International Yoga Day 2019

Yoga For Peace: International Yoga Day 2019

Exploring Maitri (Friendliness) & Karuna (Compassion) Through Yoga

The International Yoga Day (IYD) is a great occasion to celebrate one of India’s greatest gifts to humanity - yoga. Since its inception in 2015, the IYD has found great resonance among individuals, groups and countries globally. The unanimous welcome IYD received at the United Nations and the way it is being celebrated all over the world bears testimony to India’s inimitable contribution to wellness and harmony beyond boundaries. In a world caught up in the middle of intense and rapid changes, both to the inner world and outer environment, yoga brings in hope and light to humanity by showing a way to facilitate inner awakening and transformation in the individual. This inner awakening will enable the individual to meet outer challenges from a core of awareness and integrity.

The Center for Soft Power in association with Ritambhara is organising a unique international event for the International Yoga Day 2019 on 21 June, 2019.

International Yoga Day 2019 Event

Ritambhara and the Center for Soft Power’s event for IYD focus on exploring the concepts of Maitri (Friendliness) & Karuna (Compassion) mentioned in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra through asana-pranayama practice and Inner Work Through Yoga in the week leading up to the International Yoga Day 15 - 21 June, 2019.

The program will explore the use of yoga as a tool to facilitate inner peace and harmony in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 16 - Promote Peaceful And Inclusive Society for Sustainable Development).

Program Outline

  • The program can be planned locally by yoga trainers in different countries any time during the week leading up to the IYD, i.e., from 15 to 21 June, 2019.
  • A two hours program for IYD 2019 - one hour of Vinyasa Krama Yoga and one hour of an introduction to Inner Work Through Yoga (IWTY) using stories from Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
  • Program will be planned globally in different cities targeting at least 100 of the 170 countries who co-sponsored the idea of IYD at the UN in 2015.
  • Yoga course plan in the tradition of Sri T Krishnamacharya and Sri TKV Desikachar.
  • IWTY session will consist of few short and simple stories taken from Ramanaya and Mahabharatha which the trainers are required to read up before the event. The session will explore the principles of Maitri (friendliness) and Karuna (compassion) mentioned in Yoga Sutras by engaging with these stories and their characters in a self reflective manner.
  • Online fishbowl conversations will be hosted regularly over the next two months by the Ritambhara team to help the trainers who will be part of the event on how to lead the IWTY part of the program. Further details of this will be shared upon registration.

About the Organisers

The Center for Soft Power

The Center for Soft Power (CSP) is the fourth center of India Foundation instituted in collaboration with Indic Academy. The Center will give an impetus to the study of soft power, an area of increasing global significance. The Center will engage with practitioners, academics, policy makers and other stakeholders to study, promote and disseminate knowledge, with an emphasis on an India-centric view of soft power. The Center, apart from carrying out research, also proposes to map the various elements of India’s soft power such as Ayurveda, cinema, cuisine, design, handicrafts, sports, literature, music, performing arts, spirituality, tourism, visual arts, and yoga.

India’s wide diversity of cultural forms needs study and networking. The Center for Soft Power will be the first center in India with a focus on soft power research, initiatives, and leadership. Some of the key activities of the Center are research, establishing a network of cultural entrepreneurs, promoting employment through the soft power economy, collaborating with states to promote religious tourism, and hosting conferences and training programs for various stakeholders. The Center also seeks to collaborate with similar institutions around the world to enable knowledge sharing and promotion of India’s soft power.

The Ritambhara Way

Yoga consist of broadly two types of practices - Bahiranga Yoga (External) & Antaranga Yoga (Inner Work Through Yoga). The Ritambhara way which follows the Krishnamacharya - Desikachar School of Yoga brings focus to both aspects. Bahiranga yoga consist of the external practices one takes up to build strength, achieve flexibility, improve breath, etc. Antaranga Yoga consist of working with one's mind and psyche in a self-reflective manner to uncover underlying patterns of thoughts and behaviours in ourselves, and get insights regarding some of the fundamental questions of life like “Who am I?”, “Where Am I?”, “Why am I here?”and “In Doing What I Am Doing, What Am I Really Doing?”

The Ritambhara way of applying this in real life is through the use of India’s rich mythology and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The archetypal energies inherent in the characters of these epics are present in each one of us. By training the mind to engage with these epics in a self-reflective manner, one is able to use them as a mirror to get insights into the one's own psyche and inner processes. This also makes the understanding of the Yoga Sutra easy.  Bahiranga Yoga can help calm down the mind to a sufficient degree to prepare the ground from where such an inner work or Antaranga Yoga can happen for the individual.

Partnership Invitation

For Yoga Trainers

As a yoga trainer, this is a great opportunity to use the IYD occasion to promote yoga as holistic practice for the body and the mind. We invite you to volunteer to be part of our team of trainers and contribute to this unique international event by registering here or

If you have any questions or clarifications regarding the event, feel free to contact us at

For Corporate

As a corporate, IYD is an occasion to demonstrate your company’s focus on the holistic well being of your employees. If you wish to partner with us to host this unique event at your company, our team can guide you in organising a session at your office during the week leading up to IYD on 21 June, 2019.

If you wish to be a corporate partner for this event, please email for details on the next steps.