Yoga for Women Empowerment

Start Date:13-Jun-2024

End Date:13-Jun-2024

Location:Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry


On June 13, 2024, Dr. Beloo Mehra, Director, BhāratShakti was invited as a panelist for the National Conference on “Yoga for Women Empowerment” organized by School of Yoga Therapy, Institute of Salutogenesis & Complementary Medicine of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth in collaboration with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India. This national conference was part of the ongoing SBV Yoga Mahotsav 2024 which commemorates 10th International Day of Yoga 2024.

Dr. Mehra participated in the panel discussion along with Yogacharini Devasena Bhavanani (ICYER Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry) and Smt. Swati Morzaria (Sarvam Educational Foundation, Bengaluru). The session was moderated by Selvi Dhivya Priya Bhavanani (YOGNAT, Pondicherry).

Given the very specific theme of Yoga for Women Empowerment taken up by the Ministry of AYUSH this year, the discussion questions at the session revolved around that. Broadening the definition of Yoga and emphasizing its true deeper meaning rather than merely Yogasana or Pranayama, Dr. Mehra felt it was important to bring in a key idea from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother regarding why one should enter the path of Yoga. She shared that it is not for any kind of power or tangible or intangible gain but for the sake of Divine that one takes up Yoga, in the right sense of the word.

Dr. Mehra emphasized an important point the Mother made once that the problem of feminism, like all other problems of the world, is essentially a spiritual problem. Expanding on this, she added that from the perspective of Integral Yoga empowerment could mean a woman being awakened to her potential capabilities and developing a will to work toward a multi-faceted perfection of various parts of her being – physical, vital and mental – and preparing herself for a higher and deeper path of self-realization, finding her inner truth, her true personality and individuality.

When asked to share a few specific points regarding some of the ways Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s works and vision help further the ideal of women empowerment, Dr. Mehra shared that one of the most significant works of Sri Aurobindo, – among many other equally significant works – has to do with the Mother element, which he invoked in three specific and highly momentous ways.

First, was the awakening of the Mother element, the Shakti element in the sleeping India, when Sri Aurobindo emphasized through his writings that India was not merely a piece of land, but the Mother herself. He reminded Indians of the force of the mantra of Bande Mataram which had been lying dormant in some ideative field of the nation. He charged it with a spiritual sense and the whole country woke up in response. The awakening of Shakti took the form of an aspiration for freedom.

Second was when Sri Aurobindo placed the Shakti, the Divine Mother in the forefront at the Ashram. By doing this, he gave a new orientation to his Yoga. Instead of relying on the Purusha, yoga was now going to be based on a dynamic Shakti. This is what makes Integral Yoga truly Integral, because it is now fully integrated with Life. We see this element of integration in all developments of yoga that came afterwards. And third was when Sri Aurobindo embodied the consciousness of the Mother in the sound-word of Savitri.

Dr. Mehra then also spoke briefly about the four aspects or powers of the Mother – Wisdom, Strength, Harmony and Perfection - that Sri Aurobindo has discussed and talked how they can be used as a meaningful way to understand women empowerment. Because a large number of the audience present were students from various institutions, Dr. Mehra presented the above content through simple-to-understand expressions and examples. These thoughts were appreciated by many of the audience members. Some of the research scholars came to her later to discuss further about some of the ideas she presented.

Dr. Mehra was presented with a certificate and memento at the conclusion of the programme.

Feedback received from the organizers:

Your insightful contribution and expert guidance during the conference added immense value to the event and left a lasting impression on all the attendees. Your knowledge and expertise in the field of yoga and women empowerment truly enriched the discussions and inspired all the participants.

We received overwhelming positive feedback from the attendees, acknowledging the depth of knowledge and the passion with which you addressed the gathering. Your presence played a pivotal role in making the conference a resounding success.

We are genuinely grateful for your invaluable contribution and unwavering support in making the event a memorable and enlightening experience for everyone involved.

Once again, thank you for your time, dedication, and sharing your expertise with us. We look forward to the opportunity of collaborating with you in the future and continuing our joint efforts towards promoting women's empowerment through yoga.