Thousands join India's Modi for world yoga celebration; some wear masks

India gears up to celebrate International Yoga Day

India gears up to celebrate International Yoga Day

The Prime Minister along with around 50,000 yoga enthusiasts commenced India's International Yoga Day celebrations at Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute. On the 4th International Yoga Day, PM Modi said, "Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, Himalayan highlands or sunburnt deserts, Yoga is enriching millions of lives all over the world".

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev led a gathering in the western state of Rajasthan, whose chief minister said it was the largest group yoga event.

Agastya Muni, one of the Satyas, has worked in India to make yoga a part of life.

The Prime Minister said that yoga is one of the most precious gifts and termed it is "ancient yet modern".

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Artist Sudarsan Pattnaik meanwhile created a special sand sculpture with the message "Yoga for Peace and Harmony" on a beach in the eastern city of Puri.

"Its impact has expanded far beyond its day of observance", he said, adding that across nations, the day has become an occasion for initiations of millions of people inspired by the spirit of yoga, who commit themselves to its pursuit.

"Designed to help individuals build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation, (yoga) is practised by the young and old without discriminating against gender, class or religion", UNESCO added in a tweet. "I hope that Yoga can become binding force for the world", he said. "Instead of dividing, Yoga unites".

Inmates at Pune's Yerawada Central Jail also performed Yoga on the occasion.

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The growing popularity of yoga across the globe has brought India closer to the world and this position is going to get strengthened in times to come, he said.

Many union ministers participated in similar events across the country. People of all ages and nationalities performed yoga in unison. Making June 21 a remarkable day is a big achievement for the country.

The PM is leading the celebration of fourth global Yoga day with Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Uma Bharti, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad participating in yoga events in Lucknow, Nagpur, Chennai, Rudraprayag, Hajipur and Patna respectively.

Indian recognition is that yoga is not the name of the action of balancing the body and mind only.

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Modi is keen on portraying his physical prowess, last week posting on Twitter his morning yoga routine involving plodding around a tree and flexing over a boulder.

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