Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj
Yoganjali Natyalayam is the cultural wing of Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International). This natyalayam has been continuing its journey for over 14 years. Yoga Jivana Satsangha is an International Organisation which was founded in 1968. The International Centre for Yoga Education and Research is the two acre residential complex of Yoga Jivana Satsangha. The Yoganjali Natyalayam is the local aspect of the service of Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International) which serves the cause of Classical Yoga and Indian Culture.
Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, the pujya Swamiji is the founder of Yoganjali Natyalayam on March 27th 1993. The Yoganjali Natyalayam or Yognat is a place of repute and has brought national and international fame to Pondicherry. The natyalayam has created immense interest amongst the local popular in Yoga, Bharat Natyam and the Carnatic Music. The efforts have been taken mainly by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri and Puduvai Kalaimamani Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani over the years. The Yognat has undertaken the resolution of spreading artistic spirituality in India in particular as well as in the world in general.
Furthermore, Yognat has received recognition for being the continuation of the Sri Kambaliswamy Yoga and Fine Arts Programme for Youth. This was started by Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Kalaimamani Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani in 1975. Youth of Pondicherry were guided and they received training in Yoga and the Fine Arts of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music. Thus, the Yognat has been imparting an insight of the Indian cultural arts of Yoga, Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music in a Gurukula setting.
Yoganjali Natyalayam offers training through regular classes, summer intensives, camps, competitions, group activities, performances, conferences, seminars, lecture-demonstrations and excursions. The children are instructed with additional effort and personality development and education are given greater emphasis. The attributes that Yognat strives to instill include health, positive attitudes, peacefulness of mind, skilled, strong bodies, quest for excellence and perfection are qualities. In addition to that, the children at Yognat are provided with the chance to express their inner creative urges through Yoga and classical Indian arts. They can learn a matchless discipline of body, emotions and mind
Yoganjali Natyalayam also has an Adult Yoga Education programme designed particularly for men, college students, housewives and working women. Moreover, Yoganjali Natyalayam follows the Rishiculture Ashtanga. The yoga tradition are propagated by Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj in the Yoga training and the Kalakshetra Tradition of Smt Rukhmani Devi of Chennai. These traditions are taught by Padmashri Adyar K Lakshman and Kalaimamani Smt Jayashree Narayanan in the Bharatanatyam training. The tradition of Kalaimamani Srirengam Thiru R Ranganthan and Mridungam in the tradition of Thiruvaroor Sri R Krishnamurthy is followed in which carnatic vocal music is taught. A Nine Year Part Time Diploma study is also offered by the Yognat to the students, who can continue their regular academic course too.
Various exponents emerged from the Yoganjali Natyalayam, who have conducted the Bharatanatyam Arangetrams for Miss Renuka Devi, Miss Padma Prashanthini and Miss D Lakshmi. All of them have completed the Nine Year Part Time Diploma study in Yoga and Bharata Natyam successfully. Moreover Yoganjali Natyalayam is the only institute in Pondicherry that has been conducting spectacular three-hour long dance dramas annually. This institute also offers the entertaining Annual Day extravaganza every year.
Yoganjali Natyalayam also conducts one month-summer Intensive Yoga and Bharatanatyam courses every year in the month of May. During the summer training, the children are exposed to the Yogic way of life in Ananda Ashram. This setting provides the children an opportunity to practice Yoga. Students also get the chance to participate in cultural Satsanghas in the form of numerous Guru Pujas and celebrations such as Poornima Pujas and Maha Shivaratri at Sri Kambaliswamy Madam, Thattanchavady. Various yoga based therapies for different disorders and diseases are also offered. An experienced Consultant Yoga Therapist at Yoganjali Natyalam aids the patients.
Yognat is the place that forms the base for the students who get a comprehensive view of the ancient Indian culture. In addition to this Yoganjali Natyalayam aims at spiritual precision through Yogic and artistic brilliance.