow on June 19 that Yoga is a way of life and everybody should make Yoga part of his life to make it a "yogmaya" life. While releasing the Yoga Special issue of the Avadh Prahari fortnightly magazine Dattatreya Ji said all the 18 chapters of Gita touch on Yoga. Our ancestors gave us Yoga thousands of years ago. It is essential to know about it. Ashtaang Yoga has Aasan as one of its part and "pranayaam" as another. But it has six other parts. Yoga joins body and mind. It is difficult to keep the mind focused. But when the mind is engaged in constructive activities, and is not working against anybody, but instead is busy in social welfare activities, then it is easy to keep it focused. Yoga opens doors to the wider world and helps control the mind.

Avadh prant sanghchalak Dr. Harmesh Chauhan Ji also spoke on the occasion. Sanyukat Kshetra Prachar pramukh Kripashankar, Treasurer of Bharatiya  Punaruthan Samiti Babulal Sharma and Editor of the magazine Ramkumar Verma were also present on the stage. -goTop


6. Positive Meet - Modi-Trump era signals strategic synergy and common goals: Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump have led populist and nationalist movements which upended the establishment in their respective countries. While this can potentially lead to a meeting of minds between them, things can also go badly wrong. On balance, when Modi met Trump for the first time in Washington, the positive has outweighed the negative. Modi invested significantly in ties with Washington during the Obama years, and he has managed to keep them on an even keel with some gains for India.

Most of those gains have taken place in the security and strategic relationship between the two countries. The two leaders have taken an unreserved common position on terrorism, and the joint statement released after the meeting has pledged enhanced India-US cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Moreover, unlike China, the US has supported India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, other global nuclear supervisory bodies and permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

One of the significant outcomes of Modi's visit is the US decision to designate Syed Salahuddin, leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen which spearheads the Kashmir insurgency at Pakistan's behest, as a global terrorist. This should put paid to Pakistan's efforts to "internationalise" the Kashmir dispute. In further embarrassment for Islamabad, the joint statement called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory isn't used for terror activities against other nations, and bring to justice the perpetrators of cross-border terrorist attacks. There is no longer much waffling on who offers safe havens to terrorists inflicting the maximum casualties on Indian and American citizens alike.

Trump extracted his pound of flesh by insisting on a "fair" and "balanced" trade relationship between the two nations, indicating a mercantilist approach which can in the end limit trade and therefore prosperity in both nations. At the same time he has been quiet on India's concerns about H-1B visas and crackdown on American companies outsourcing to India. In this respect, it's welcome that Modi met American business leaders and invited them to increase their investments in India. Such investments can circumvent visa restrictions, create jobs in India and even balance trade between the two nations. But they require improvement in ease of doing business in India, together with big bang reforms which the Modi administration has been skirting so far. (Editorial, Times of India, June 28, 2017.) -goTop


7.  Nasa launches world's lightest satellite designed by 18-year-old TN student: On June 22, Bharat once again broke a global space record by launching the world's lightest satellite weighing a mere 64 grams, called Kalamsat, designed and developed not by professional space scientists and engineers, but by 18-year-old Tamil Nadu student Rifath Sharook and his team. The tiny satellite, named after Abdul Kalam, was flown by a Nasa sounding rocket and the lift-off was from the space agency's Wallop Island facility around 3pm (IST). Kalam had his training in the sounding rocket programme at Wallops Island in the '60s. Kalamsat was the only Bharatiya payload in the mission. -goTop


8. HSS felicitated over 1350 teachers in more than 20 states: During the months of May and June 2017, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA (HSS) organized Guru Vandana events across the nation to honor teachers and their contribution in the society. More than 1250 teachers, principals, and superintendents as well as a total of over 6500 attendees (which includes HSS families as well dance, music, arts, karate, physical fitness teachers and coaches), participated in 65 events held from North to South and East to West in over 20 states.In a typical event, the children presented a cultural program where Sanskrit shlokas were recited in the honor of the Guru. At several places, this event included a cultural program where children participated and presented their talent in classical dances, songs, and musical instruments.

