Yoga Camp At Atlanta (Nov3, 2007 - Nov 8, 2007)

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 Report by Sri. Ravi Ponangi. 
Swami Adhyatmanandaji’s Yoga classes reverberated in Atlanta:  Free Yoga classes conducted by Swami Adhyatmananda from Nov 4 – Nov 8 attracted many and the way Swami taught yoga to participants still reverberating in the minds of all participants. Young, old and children from all walks of  life participated in these yoga classes enthusiastically. People from diverse nations and cultures attended these classes in big numbers as the Atlanta based news daily; Atlanta Constitution journal had published a story on yoga with Swamiji’s bio just before Swami’s arrival in Atlanta. Hence yoga has caught up in a big way with the people of Atlanta. Dr. Prakash Desai, facilitator of Swamiji’s yoga classes said to India Tribune, as a result of publication in Atlanta Constitution, there were five to six missing calls while answering a call from one yoga enthusiastic.Experienced a very hard time to attend phone calls received from people who wanted to attend these yoga classes, Dr. Desai added, there was overwhelming response, he said. Each day, morning and evening couple of hundreds that include house holders, office goers, doctors, lawyers and business men throng to the five day free yoga classes conducted by Swami Adhyatmananda set up at two locations one at India Cultural and Religious center, Smyrna in the morning and another at Global Mall on Jimmy Carter in the evenings. Participants had immersed themselves in learning and practice of yoga.

Sri. Sai Sailendra inaugurated five-day free yoga classes by lighting a traditional lamp at Global Mall on Thursday, Nov 4 Swami Adhyatmananda while addressing the participants said that yoga is not a religious thing. Even while explaining the benefits of chanting OM, Swamiji said that chanting of OM would benefit to calm and energize the mind. In this, no religion is involved. No doubt it has come from ancient Rishis of India. Swamiji said that it is only through Yoga that one can attain mental and physical balance. Swami Adhyatmanandaji’s yoga classes included flexibility exercises, yogic postures, breathing exercises, relaxation methods, Surya namaskar postures, practice of meditation, Pranayama etc. Candle light meditation by all participants was the high light on the concluding day. Many participants told India Tribune that Swamiji’s teaching of Yoga is filled with many useful tips and enjoyed the way he took yoga classes with anecdotes. It’s a wonderful experience and we are fortunate to get this opportunity, they said.

Swami Adhyatmananda visited Shree Shakti Mandir at Lake City and given a spiritual discourse. Swamiji has also visited Hindu Temple of Atlanta at Riverdale and addressed 200 strong children and exhorted them to cultivate virtues and eradicate vices. Swamiji sang Swami Sivananda’s famous song “Ramakrishna Govinda, Don’t smoke Govinda, It will spoil Govinda, Krishna Rama Govinda” in chorus with children. The song attracted the attention of both parents and children attended the meeting. Swamiji has also visited the local Sri Swaminarayan mandir where he was received with honor. Swamiji has addressed about 600 devotees of Swaminarayan samstha and spoke at length about Swaminarayan movement and the importance of living to ideals of Pramukh Swamiji maharaj. He also briefed his association with Sastryji Maharaj, Pramukh Swamiji and others. Swami Adhyatmananda has also met visiting Buddhist monks in Atlanta.  

"Bend it Like Swami Adhyatmananda" - by  Ravi Ponanagi, a journalist, India Tribune (Atlanta)

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