“In December 1989 when the communist regime came to an end, I was a student and Romania was an atheistic country in which any form of spirituality was forbidden. 10 days later, with over 1,000 people, I took part in the first conference on yoga, held by the mentor of MISA, Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru. Twenty-five years later, MISA is a famous European yoga school with over 40,000 followers and branches in 30 countries all over the world. With my husband Advaita, I have been teaching Yoga, especially Tantra-Yoga, around the globe for more than 22 years.
This year, from the bottom of our hearts, we invite you to participate in the IV. International Congress of Yoga and Alternative Therapies, hosted by MISA and held in our beloved home country, Romania.
We believe that true and applicable spirituality should never be a means of earning money. This is why the entire congress is based for the fourth time, on voluntary work and donations. Access is free of charge for all participants.
In Romania where the Orient meets the Occident, in the beautiful mountain city of Braşov, we will spend four unique days with more than one thousand experienced yogis from Romania and abroad, all sharing the mysteries of peak states of consciousness that can be reached through the practice of yoga.”
Adina Stoian, Programme Committee 2014
From 4th to 7th December 2014, the International Yoga federation ATMAN is organizing the IV. International Congress of Yoga and Alternative Therapies in Romania. The first three congresses brought together several thousand yoga enthusiasts from over 20 countries who enjoyed rich and intense programmes of workshops, seminars and lectures given by leading Yoga teachers from all over the world.
The International Federation of Yoga and Meditation ATMAN offers courses, seminars and workshops in Yoga, Ayurveda, traditional Tantra, Kashmir Shivaism and Meditation in more than 250 locations spread across the globe. The ATMAN federation follows the teaching and spiritual guidance of its mentor Gregorian Bivolaru, who is a living example of the highest realizations in Yoga.
The subject of this year’s congress is: “High states of Consciousness and exceptional experiences through the practice of Yoga” – a subject that touches the very core of yoga, and which is one of the supreme goals of yoga practice. Unusual and highly elevated states of consciousness are an essential element of Sadhana – a Yogi’s systematic spiritual practice – and such states have a special importance now, as yoga becomes more and more popular, while its fundamental message is often forgotten. This Congress aims to be a living reminder that fundamentally, yoga is a genuine spiritual discipline that leads to a full awakening of consciousness and that the practice of yoga is not simply a method for achieving bodily fitness and relaxation.
For thousands of years, elevated states of consciousness and exceptional experiences of fusion and union with the Divine have been one of the main goals of all yogis, as well as an important sign of the authenticity of one’s path. Over the last two centuries, modern psychologists and psychiatrists such as William James, Carl Jung, Stanislaw Grof and Abraham Maslow have studied these elevated states from a modern scientific perspective. Maslow examined the biographies of great leaders and personalities of mankind, such as Albert Einstein, and he discovered to his surprise that many of them had experienced “oceanic states of consciousness”, in which they felt their own personal consciousness fused with the universal spirit. Maslow named these states “Peak Experiences” and went on to study them in depth. His definitions of these states are both scientific and poetic: “Sudden feelings of intense happiness and well-being, possibly the awareness of an ‘ultimate truth’ and the unity of all things … the experience fills the individual with wonder and awe… he feels at one with the world, and is pleased with it.“
Yoga tradition is known to have studied the many subtle functions of the human being. It offers methods, techniques and guidelines for obtaining states of bliss, inner peace and oneness, as described by Maslow. Through an attentive and systematic application of yoga, and by means of self-observation, we can easily find out where we truly stand in our spiritual development. Along the path we may enjoy inner experiences such as the awakening of the heart and soul, an expanded consciousness that allows perceptions beyond common reality, or an inner revelation of the Supreme Self, known as Atman in Sanskrit. But spiritual high peak states may appear in many different ways, such as:
- A strong uplifting and refining of energies (sublimation)
- A rising of the fundamental energy Kundalini
- An opening of the crown chakra, Sahasrara
- Supra-mental states such as extreme clarity and wisdom, inner peace and silence, divine love, unshakable faith
- Experiences of miracles and phenomenal subtle worlds
- A powerful mental focus
- Being fully in the present moment, the ‘now’
- Oneness with all things
- Blissful states such as erotic, mystical or spiritual ecstasy, known as Samadhi in Sanskrit
These are just some of the many different forms of peak experiences known of in Yoga, which will be the subject of the lectures, workshops, panels and shows at the IV. International Congress of Yoga and Alternative Therapies.
Applications for those who are interested in speaking at the Congress are still open. Find here the information required for signing up.
2014 Programme and speakers
International Yoga Teachers and honoured guests – well-versed and accomplished in a variety of Yoga traditions such as Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Tantra Yoga and Bhakti Yoga, scientists, researchers and health practitioners with an interest in spiritual yoga practice, including yoga professor and accomplished yogi Gregorian Bivolaru, will gather at the 2014 International Yoga Congress to present scientific research that proves the existence and describes characteristics of elevated spiritual states. Profound theoretical and practical knowledge on the subject will also be presented.
This year’s programme includes special seminars and workshops that will provide practical yoga methods which lead the practitioner to higher states of consciousness. Perhaps the most interesting part of the Congress will centre on authentic testimonies of peak states by advanced yoga teachers and adepts who have experienced these states directly through the application of yoga methods. Past congresses have shown the audience’s great interest in the open debates, panel discussions and satsangs, which answer questions and give space for opinions and sharing.
International Yoga Contest 2014
The congresses’ centrepiece of spiritual practice and method is the International Yoga Contest 2014 “Promoting the Values of Yoga”, which aims to determine true mastery over the physical body, the senses and the mind in an atmosphere of fraternity and mutual support.
Every day of the congress concludes with different inspired and refined artistic performances and shows, which celebrate the beauty of life and which touch the hearts and souls of the participants with dance, film, theatrical plays and musical performances.
The International Congress for Yoga and Alternative Therapies 2014 invites all those who are interested in the science and practice of yoga to a colourful event full of knowledge, wisdom and magical personal experience.