Thousands join Modi for world yoga celebration; some wear masks

India gears up to celebrate 4th International Yoga Day

Bhubaneswar: People from across Odisha rolled out their yoga mats, twisted and turned as they basked in the goodness of International Yoga Day celebrations.Even before daybreak, people from all walks of life irrespective of age were seen thronging to yoga camps and practice asanas to join the swelling number of enthusiasts worldwide.

On December 11, 2014, India's representative to the United Nations, Asoke Mukherji, introduced a resolution to declare June 21, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and a day of special significance in many cultures throughout the world, as International Yoga Day.

Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday performed Yoga with over 50,000 enthusiasts at the Forest Research Institute campus here, saying the ancient Indian discipline has emerged as the most powerful unifying force in a strife-torn world. While sharing the benefits of Yoga, Modi said that Yoga has become a movement across the world and shown a path from illness to wellness.

About 7 million people die each year from breathing polluted air that can lead to heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, the World Health Organization said in a report last month, most of the deaths happening in Asia and Africa.

Speaking at the state-level celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayan, a CPM veteran, however lauded the greatness and benefits of yoga. Terming yoga as a "good exercise" for the body and mind, the chief minister said, "though there may be many other forms of exercises in the world, there is nothing as good as yoga especially for the mental health and well-being".

Since the proclamation, the International Day of Yoga has continued to grow in popularity as the profile of the practice continues to rise as more than just an exercise but as a great tool for staying healthy.

"Yoga fosters amity in societies, which can form the basis of national unity", the Prime Minister said.

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When is International Yoga Day 2018?

#07:05 AM: Yoga India's gift to the world, says Modi: "Yoga is India's gift to the world". In India, yoga practice is estimated to be a $1 billion market in less than five years.

Rami Gingari, a yoga instructor from Sudan, says there has been a noticeable increase in yoga studios in the UAE.

He said the proposal for the Yoga Day at the UN was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it.

In West Bengal, neither chief minister Banerjee nor any of her ministers participated in any yoga session anywhere in the state.

The word "yoga" has its origins in the ancient Sanskrit language and means "to attach, join, harness, yoke".

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