Yognat scholarships and awards 
June 22, 2008 

Based in Pondicherry, Yoganjali Natyalayam (Yognat) imparts quality training in Yoga and Bharatanatyam under the leadership of Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani and its Chairman, Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani.

Yoganjali Natyalayam each year selects from its hundreds of students, one boy and one girl who have shown outstanding Yogic qualities as well as a student who has shown Yogic valor in trying circumstances. Recipients of these awards for this year are: 
BEST BOY 2008:  S Sivasankar; BEST GIRL 2008:  D Reena Joseph; YOGA VEERYA AWARD 2008: R Varalakshmi.

The SHRI VIJAYA BHASKAR MUSIC AWARDS have been instituted in memory of the great music composer Vijaya Bhaskar in 2003 by the family of Mangala Gowri and C K Manoharun for students of Yognat showing exceptional talent in classical music. S Devasena and B Keerthana have been selected to receive the Shri Vijaya Bhaskar Music Scholarships for the year 2007–08.

In June 2003, Chris and Annette Danckwerts of Australia instituted the MICHAEL DANCKWERTS YOGA AND CULTURAL EXCELLENCE AWARD in memory of their son who was a lover of Yoga and Indian culture. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of curriculum vitae, character, academics, extra curricular, personality and poise in an interview by a panel of eminent judges. The award consists of a year's full scholarship in Yoga and Bharatanatyam and a special merit certificate. S S Lothika and L Kanmani have been selected to receive the MDYCE Scholarship Awards for 2008.

Yognat Excellence Awards 2008: On the occasion of its 15th Anniversary Yognat is proud and privileged to honor eminent personalities of Pondicherry who have contributed towards the propagation of Indian culture and values in our society. This year, Yognat is honouring the eminent musicologist and music composer Tanjavur Dr. BM Sundaram with the SANGEETHA GNANA RATHNA in recognition of his selfless service for the cause of Indian music. The noted Tamil poet and lyricist of all Yognat dance dramas, Pulavar I Pattabiramane will be awarded the MUTHAMIZH MAMANI title award. 

Yognat honors K Rajamanikkam with the NATYA KALA SHIRONMANI for his work in the field of Indian dance while “Puduvai Shakthi” Professor Dr P Nalini is honoured for her yeoman service in Pediatrics and through the Hemophilia Society of India with the title award of KARMA YOGA SHIROMANI. The illustrious violin vidwan Kudanthai R Balasundaram and the multifaceted vocalist-percussionist-composer Dr. Vellore A R Srinivasan will be awarded the NADA YOGA SHIRONMANI for their service towards the cause of classical Indian music. 

Ananda Bhavanani is a resource person for the Yoga courses offered by the Pondicherry University Community College and teaches theory classes in the "Scientific Basis of Yoga" and "Fundamentals of Yoga Therapy." He has been taking lectures in Mantra, Yantra and Yoga Anatomy and Physiology for the Annual Six Month International Yoga Teacher Training Course at ICYER. Dr. Ananda is also working at the Auroville Health Centre as a Medical Officer for the Village Health Programme where he is taking care of more than 600 patients every month in various villages in and around Auroville.

He has been appointed to the International Advisory Board of the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) based in the USA for a three-year term. This prestigious appointment is in recognition of his work in propagating Yoga as a respected therapy worldwide and he will be involved in more such research and theory works in the near future on an international scale.

Ananda Ashram has completed forty years of Yoga and Cultural Arts community service to Pondicherry, India and the world in 2008. Yognat was founded in 1993 by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Gurumaharaj as a continuation of the Sri Kambliswamy Youth Yoga and Cultural Arts Programme started in 1975 by Swamiji and Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani at Ananda Ashram, Thattanchavady. Hundreds of students freely trained in these programs have become professional Yoga teachers, Bharatanatyam masters and Carnatic vocalists. Some of these students are now on the teaching staff at Yognat. Unlike in most schools where the ordinary are slowly edged out, in Yognat many "ordinary students" have been transformed into "dynamic, skillful and talented" youngsters who can hold their own against the best. This has resulted in their adopting a new motto this year.
"Making the ordinary – extra ordinary!
And the extra ordinary - great!".