AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH
AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH

Dehradun : India’s most influential Yoga practitioner- none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday stressed upon Yoga’s global appeal and its qualities of unifying the world.

Addressing nearly 50,000 Yoga followers at the world renowned Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, on the fourth International Day of Yoga, Mr Modi said, “The world has embraced Yoga and glimpses of this can be seen in the manner in which International Day of Yoga has been marked every year. In fact, Yoga day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being. From Tokyo to Toronto, from Stockholm to San Paolo, Yoga has become a positive influence in the lives of millions. Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient, yet it is modern. It is constant, yet it is evolving. In Yoga, we have the perfect solution to problems we face either as individuals or in our society. A fast paced existence brings with it a lot of stress.”

Clad in a saffron collared white T shirt stamped with the Yoga logo and message’ Yoga for harmony and peace’ and white track pants, the Prime Minister drew attention to global disease burden and annual casualties caused by heart diseases and diabetes. “The way to lead a calm and contented life is Yoga. It can show the way in defeating tension and mindless anxiety. Yoga always unites. Practising Yoga has the ability to bring an era of happiness, peace and brotherhood. Over the last three years, many individuals are teaching Yoga, new institutions are being set up and even technology is being connected to Yoga. From Dehradun to Dublin, from Shanghai to Chicago, from Jakarta to Johannesburg, Yoga is omnipresent. Yoga acts as a unifying force in this fast-paced world. It unifies the body, mind and soul and helps individuals experience peace. Yoga unites individuals, societies, nations and the world. May this Yoga Day motivate people around the world to practice Yoga,” Mr Modi said to Indian and foreign participants who sat on orange mats, facing the FRI’s impressive building known for its Greco Roman and colonial style of architecture. Interestingly, many films have been shot at this institute and the famous revolutionary leader Rash Behari Bose once worked here as head clerk.

Concluding his 15 minute speech, Mr Modi said, “Yoga has shown the world the way from illness to wellness. That is why its global acceptance in increasing at such a rapid pace. Practising Yoga asanas can help us prevent disease and reduce medical bills of a family. Wellness is imperative for us to play a role in nation building. I urge the Yoga practitioners to practice Yoga regularly and to those not yet associated with Yoga to try Yoga. The place that Yoga has got in the world will be strengthened in times to come.”

The Prime Minister said that India should be honoured to be the “guardians of the great heritage and practice of Yoga. We should be proud of our culture. If we doubt our tradition and culture then the world will not put its faith in us,” he said.

Maneka performs prenatal yoga asanas with pregnant women

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday performed prenatal yoga asanas along with pregnant women and asked them to practice the ancient Indian fitness regime under trained professionals.

The Union Women and Child Development Minister was speaking at an event on International Yoga Day at the Natural Childbirth Centre here.

The women performed several prenatal yoga asanas, including the modified version of the Tikonasana, Paschimmottasana and Ashwa Sanchalam, under the guidance of a teacher.

“It is a very good step to do yoga during pregnancy, but I urge them to perform the asanas under the guidance of trained teachers,” she said, reports PTI.

The asanas have been modified according to the changes in the body of a pregnant women, said Nutan Pandit, founder of Natural Childbirth Centre.

These asanas helps in relaxing the joints and muscles. These prenatal asanas also help in keeping the body relaxed, Pandit said.

Masked Yoga in Varanasi

VARANASI: To draw attention towards high air pollution levels, a group performed “asanas” at the Shivala Ghat here with masks on their faces at an event held on the International Day of Yoga. All participants had put on masks, not only to prevent themselves from the poor air quality, but also to create awareness among the people, lead campaigner for Climate Agenda Ekta Shekhar told PTI over the phone.

Referring to the scientific claims that Yoga can improve oxygen intake, Shekhar said such an activity will not lead to desired results if the air was polluted.

Rajasthan records biggest gathering

KOTA/JAIPUR: Rajasthan on Thursday created a world record bringing over a lakh of people together at a yoga session to mark the International Day of Yoga.

Two representatives from Guinness World Records, watched as Yoga guru Ramdev put the gathering – which included Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje – through a series of asanas.

The international private organisation then handed over a certificate to Raje and Ramdev, saying it had been the largest gathering worldwide of people performing yoga.

“The largest yoga lesson was achieved by Government of Rajasthan, Patanjali Yogpeeth and District Administration at Kota, Rajasthan, India on 21 June 2018,” it said.

More than 300 divyangs perform Yoga in Rajkot

RAJKOT: Over 300 differently-abled people performed yoga at an event held here on Thursday to mark the International Yoga Day. Over 850 women performed ‘aqua yoga’ (yoga performed in water) at four swimming pools operated by Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC). The civic body had made arrangements for the people to perform yoga asanas at various places in the city, reports PTI.