180 countries join India to mark Yoga Day



More than 180 countries, according to Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, had participated in the third International Yoga Day 2017, which was celebrated on June 21. “Yoga, like the way it unites the body, mind and soul has played a big role in binding the world by cutting across linguistic and cultural barriers,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said before huge gathering assembled to perform Yoga with him at Lucknow’s Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan on June 21. “It is good to see that our traditional practices have now becoming part of healthy life globally. Many countries which do not know our language, tradition, or culture, are now connecting to India through Yoga. The practice, which connects body, mind and soul, has played a big role in binding the world too.”

Yoga Day celebrations were also held in Union Territory Chandigarh at Chandigarh. Nearly 3,000 people, including Union health minister J P Nadda, UT administrator VP Singh Badnore, and MP Kirron Kher attended the early-morning event at Sector 17 Plaza.

The third International Yoga Day was also celebrated with great enthusiasm across the twin states of Haryana and Punjab. Ministers, MLAs and chief parliamentary secretaries took part in district level functions in Haryana. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was the chief guest at district level function organised in Indri in Karnal.

In Lucknow, Modi performed “Asanas” (postures of physical exercises) along with over 51,000 estimated yoga enthusiasts, most of them were little students from various schools including major chunk from City Montessori School that imparts education to more than 29,000 students in the city, braving early morning drizzles.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Dinish Sharma and Keshav Mourya, and galaxy of ministers and bureaucrats joined Modi in performing Yoga at the sprawling venue. In his address, CM Yogi Aditya Nath lauded the efforts of PM Modi for globally crediting Yoga as an International Day.

Quoting ancient time, Modi said, “Earlier, Yoga was only restricted to saints and seers in the Himalayan mountains. Now, it has become part of every person’s life.” He also asserted that attaining “wellness” through yoga was more important than simply being physically fit.

“It is not important to perform yoga for 24 hours. 50 or 60 minutes (is fine) because it lends harmony to the body, mind and intellect. If 1.25 billion Indians and people around the world can attain this state of well-being, then humankind can also tide over problems born out of human thoughts,” he advised the people. He also compared the utility of Yoga in our lives like a necessity of salt in our diet.

“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,” he added. Yoga works like a health assurance. “It is not even expensive to practice. I urge everyone to make “Yoga a part of your life,” PM Modi appealed. “I am glad to see several Yoga Institutes came to existence over the last three years,” he added.

On the directives of the government Yoga camps were held at offices, schools, and parks all over the state. The Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma announced that the UP government would soon revise its curriculum to include Yoga up to 12th standard of education.