HSS national coordinator for Guruvandana events, Mrs. Anjali Patel, while expressing her satisfaction, said, "The Guru Vandana program provides an opportunity to show the gratitude to teachers in Hindu way. Children feel good about their culture while teachers get a pleasure of meeting their students' families and experiencing a unique way of appreciation by the entire community." -goTop


9. President of Ramakrishna Math passes away in Kolkata at the age of 98: Swami Atmasthananda, president of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, breathed his last on June 18 at the Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan Hospital in Kolkata. He was 98.  He was admitted to the hospital on February 21, 2015 for treatment of old-age ailments.  In spite of best medical attention, his condition deteriorated over the last few days and he passed away around 5.30 pm.
Padhan Mantri Narendra Modi had received spiritual guidance from Swamiji in his young age. Shri Modi termed his demise as a 'personal loss'.
RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat termed the demise of Swami Atmasthananda as a painful loss. In a condolence message, sent on June 19 from Nagpur he said: "The sewa, religious awakening as well as the self-awakening activities undertaken by Shri Ramakrishna Mission are bringing about a meaningful change all over the country. Swami Atmasthananda had been leading all those activities since 2007. It was under his leadership that the message about all these activities was successfully spread in every nook and corner of the country during the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. During those days I got the opportunity to once have his darshan. His calm, satvic and inspiring personality had greatly energised me. But the Nature is not in control of human beings. It is now the responsibility of all the Indians to take the divine message of Shri Ramakrishnaji to all over the world. I pray to the Almighty that we all develop patience and balance to finish this holy task. I pay a tribute individually and also on behalf of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh."

10. Four Vivekananda Kendra elders honored with Shatabhishekam ceremony: Four very senior karyakartas of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari were felicitated on their completion of 80 years of fruitful social life. President of Vivekananda Kendra P Parameswaran (90 years), former President Lakshmikumari (82 years), Vice President A Balakrishnan (80 years) and senior worker Angiras alias Mamaji (82 years) were honoured with 'Shatabhishekam' with all the traditional way.On June 22nd the ceremony of Shatabhishekam started with Ganapati Homam in the evening in Patanjali at Vivekanandapuram, Kanyakumari.On June 23rd from 6 am onwards the Parayanam  was conducted by the Purohit and at the same time at Maha Ekakshar Gnapati Temple Ganapati Homam for Kumbhabhishekam was performed- Gau (Cow with the new born calf), Gaj (Elephant) pooja was performed and the procession from temple to Patanjali was led by the Elephant.

Here at Patanjali again rituals were performed by chanting of Mantras and new Vastras (Clothes) were given to all four. After this with Four Main Kalash & Eighty small Kalashas which are sanctified by Mantras all four Elders were given ceremonial bath of each Kalasha.Then four elders wore new clothes and it was concluded by taking blessings by them by each Karyakartas. Mananeeya Lakshamididi gave the benediction speech and the program ended with Shanti Mantra.-goTop


11. Hindu Sangathan Divas (Hindu Unity Day) Organized in Houston by HSS: The Houston chapter of Hindu SwayamSewak Sangh in the USA held its 12th annual Hindu Sangathan Divas conference on June 3, at the Houston Durga Bari Society (HDBS) in Houston, Texas. The event was attended by over 165 participants from over 49 Hindu organizations in the area. The occasion offered representatives the Hindu organizations an opportunity to network for synergizing their work and thereby exchange ideas, share material and resources.Arun Kankani, keynote speaker, thanked all participants for their enthusiastic participation.

He urged all organizations to understand the massive change happening globally over the last two decades and align with Hindu Ethos, Values, and Cultures. He outlined our collective approach to be "Think Globally, Act Locally". The keynote speech was followed by Sangh Prarthana and Durga Arati.

