Yognat is the local cultural wing of Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International), an International Organization founded in 1968 with nearly 150 Centres in 30 countries and with headquarters at the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (). Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, one of the greatest Yoga masters of the past century established Yognat on 27, March 1993. With the blessings of Pujya Swamiji who was hailed by many as the Father of Scientific Yoga, Yognat has brought national and international fame to Puducherry. The immense interest locally in Yoga, Bharata Natyam and the Carnatic Music is largely due to the efforts of Swamiji and Ammaji over the last five decades. Yognat is the continuation of the Sri Kambaliswamy Yoga and Fine Arts Programme for Youth started by Swamiji and Ammaji in 1975. More than 40,000 youth of Puducherry have received training in Yoga and the Fine Arts through the efforts of Swamiji, Ammaji and now Dr Ananda and the Yognat Team.
Ammaji as the Director brings five decades years of personal Sadhana and teaching experience into all activities, and is the guiding force behind every success. The brainchild of Ammaji, Yognat was founded to give Pondicherrians a chance to imbibe the wonderful Indian cultural arts of Yoga, Bharata Natyam and Carnatic Music in a modern Gurukula setting. Through many learning situations such as regular classes, summer intensives, camps, competitions, group activities, performances, conferences, seminars, lecture demonstrations and excursions the students imbibe the greatness of these arts. Children are not forced into premature stage performances under the guise of Arangetrams and are allowed to blossom at their own pace. Emphasis is on personality development and blossoming into a good human being rather than on results, prizes and performances. Health, positive attitudes, peace of mind, skilled, strong bodies, quest for excellence and perfection are qualities Yognat strives to inculcate. At Yognat, children find a place where they have the chance to express their inner creative urges and at the same time, learn a unique discipline of body, emotions and mind. Yognat also has an active Adult Yoga Education programme for gents, college students, housewives and working women with more than a hundred adults registered at any time. Special Corporate Yoga Programmes are also being conducted regularly.
Yognat follows the Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga tradition as propagated by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and the Kalakshetra Tradition of Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale as taught by Natya Kalanidhi Padma Shri Adyar K. Lakshman in the Bharata Natyam training. Carnatic vocal music is taught in the tradition of Kalaimamani Srirengam Thiru R. Ranganathan. Yognat has developed a world famous troupe that appears regularly in prestigious festivals all over India and also stages spectacular Bharata Natyam and Yoga performances yearly in Puducherry. Yognat is the only institute in Puducherry that has presented more than 50 full-length and mini Bharatanatyam Dance Dramas. It is note worthy that four of the NATIONAL BEST CHILD Awardees from Puducherry are students of Yognat. Many of our students have bagged the BEST CREATIVE CHILD AWARD from the Govt. of Puducherry. Students of the institution have won various prizes at National and International level Yoga Sport competitions including M Niraimathi and AS Anirudh who won Champion of Champions Award at the International Yoga Festival in 2000 and 2011 respectively. Yognat has instituted various awards such as the Sangeetha Samrat Vijaya Bhaskar Awards for Excellence in Carnatic Music, Michel Danckwerts Yoga and Cultural Excellence Award to honour students of the institute for their dedication to Yoga and the fine arts. More than 500 students have received silver medals for completing a minimum of five years at Yognat till date.
Yognat conducts Summer Intensive Yoga and Bharata Natyam Courses every year in May that also features a 3 day Residential Camp at ICYER for selected students. This gives the children an opportunity to practice Yoga in a natural setting on the beach at sunrise and sunset as well as to enjoy the pleasure of a bonfire on the beach under the moonlight. Classes, games and group discussions help the children to learn about Yoga as a way of Life. Yoga Based Therapy is offered by prior appointment with our Chairman and Consultant Yoga Therapist, Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani who is Honorary Advisor of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, USA and Patron and Cultural Ambassador of various International Organizations all over the world.
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