Yoga Day, observed mostly in India but also worldwide on the Northern Hemisphere's longest day, was Modi's idea.
Appealing to people to take yoga to all sections of society, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said yoga is above everything, as he performed various asanas with around 40,000 enthusiasts at the Prabhat Tara ground here to mark the fifth International Day of Yoga. This year, he tweeted videos showing an animated version of him performing yoga poses. UN officials and diplomats joined hundreds of people to celebrate the International Yoga Day at the UN General Assembly hall in NY.
This years slogan is - Yoga for Heart.
The Union minister also reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's words from his address at the mega yoga event in Ranchi that "yoga belongs to everyone and everyone belongs to yoga".
"It (yoga) is constant and evolving for centuries".
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Among the more unusual forms that have sprung up are "hoga" (yoga on a horse), "noga" (nude yoga), "doga" (yoga with a dog) and Harry Potter yoga complete with a "Downward Dumbledore". Since 2015, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21. "Yoga should be adopted as preventive measure", Modi said. "We have to take yoga from the cities to the villages, to the jungles, to the poor and the Adivasis [tribal people]", said Modi.
For working professionals, the daily routine could be taxing on the mind and the body. For politicians sharing Modi's views, yoga's origins together with its enormous secular popularity add up to "the flawless vehicle to create a shared national consciousness", wrote novelist Manil Suri. No better way to celebrate International Yoga Day than practicing it with the CISF, CRPF and NCC cadets and officials.
He stressed the need for research in Yoga so that the world could be updated about its benefits. "People across the world must practice it", Modi said.
In the national capital, the main event was held at Rajpath where several dignitaries including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant and Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang practised Yoga with over 15 thousand people.