On 2 and 3 July 2011, the World Culture Festival will take place in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. It is a major cultural event, presented with lots of entertainment, interactive pavilions from various continents, a peace meditation, and yoga's largest park in Europe.
30 years ago, the Indian spiritual scholar Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founded The Art of Living, with the goal of making the world a stress-free and violence-free environment. For the purpose of the ancient Indian ideal of a One World Family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar seeks to bridge religious, social, ideological and economic gaps in society. He reminds us of the fact that the diverse traditions and cultures all have their roots in the same basic human values of peace, compassion, truth, and non-violence.
With the World Culture Festival, The Art of Living celebrates three decades of successful work in over 140 countries. On the first weekend of July, the largest arena in the capital will be transformed for two days with music, dance, show stunts and country-specific food in a melting pot of nations. 70,000 people from 151 countries will gather to celebrate with a big celebration of global diversity. One focus of the festival is yoga. The green areas of the stadium will be converted for the festival days as the largest yoga park in Europe. The list of the various known yoga schools is long. And the demand is enormous. In Germany today five million people have already learned some form of yoga. And the trend is sharply upward. More and more use of yoga to improve their physical well-being.
Yoga, once reserved only by spiritual masters, is already no longer a sport just for gurus and more flexible people. More and more people are convinced of the proven health benefits of yoga. The physical exercises, the asanas improve not only the overall posture and counteract, for example, back problems, but at the same time have a calming effect and reduce stress. Whether young or old, a healthy body, inner balance and joy of life is more important than ever in today's fast-paced, stressful society.
But what school of yoga is right for me? Visitors can find the answer at the "World Culture Festival". There yoga professionals from around the world show the global diversity of practices. Amongst other things, the extraordinary fact in this festival is that the participants under the motto "Come and participate" have the opportunity to actively participate in the event. It is shown not just a show, it is a festival in which many performers are participating and each performer is part of the entire peace festival. Anyone who wants to can participate in folk dances, the international choir, orchestra, guitar ensemble, and in the great artistic representation of yoga, called the Sun Salutation.
Yoga enthusiasts from around the world can become acquainted with the common yoga asanas. Visitors can try out the sun salutation, the locust or the shoulder stand, and discover an extraordinary addition to community experience in the Yoga Park, as well as the right yoga school for themselves. Renowned yoga experts from all corners of the earth give courses for children, beginners and advanced yogis –from Sivananda Yoga to modern power yoga.
The force of 70,000
In addition, a yoga Museum about the historical development of Indo-philosophical doctrine shows from antiquity to the 21st Century. Various exhibitions will concentrate on the positive effects of yoga for health and peace in the world. "Inner peace is the basis for a peaceful society," says Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands. "Yoga is a powerful way to relax and a solution for stress, because only those who are in peace with themselves can also project it outward to their environment."
And where so many nationalities come together, there are opportunities to look beyond the yoga mat and to learn about other cultures! In large pavilions, all continents will present their specialties. On 3 July morning, 70,000 people from 151 countries are expected meditate together at the stadiumfor a few minutes - a unique experience which will be very interesting.
Detailed information about the program, booking tickets, accommodation etc. is available on http://www.worldculturefestival.org
Read the original article in German on http://www.sein.de/archiv/2011/juni-2011/world-culture-festival.html