International Yoga Day 2016: Yoga Not A Religious Practice, PM Modi Says

Celebrating the international Yoga day today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the mass demonstration being held in Chandigarh. He led thousands of yoga enthusiasts on Tuesday morning to mark the second International Yoga Day, which he said has become a “Jan Andolan” or people’s movement since it started last year. Approximately 30,000 people were part of the event that is being celebrated in Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex. Simultaneously, hundreds of thousands across the country began the day with yoga exercises.

Over 96,000 people had registered themselves to take part in the event. Of this, over 30,000 were picked, including 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana.

International Yoga Day 2016 celebrations.

These included school and college students, youth, elderly, specially challenged, security personnel and yoga activists. Those taking part in the event have been training for the past 15 days.

In his address, Modi urged people to embrace yoga for better physical and mental health. “Just as the mobile phone is now a part of your life, make yoga too a part of your life,” Modi said. PM Modi also stressed that yoga is “not a religious practice” and should not be dragged into the controversy.

PM Modi advocated for the popularisation of the practice across the world and desired for more Yoga teachers to be produced from India. He also announced two awards for the Yoga Day celebrations next year to those working to popularize yoga, one at the national level and the other at the international level.

Besides the main event, yoga day was held at 100 other locations across Chandigarh. Yoga guru Ramdev led a record-breaking yoga event in Faridabad near Delhi, early on Tuesday, in which over 100,000 people performed, setting a world record. In Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee made an early start to the Yoga Day with a session at Rashtrapati Bhavan where around 1,000 people took part.

The UN last year declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.  The resolution, proposed by PM Modi, was adopted by 177 nations without a vote.

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