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Yoga in Daily Life events with Swami Daya Mata in China

Swami Daya Mata visited China after the grand opening of the OM Ashram in India, and guided a series of well-attended events, organised by local Chinese teachers and members of Yoga in Daily Life. Based most of the time in Vancouver, Canada, Mataji had not been to China for 4 years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Swami Daya Mata arrived in Haikou on 3 March 2024, where she was warmly welcomed by her students. Surya, a dedicated disciple of Yoga in Daily Life from China, organised a series of yoga classes and events with Swami Daya Mata. One special event was an early morning yoga class in Central Park, in the heart of Haikou.

More than 40 yoga enthusiasts gathered with Swami Daya Mata to practise Yoga in Daily Life asanas in a circle, symbolising unity and eternity.

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The serene event concluded with a relaxed atmosphere where participants enjoyed a vegetarian breakfast of buns and Chinese porridge. All participants were interested in learning more about Yoga in Daily Life.

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This event attracted participants from across China, including a family from Zhejiang and Wuhan, who travelled to Haikou to experience Yoga in Daily Life firsthand. They shared an inspiring story of their father's recovery from illness through the practice of Yoga in Daily Life, despite his doctor's recommendations for hospitalisation. The family’s daughter, who owns a large yoga studio in Wuhan, expressed a keen interest in learning more about the Yoga in Daily Life System.

Swami Daya Mata, with her full heart, imparted the teachings of Yoga in Daily Life, spreading the message of love, peace, and tolerance as taught by her teacher, Vishwaguruji. Her presence and teachings deeply inspired all participants, encouraging them to personally meet Vishwaguruji, the author of the Yoga in Daily Life System. The event in Haikou not only marked Mataji’s return to China, but also strengthened the bonds within the local Yoga in Daily Life community.

Yoga in Daily Life Retreat at Emei Mountain

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Chandra Devi, a yoga disciple in Chengdu, an extraordinary Yoga in Daily Life retreat was organised on the majestic Emei Mountain. The group started from Chongqing to Emeishan (Emei Mountain).

Extending 23 km in a north-south direction, the mountain covers an area of approximately 110 square km. Emei Mountain is located in Leshan City, Sichuan Province, and its highest peak, 'Ten Thousand Buddhas', reaches an elevation of 3099 m above sea level. It is one of the four renowned Buddhist-named mountains in China. The area has a subtropical monsoon climate with more clouds, less sunshine, and abundant rainfall. Recognised as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, it is protected as a National Key Cultural Relic and is designated as a National Scenic Area.

Retreat participants included twenty mothers and teachers from a Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) school, and people from Shanghai and Beijing, who had previously only met Swami Daya Mata via Zoom.

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Participants were accommodated in a temple area at a high elevation, built on multiple levels with hundreds of narrow steps. At 6 am, in the darkness before dawn, the group went to the temple's highest point, surrounded by a stunning range of mountains. The morning began with arati (prayers) in front of the temple, followed by meditation facing the serene mountain landscape. Asanas were performed at sunrise, amidst the tranquil beauty of nature, creating a deeply peaceful experience.

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After breakfast, participants enjoyed nature walks, immersing themselves in the pristine environment. Emei Mountain is a sub-tropical forest with many endemic and endangered plants such as orchids, rhododendrons, camellias, ginkgo, cycads and tree ferns. The area is rich with willow trees, bamboo and other native trees. It is a Chinese medicinal resource area. The afternoons included yoga nidra deep relaxation, followed by practising of asanas. The day concluded with an early dinner and a short meditation before retiring early to bed.

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On the fourth day, retreat participants went to the Manjusri Nunnery at the Holy Water area, and were nourished with home-grown vegetables and holy water. Finally, on All Souls' Day, Swami Daya Mata and the yoga group went to the peak of Emei Mountain at an altitude of 3099 m, to visit the highlight of the Emei pilgrimage − a golden statue of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, known as Pǔxián Púsà (普賢菩薩) in Mandarin. This Golden Buddha is a bronze-cast, gold-plated statue, standing 48 m tall and weighing 660 metric tons. The area was bustling with families paying respects to their ancestors, adding to the sacred atmosphere. Before leaving, the group visited the 大佛 (Dafo) temple and toured the huge Buddhist training grounds for monks.

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This extraordinary yoga retreat offered a unique opportunity to practise Yoga in Daily Life in the natural beauty of the mountains and spend time in the tranquil atmosphere of the temples. Everyone present found peace amidst the clouds of Emei Mountain. Chandra Devi, a dedicated practitioner since joining Yoga in Daily Life in China in 2017, has successfully brought many new students to the yoga classes.

Yoga in Daily Life Retreat in Haikou

Inspired by the beautiful experience at the Emei Mountain retreat, students from Haikou eagerly anticipated their own Yoga in Daily Life retreat.

With classes resuming in April, plans were made for a Yoga in Daily Life retreat to take place before the departure of Swami Daya Mata in May. A picturesque seaside hotel was chosen as the venue, situated just a 30-minute drive from Haikou's city centre, overlooking a sunny beach between the deep blue sea and a tranquil palm forest, an idyllic setting for a retreat dedicated to yoga and inner peace.

The retreat attracted 30 participants from various regions, including 5 from Wuhan, 3 from Guangzhou, 1 from Zhejiang, and 6 from the local Waldorf school. Agnes, a devoted disciple from Haikou, played an essential role as the coordinator, ensuring that all participants' needs were met with great care.

The retreat began with a warm gathering around the dinner table, cultivating a sense of community as participants introduced themselves. Swami Daya Mata provided an introduction to the Yoga in Daily Life System, followed by a short meditation session, setting the tone for the days ahead.

Early the next morning, despite the cloudy and windy weather at 6 am, the group walked to the beach to begin their day with prayer. As if responding to their positive energy and prayers, the strong wind gradually subsided, and the sun peeked out from behind the dark clouds. With the promise of the sunny day, the group continued to practise asanas on the beach, enjoying the beauty of the sea.

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Breakfast featured a delightful array of fruits, vegetables, porridge, and more, nourishing the body for the day's activities.

After breakfast, the group gathered in the shade of the palm forest to sit and practise chanting "OM" 108 times, a deeply spiritual experience that resonated with the tranquillity of the environment. The afternoon schedule included yoga nidra deep relaxation, followed by another round of asanas, after which the participants enjoyed free time, to explore the beach or simply marvel at the red sky at dusk.

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The retreat's natural beauty and serene environment had a profound impact on the participants. One lady from Wuhan described the experience as a baptizing of her life, reconnecting her with nature in a meaningful way. Another participant, who met Swami Daya Mata in person for the first time, after three years of practising via Zoom, expressed a deep sense of familiarity with her and bonding with everyone at the retreat.

Swami Daya Mata attributed the success and harmony of all events in China to her recent visit to India, the OM Ashram, and the blessings of her beloved Gurudev, Vishwaguruji.

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