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. From politicians to celebrities to sportsman all took part in the Yoga day celebrations held across the country. Yoga can also be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life. 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. Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, but it doesn't belong to India alone.
Some 50,000 people gathered with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in the Himalayan foothills to salute the power of yoga.
"I invite you to explore and celebrate yoga wherever you are". "India is Yoga's top ambassador", says PM Modi.
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).
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. This kind of thing will only aid to make yoga more popular and be accepted by all sections of society.
When asked whether yoga will be a force to better relations, Sheikh said, "Today you saw Dr. Alaa Alsharif, a community medicine doctor, talking about yoga".
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"We have developed a program that is a combination of simple yoga asanas and mudras with emphasis on breathing, supported by Arabic rhythmic movements - something for all age groups and fitness levels to experience and enjoy".
Personnel belonging to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police performed yoga at the height of 18,000 feet, while over a thousand navy personnnel are performing asanas on the INS Virat against the view of the Arabian Sea on the occasion of International Yoga Day.
Eastern Naval Command's submarine staff also participated in International Yoga Day.Sailors do yoga in what is probably the submarine's torpedo room. Thanks to the efforts of Nouf Marwaai, yoga has been popularized here.
"Yoga should be a 365-day affair and should be practiced for a healthy living", stated Sudhansu Adhikari, Odisha chief of the Patanjali Yoga Samiti. Yoga's popularity and acceptability is spreading around the world cutting across the continents and religious lines.
In Kerala, Vijayan said Yoga can be practised by all, irrespective of caste and religion, adding it should be done with a "free and secular" mind.