Notwithstanding drizzle for about 20 minutes, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today performed yoga in Lucknow, capital city of India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh, joining celebrations of International Yoga Day.
Clad in a white T-shirt and loose white trousers, Modi shared the event with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who too performed yoga in the light drizzle, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
"I welcome all yoga lovers present here and those performing yoga in various corners of the world. Today, yoga has become a part of so many lives. Yoga's popularity out of India is high and it has connected the world with India," our New Delhi correspondent quoted Modi as saying.
Addressing a gathering at the Yoga Day event, Modi listed the benefits of Yoga and said, “Earlier Yoga was practiced by people in their own way but now it is being gradually standardized”.
“There was a time when Yoga was only practiced by sages in the Himalyas but now it has become a part of everyday life of people,” he added.
The PM also said that the practice has helped in bringing the whole world together."
“Just as the importance of salt is not only to lend taste to food, but also ensure well-being of the body, similarly Yoga can have the same importance as salt has in life” Modi said.
On Modi’s initiative, the UN in 2015 declared June 21 as International Yoga Day. Events are being held in 180 nations across the world today.
Senior ministers of Modi’s cabinet led yoga sessions in different parts of the country.
In Ladakh of Jammu and Kashmir state, troops of Indo-Tibetan Border Police performed a yoga session at 18,000 feet and a temperature of minus 25 degrees Celsius. Officers of the Indian Navy held yoga events on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and at the naval dockyard in Mumbai.
Over 200 million people were estimated to have participated in the International Yoga Day last year.