PM Narendra Modi takes part in third International Day of Yoga

Even as rain played a bit of a spoilsport in many places like Lucknow and Delhi, the nation gathered in large numbers at various parks and public places across the country today to mark the third International Day of Yoga brimming with excitement and energy. "I welcome the Prime Minister to Lucknow and am happy he is joining the Yoga Day celebrations here with us", said Yogi Adityanath.

"It was a very nice gesture of prime minister to come out of the dry comfort of his waterproof tent and do yoga with us in the open", said 18-year-old student Neha Prakash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged the countrymen to indulge in Yoga stating that "Yoga is as important as salt". Yoga is about health assurance, he said. The event made it to the Guinness World Records with 35,985 participants performing asanas at one venue and 84 nationalities being part of it.

Dubai-based yoga instructor Aarti Bajaj of The Yoga Co., shares, "Yoga has been a part of my life in some form or the other, as far back as I can remember". Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani participated the yoga camp.

Braving drizzles, Modi, Yogi and thousands of Yoga enthusiasts performed asanas.

Bajaj highlights that practising yoga helps boost immunity, helps people get better sleep and cut down food cravings. Several dignitaries, politicians and bureaucrats will participate in the event.

Sometimes overweight people or people who are not athletic enough might be a little reluctant or intimidated by yoga, as they look at the stretching that's involved in doing yoga as vigorous exercise.

Pakistani yoga guru Shamshad Haider, who runs over 50 clubs across the country, said in a telephonic interview from Islamabad: "Due to Ramdan and people preparing for Eid, we could not organise a big event this year". In December 2014 the Member States of the United Nations adopted a resolution proclaiming 21 June as International Yoga Day. Yoga, as a mind, body discipline has also been added to the intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Lucknow witnessed heavy rains in the wee hours of the day, which halted the practice sessions, but only for a while.

International Yoga Day has celebrated in almost 180 nations. It says yoga and meditation are interdisciplinary endeavours that interface with neuroscience, medicine, psychology, engineering, philosophy etc., and yoga can contribute in a holistic way to derive integrated benefits. Because of a signature day reserved for the event the world over, more people are being drawn to this ancient Indian practice, she noted.

  • Leroy Wright