Yoga is above everything, make it integral part of life: Modi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said yoga is above caste, religion, colour, gender and region as he meticulously performed various asanas with around 40,000 enthusiasts at the Prabhat Tara ground here to mark the fifth International Day of Yoga.
 
Modi also urged people to make yoga an integral part of life.“We should make efforts to take yoga from cities to villages and tribal areas. Yoga is above religion, caste, colour, gender and region, it is above everything,” he told
the gathering.
 
The main event on Yoga Day was held in the Jharkhand capital. The International Day of Yoga is being celebrated annually on June 21 since 2015.“It (yoga) is constant and evolving for centuries. The essence of yoga has been stable and remained the same -- healthy body, stable mind, spirit of oneness. Yoga has provided a perfect blend of knowledge, karma and bhakti,” the Prime Minister said.
 
YOGA was the theme and wellness the agenda on Friday as India and the world marked the fifth International Day of Yoga with tens of thousands of people rolling out their mats to stretch and twist, breathe in and breathe out, reach for the skies and bend to touch their toes.
 
From the UN General Assembly hall to the Indian Parliament premises and from Beijing to Ranchi, enthusiasts of the ancient wellness regime performed ‘asanas’ simple and complex amid chants of “Om” and “Shanti” in several global capitals and across the expanse of India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the day.
In India, the main event was held at the Jharkhand capital Ranchi with the Prime Minister performing various ‘asanas’ along with 40,000 people at the Prabhat Tara ground.
 
“The essence of yoga has been stable and remained the same -- healthy body, stable mind, spirit of oneness.
Yoga has provided a perfect blend of knowledge, karma and bhakti,” the Prime Minister told the gathering.The United Nations General Assembly adopted June 21 as International Yoga Day in 2014 on a proposal mooted by Modi. Scenes of mass yoga exercises in open grounds, parks and halls were mirrored in various parts of the country, in the waters of the Digaru river in Arunachal Pradesh where Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troopers performed asanas and even in the icy heights of the Himalayas where their colleagues put out their mats on the Vasundhara glacier near Badrinath. And in Jalandhar, members of the 2 Army Dog Unit performed doga (dog yoga), the canines doing the asanas along with the Army personnel.
 
While Modi led the celebrations in Ranchi, his ministers spread out across the country with Home Minister Amit Shah participating in a function in Rohtak, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital, where many hundreds did yoga in the rolling greens of (Continuation)Rajpath, and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur. Shah, who did yoga exercises along with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, said it is due to the efforts of Modi that the world is now not only observing Yoga Day but making it a part of their everyday lives.
 
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra where 60 ambassadors as well as diplomats from various missions performed yoga exercises. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla led the Yoga Day events in Parliament House where around 400 people, including newly elected MPs, Union ministers and Parliament staffers, participated in practising the asanas. While President Ram Nath Kovind was part of Yoga Day at Rashtrapati Bhawan’s Ceremonial Hall, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu participated at an event at the historic Red Fort where thousands of men and women, all in white, performed yoga exercises.
 
The world joined in in marking the day. In a first of its kind yoga celebration, the iconic UN GA hall reverberated with chants of ‘Om’ and ‘Shanti’ as UN officials and diplomats joined hundreds of others to commemorate the day.
Addressing the large gathering, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the essence of yoga is balance, “not only within us but also in our relationship with humanity”.
 
In Beijing, the celebrations were led by India’s envoy to China Vikram Misri who, along with a large number of Chinese yoga enthusiasts rolled out their mats to participate in Yoga Day.Yoga represents aspirations of the people from India and China that it is beneficial to work together in spirit of “friendship and cooperation”, Misri said.
 
In the UK, yoga enthusiasts marked the day with a session at the iconic Durdle Door stone arch, a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site on the south-western coast of England. The Indian High Commission’s annual yoga session in London took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
 
Over 400 people performed asanas to mark the International Day of Yoga at the picturesque Hatachana compound in Tel Aviv, Israel, with India’s envoy to Israel Pavan Kapoor asking the government to consider making it a part of the annual calendar of events.
 
PM thanks world leaders for enthusiasm on yoga day: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday thanked leaders of various countries for their enthusiastic participation in the fifth International Day of Yoga.
President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in tweeted that he finds himself ‘reflecting once again on the spirit and meaning of yoga today’.
 
“I look forward to being reunited with Prime Minister Modi @PMOIndia at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan next week. We will continue to stand together for peace and happiness of humankind.”
 
Reciprocating his gesture, Modi said he was overjoyed to read his message. “I fully agree with you on the power of Yoga to unite and further oneness. It is this oneness that will create a better planet.I am also looking forward to interacting with you in Osaka in the coming days,” the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.
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