The HSS conducts a structured value education program through its 150 chapters nationwide to develop strong character and teamwork and leadership skills to organize a dynamic and flourishing Hindu-American community. -goTop


12. Hostel for Orphaned Children in Nepal: Fifty boys, orphaned in the twin earthquakes that shook Nepal in 2015, now find refuge in a newly constructed hostel in Dhading, Nepal, courtesy of Sewa International.In his speech on June 3, 2017, at the inauguration of the hostel, Dr. Sree Sreenath, Director, Complex Systems Biology Center and Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and president of Sewa International, USA, said that it indeed takes a village to raise a child, and that the name of the Dhading Hostel - "Amako Maya Chatrawas" should live up to its promise as the "Abode of Mother’s Love". He said that local children and youth should interact with students at the hostel and become their brothers and sisters. -goTop


13. ICCS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Exploring divinity through the feminine in Ancient Cultures: Mumbai, Bharat. Jan 31st to Feb 4th, 2018: The theme of the ICCS 6th International Conference and Gathering of the Elders is "Exploring divinity through the feminine in Ancient Cultures". In this conference we will explore the depiction and expression of the feminine in relation to the divine. While there is an understanding that the nature of the divinity as depicted across many  ancient traditions, occupy both the masculine and feminine, in this conference the feminine will be at the forefront of discussion.

There are four aims for this conference:

Exploring the Ancient Cultures.

Facilitating relationships.

Cross pollinate ideas and experiences.

Inspiring and encouraging delegates to spread their influence across their native lands.

Coming soon we'll be sharing more information about the conference. Please save the dates. We hope to see you there.

For more information please contact:

Priscilla Alvarado / -goTop


14. OXFORD HONOUR FOR BUDDHIST LEADER: Acclaimed Buddhist leader and head of the Drukpa Lineage, the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, has been bestowed with an honorary gellowship by the Wolfson College of Oxford for preservation of culture in the Himalayas.

"It has been a privilege to work with the college over the past five years as it has led the way in promoting all the diverse cultures of the Himalayas and its history," said Gyalwang Drukpa.

His Holiness first visited the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre at Wolfson in 2012. The centre is a unique Himalayan studies environment within the UK and one of the leading ones in the world, creating opportunities for inter-disciplinary research and a new platform for presenting Himalayan culture to a wider audience. -goTop


15. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravaas: Shri Saumitra Gokhale Vishwa Vibhag samyojak and Dr Ram Vaidya sah samyojak would reach Bharat for Vishwa Sangh Shiksha Varg, Shri Ravikumar - sah samyojak would visit Singapore, Shri Shyam Parande - Secretary Sewa International, returned from a tour of Indonesia and Laos. Visitor: Rajiv Bharadwaj - Japan

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: As long as one has desires and cravings, so long one doubts the existence of God. – Swami Vivekanand. -goTop





Born in 1980 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Nouf Bint Mohammad Al Marwaai is an inspiring personality in many ways. As an influential Saudi entrepreneur, she pioneered the practice of Yoga and Ayurveda in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other West Asian countries which were not exposed to the world of India’s great gifts to humankind till then. Nouf is perhaps the first Saudi professional lady to visit India to study Yoga and Ayurveda. The founder of Arab Yoga Foundation, the key organiser of International Yoga Day celebrations in Saudi Arabia last year, spoke to Organiser about her life in pursuit of Yoga. Excerpts: –

How were you introduced to Yoga? Is there any specific reason behind it?

I was born with the autoimmune disease and later diagnosed with lupus, I struggled at school. I had digestive issues, severe allergies, joints issues and fatigue and I was so weak. I loved sports but I wasn't able to do anything due to my weakness and underweight issues. I found a book my dad got during one of his travels for the martial arts studies and championships. It was a Yoga book and that was probably in 1993. Anyway, it wasn't easy to follow till 1998 when I found an easier book and started trying myself. That time there was no Yoga teacher around. I ordered books and videos from the US and started till I was able to travel to study Yoga and I was certified as a Yoga teacher in 2004 after 7 years of personal practice without guidance but with a lot of reading and daily personal practice. Observing the great improvement in my health and illness and studying clinical psychology, during my college years 2000-2004, I was so impressed. While studying clinical psychology and learning about Yoga I could understand the impact of Yoga on the brain, the nervous system and the rest of the system of the body based on that. It made me more interested in studying and promoting Yoga professionally not just practising Yoga.

