Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Thousands join Modi for world yoga celebration; some wear masks

Thousands join Modi for world yoga celebration; some wear masks

The prime minister described Uttarakhand as a sacred land and said it had been the centre of yoga for ages.

"Instead of dividing, Yoga unites".

Yoga became known in the West towards the end of the 19th century as it was undergoing a major revival in India under the Hindu teacher Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902). "We have been getting a very positive response from all communities and I am aware of several eminent Emirati friends who regularly practice yoga", he said.

He said the proposal for a International Day for Yoga at the UN was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it. Official sources told The New Indian Express that there is no practice of celebrating the International Yoga Day in Mizoram as it is a Christian-majority state.

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Thanks to celebrities promoting yoga on social media - whether it is Bollywood star Shipa Shetty, spiritual guru Baba Ramdev or the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself - yoga has become more popular in the last few years.

Yoga was also performed on board the Japanese naval ship JS Ise and on the Indian Navy's INS Sahyadri taking part in military exercises in the western Pacific, the Indian Navy said.

#07:05 AM: Yoga India's gift to the world, says Modi: "Yoga is India's gift to the world".

However in its present-day use, yoga is often no more than a form of exercise, Michael says.

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He asked people to embrace yoga not just for a healthy, but happy and peaceful life.

"The gems of India's unique heritage, such as yoga, will be respected by the world at large only when we ourselves respect our culture and traditions", he said.

Elaborate security arrangements were made and almost 3,000 security personnel deployed in and around the venue.

After addressing the gathering, PM Modi performed different Yoga asanas along with other Yoga enthusiasts present at the venue. The prime minister had earlier participated in yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.

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Modern Western references such as the Oxford English Dictionary define yoga as a "spiritual and ascetic discipline" which includes "breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures". It is a passport for wellness. After every 30 minutes of practicing yoga, five minutes of rest must be allowed for the body.

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