"Instead of increasing suffering, yoga heals", Modi said before he went on to perform asanas with over 50,000 yoga volunteers who had started congregating at the sprawling campus of the British-era Forest Research of India (FRI) here in Uttarakhand since wee hours of Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi asserted that Yoga has become one of the unifying forces of the world. Modi said that the way to lead a calm, creative and content life was yoga. The Prime Minister reached the venue a little after 6:30 am, addressed the gathering and performed yoga along with those assembled there.
It is hard to say just how many people practise yoga around the world today, although some estimate it could be up to around 200 to 300 million. He said that Yoga is attractive because it is ancient and yet modern, it is constant and yet evolving; it has the best of our past and present and provides a ray of hope for our future.
He said the proposal for the Yoga Day at the UN was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it.
People participate in an outdoor yoga session at a park in Yangon yesterday to celebrate International Yoga Day.
Modi said yoga presented a ray of hope for future of the world.
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Given that India has the world's second-largest population, Modi said the initiatives taken will take some years to show results but he is confident that "tangible results" will soon become visible. Giving him company were thousands of other yoga enthusiasts who performed the asanas on saffron yoga mats.
He also urged Indians to take pride in their heritage. "Instead of dividing, Yoga unites".
Emphasising that yoga is not limited to exercises and postures, he said the ancient Indian practice involves a deep search into the body mind and spirit and "leads to greater understanding of oneself, which leads further to social discipline and in turn to ethics and enduring values of life".
Modi said several people, who already practise Yoga, re-dedicate themselves to its pursuit. Breath is the most attractive gift and yoga makes people realize that.
The National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, which had launched a week-long yoga classes for its students and staff ahead of the Yoga Day, announced plans to conduct regular yoga classes throughout the year for all students, staff and their family members.
Modi portrays himself as a keen yoga practitioner, last week posting on Twitter his morning routine involving plodding around a tree and flexing over a boulder.
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