How did Yoga help in curing the lupus syndrome from which you had been suffering since birth?

Yoga helped me a lot. It's the way the person should practice Yoga, it's not just posing in asanas. You should know when you have to be dynamic and when you have to change your asana modification. In my case (lupus) I still live with lupus with no medications. It has been 18 years since diagnosis. The childhood journey with antibiotics and misdiagnosis led me to worse shape at the age of 18 when I started Yoga and healthy fresh diet.

I improved in strength, controlled stress that was causing my illness to get worse, and improved my joint’s flexibility and my muscles strength. Before starting Yoga I had to stop going to school for one semester due to my weakness. After I started Yoga, I went to college and graduated with high honors. I was able to go daily. I was able to move. The fatigue lupus causes is unbearable but till now I consider myself the happiest and luckiest lupus case on earth! I didn’t feel even I have any problem. I just control my diet, practise Yoga and do Ayurveda therapy once a year. Yoga teaches you to respect your physical limitations and to understand your body's needs, Yoga teaches you about your own body and how to live peacefully with it.

What can be called the turning point in your life?

The landmark point of my life was July 13, 2015, when I was adopted as a daughter by H H Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Rama's disciple on the Himalayan Master's Tradition. I was on a trip to India to meet H H Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh and wanted to learn from his wisdom. I received his blessings and instructions. Swamiji invited me to join and learn the tradition and teach it in the Arab world. When Swami Veda's book, (Pearls of Wisdom) was published on the first anniversary of his Mahasamadhi, I was blessed to be asked to write a foreward for it by the Ashram family. And as a strange coincidence, I was the last person to meet Swamiji before His Samadhi. I had never thought that I would be the last person to talk to Swamiji and receive His wisdom before Swamiji would leave His body.

There is a vicious propaganda that Yoga is anti-Islam and anti-Christian. How do you view it? Being a follower of Islam, did you find Yoga conflicting with your belief?

Yoga has nothing to do with religion. Hippies and trendy Yoga teachers who are not scientifically qualified enough have nothing better to teach or say. So they use concepts that are not related to Yoga because they don't have enough knowledge or foundation. Yoga is a holistic physiotherapy system if we want to use modern scientific terms. It's physiotherapy because it’s an exercise therapy, trigger point system, pain management system, rehabilitation system and it focuses on using physical exercises (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayamas) to improve the health of the practitioner. (I said holistic referring to the integral approach to Yoga in health - physical, mental, psychological and as a result spiritual). When you develop the function of the nervous system and as a result, the endocrine system stress is controlled, anger is controlled, the focus is improved, attention is developed and as a result productivity and attitude that is yama and niyamas improve. That's why Hatha Yoga says first practise asana, then pranayamas, then you access to the rest of the limbs in Raja Yoga that starts with yama and niyamas. But for Hatha Yoga physical discipline leads to psychological discipline (yamas and niyamas) that leads to mental discipline (dhyana, meditation) and then Samadhi. These concepts are universal and they are not related to any specific religion. In Saudi Arabia, there are thousands of practitioners of Yoga. We, in Arab Yoga Foundation, trained 8000 people and graduated more than 500 teachers and masters who are actively teaching Yoga.

Will you suggest Yoga and Ayurveda together as an effective alternative to modern medicine?

Both the systems can work together. There are diseases and issues that can’t be solved without allopathic medicine, and there are illnesses and issues better to be managed naturally to reduce side effects of medication. Sometimes you need to be treated chemically, but afterwards then continue naturally. I think both should go together. The patient should have the choice of both and the authorities in every country should regulate both to ensure safety and honesty in practice.

