International Yoga Day 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in a mass yoga session along with other practitioners to mark International Yoga Day at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in a mass yoga session along with other practitioners to mark International Yoga Day at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun

Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action. a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga on International Yoga Day in Dehradun in Uttarakhand, India June 21, 2018. It has become a routine affair since then.

The emphasis on these postures and their sequences, such as the famous Sun Salutations, is a recent development, says India specialist Sita Reddy in "Yoga, The Art of Transformation" (2013).

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.

He asked people to embrace yoga not just for a healthy but happy and peaceful life.

The prime minister described Uttarakhand as a sacred land and said it had been the centre of yoga for ages.

The yoga camp held at the CRPF campus in Bhubaneswar saw more than 1000 participants.

Mr. Modi said the way to lead a calm, creative and content life was yoga.

Thousands of people, meanwhile, took part in the International Yoga Day celebrations at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna. Previous year he participated at an event at the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow. Addressing the large gathering in the backdrop of the iconic British-era building of FRI, Modi said yoga has shown the world the way from "illness to wellness" and enriching lives across the globe.

Indian visually impaired and partially visually impaired girls participate in a yoga class at Andh Kanya Prakash Gruh in Ahmedabad

Yoga guru Ramdev conducted the yoga session attended by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, ministers, officers and local people at RAC ground in the presence of two officials from the Guinness World Records.

It is born of an "awareness of the unsatisfactory character of the human condition", says India specialist Tara Michael, author of the book "Yoga" published in France in 1980. "As of now, nearly 90 percent of it caters to women. It unites individuals, families, society, country and the world", he said.

An instructor for 11 years now, Gingari teaches yoga in clubs and open areas in Abu Dhabi. Modi said India should be proud to be the "guardians of the great practice".

Rola al-Ghoul, a Jordanian yoga instructor, shared the story behind her introduction to yoga, which happened in 2014 as treatment for a lower back injury. "I invite you to explore and celebrate yoga wherever you are".

Modi also added that in a world of excess, Yoga promises restraint and balance.

However in its present-day use, yoga is often no more than a form of exercise, Michael says. "Arabic Fusion Yoga is now a popular addition", she said.

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.

Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi led close to 50,000 people today in Dehradun to mark the fourth International Yoga Day celebrations while many union ministers are participating in similar events across the country.

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