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First Congress Day Real face of MISA shows at the European Yoga Federation Congress

By Anca Munteanu

It started with hugs and finished with applauses. Among smiles, foreign languages, motley people, books and photos, Yoga unveiled part of its mysteries. This was the first day of the European Yoga Federation’s first Congress - unfolding for three days at the “Grigore Preoteasa” Student’s Hall.

In case you watched the TV news about the Congress, you may easily leave them aside. As usually, the news still have some tendentious tinge. But despite the distorted image of the Romanian Yoga School, due to broadsides MISA can support evidence for its authenticity. The first was the extradition of the MISA mentor Gregorian Bivolaru declined, after the judges in a EU country assessed that he cannot have a fair trial in Romania. The second is the First Congress of EYF organised in Bucharest by MISA, under the logo “Unity in Diversity”.

“Stand up and hug each other”

Hundreds of persons entered the Students’ Hall Friday November 11, where young people with cheery faces, wearing orange anoraks reading Yoga MISA were happy to welcome everybody. The Congress programme and short introductions of the guests available in the given leaflets. As climbing the stairs, one gets the first yoga lessons: photos of different asanas, namely yoga poses from Hatha Yoga. Once in the Conference Hall, one may forget that this is Bucharest, Romania. The congress guests from all over the world are a dazzling image in their traditional, colourful clothes from India.

Simona Trandafir, the coordinator of all MISA yoga courses in Romania, together with Mihai Stoian, the coordinator of all yoga teachers of Natha Yogacenter in Denamrk and Gabriela Ambarus, Vice-President of MISA welcome the foreign guests. It was not bread and salt as in the Romanian tradition, but wreaths of flowers. It was Swami Suryananda Saraswati - the most important guest, President of the European Yoga Federation, the one who opened the Congress, meant as a pleading for reconciliation under  the motto  "Unity in diversity" „theory has no value without practice, so let’ start practice right here. Stand up and hug each other”
Suryananda said, as he hugged the person next to him. Later on, according to the same spirit, there followed a meditation on Pure Love.

Spinning dervishes, belly dance, Indian dances

The foreign guests are brimming with joyfulness. In the spare time, the most noisy are the Spanish and the Italians. They keep joking and laughing all the time.  Wherever they go they spread happiness. Surprised at the Romanian journalists’ attitude, they refer to how people practicing Yoga enjoy privileges in the West. They talk about anything, from spirituality to politics. Part of them are listening with keen interest the translations of the conferences. Part of the guests have already sat at the Conference board. At the same time, in a different hall there were practical seminars. Some basic elements of the yoga practice were presented: enhancement of the subtle centres of force and few things about the ten Great Cosmic Powers, aspects of God manifesting in the yogi tradition.

Before the shows began, the hall was packed. The whole audience was very thrilled:  they shared the sufit darghans atmosphere, by means of the spinning dervishes. The story of the Arabian Nights unfolded in the rhythm of the belly-dance. The Sophrosin Theatre performed asanas exemplifications and a play. The surprise of the show was the dance offered by Surya, the youngest guest of the Congress. A 19 years-old girl and she has already been practicing the Indian dance for 15 years.

She has been dancing since she was 4, lived in India for a long time and recently joined one of the biggest Indian Academies of traditional dance. Her mother explained some of the dancer’s gestures as she introduced her. “She touches the earth with her hands in order to ask permission to beat the rhythm with her feet. In the end she apologises for this”. It is the supreme respect before nature that Yoga professes. The dance simply seduces the audience. The curtain falls down as the applauding seems endless.

11 noiembrie 2005