You have visited India many times. How did you find India, its culture, language and philosophy?

I learned Sanskrit and Indian philosophy while studying Ayurveda for my health. I found it very interesting and decided to go deeper and learn more, especially the darshanas like Samkhya. I found the Indian culture very close to the Saudi culture, we in Saudi also value family and parents, we live in a social system, food is somehow similar except spices, I eat spicy food though. Also, the Indian society is still conservative and stresses on values and principles very much like Saudi Arabia. Indians and Saudi youth should interact more for cultural exchange.

Nowadays India is a trend in Saudi, people want to eat Indian food, dress in Indian clothes, watch Indian movies, and go to India for healing, nature and Yoga.

A few words about your organisation dedicated to teaching Yoga and the work you have done in the West Asia. Now, what is the status of your initiative? Which are the countries where you are having your students and branches?

I started it as Saudi Arabia Yoga School in 2005. Later in 2010, it became Arab Yoga Foundation. As we grew with the network in the region, in 2012 Manoj Koshy from India joined the foundation as a director and we took the foundation to a different level systematically and officially. Since then we have been growing faster in every aspect. We provide educational and training courses to our students of Yoga who are interested in learning more about the ancient Indian science of Yoga and Indian philosophy, with ease and flexibility.  More than 300 certified Yoga teachers have graduated by AYF in KSA only. AYF students are actively teaching in countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, UAE, USA, Ireland and more. In KSA we have active teachers in all major cities. About acceptance, yes, Yoga is widely accepted by people in West Asia and its spreading very fast. I have even Syrians and Palestinian students who are outside their countries.

When Saudi Arabia organised an event related to International Yoga Day, it was big news. I know you were the key organiser of the programme. How do you recall it?

We organised the first and second International Yoga Day celebrations in association with the Indian consulate. We, the Arab Yoga Foundation, were the sponsors as well as the organisers. Organising and planning were mainly done by the Indian consulate, Manoj Kosy, our AYF director and me. It was a two-day seminar on Yoga and health as well as Yoga practice, speakers were medical practitioners and certified Yoga teachers by AYF who shed the light on many health issues, like back problems, neurological disease, psychological disease, Yoga for the corporate field, and women’s health. The attendance was huge and we have been awarded by the Indian consulate for organising.

What about this year’s International Yoga Celebration in Saudi Arabia?

We are organising the International Yoga Day celebration on June 21 this year with the Indian consulate. H E Consul General Mr Noor Rehman is leading the arrangements with AYF personally. Also we have a small celebration in the Indian embassy in Riyadh organising by His Excellency Mr Javid the ambassador of India in Saudi Arabia. It follows celebrations on another 2 days, June 23 and 24 by the International Yoga Club in which I am the chairman. It’s a Yoga initiative by an Indian friend in Saudi Arabia Mr Satheesh Deepak.

A few words about your family

My interest in Yoga was inspired by my father, Mohammed Al Marwaai, a retired military consultant. My father is a former ministry of interior and military official. He was a regional and international karate, judo and Taekwondo champion. He was the founder of martial arts federation in Saudi 40 years ago. My late mother also practised Yoga. I earned my bachelor’s degree from King Saud University in Clinical Psychology in 2004. Later, I completed my medical training at King Khaled Hospital in Riyadh and volunteered in the Mental Health Hospital in Jeddah as a clinical psychologist. I also hold a master’s degree in Psychotherapy from Shobhit University, India and of course, a dozen intensive diplomas related to Yoga, Ayurveda and Naturopathy from Australia and India with Yoga teaching certifications.

What are your suggestions for a new student of Yoga?

If you are going anywhere to study Yoga please check the teachers' credentials. Yoga is not a supernatural power, Yoga is a science based on a valid accurate old philosophy for the body and the mind. Asana is a science itself. Yoga can have side effects if practised or taught wrongly or by unqualified teachers.Courtesy - Organiser, June 25, 2017. -goTop