Downward-facing dogs, cobras and warriors were set to sprout all over the world Thursday, as the fourth annual International Yoga Day got under way.
The prime minister also took to social media to share the intricacies of various yoga asanas. "Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well", a statement quoting Modi said.
In Mumbai for the Yoga Day celebrations, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said that he want it to become a people's movement because it is not political or religious. Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, but it doesn't belong to India alone.
Since coming to power in 2014, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken yoga as an emblem of India's flourishing in the world, pushing for the United Nations resolution that has since 2015 consecrated June 21 as International Yoga Day.
Yoga has been in existence for over 5000 years, with more than 100 different forms in existence.
The popularity of Yoga is going to increase not only in India but also in China, he said.
But this doesn't bother the spiritual head of the biggest ashram or retreat in Rishikesh, the Indian city on the banks of the holy Ganges river considered the world yoga capital. Yoga is attractive because it is ancient yet modern, and it is constantly evolving, he said.
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At least 5,000 events big and small took place across India, but the largest was expected to be in Mysore in the south with more than 60,000 taking part, according to organisers.
"During this process of healing my body with yoga, I also found greater emotional balance, as well as peace of mind".
Several Saudi, Arab and other nationals, as well as volunteers belonging to Saudi and Arab Yoga Foundation participated in the event by performing yoga asanas (postures). "Arabic Fusion Yoga is now a popular addition", she said. In India, the yoga day was celebrated with much fervour and excitement.
To make the event more relatable to the audiences in the UAE, Saba Khan, founder of House of Nature, a holistic alternative medicine and natural therapy in Abu Dhabi, has created a special Arabic Fusion Yoga.
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.
"Today people all over the world have come to look upon yoga as something which belongs to them", Modi said.
"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.