International Day of Yoga

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India led participants during a demonstration in New Delhi on Sunday for the inaugural International Yoga Day. Credit Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Yoga Day initiative, featuring public yoga demonstration by 35,000 citizens, is aimed at improving health and mental habits of population. He quietly took his place before a sea of schoolchildren and others, mats neatly arranged in a checkerboard as far as the eye could see, to begin what was billed as the largest yoga demonstration in a single venue in history.

Yoga practitioners around the world held demonstrations for the holiday on Sunday, including under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Credit Benoit Tessier/Reuters


“I believe that from the 21st of June, through the International Day of Yoga, it is not just the beginning of a day but the beginning of a new age through which we will achieve greater heights of peace, good will and train the human spirit,” Mr. Modi said in his speech.

The government made no effort to play down its message of the healing power of yoga. In an event later Sunday, Mr. Modi mentioned diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and drug addiction in India, adding that “practicing yoga helps combat stress and chronic conditions.”

“Since ancient times India was the guru of the world,” said Vikash Chandra, a lawyer who has been practicing yoga since 1992. Yoga Day in Delhi, which was captured by more than 24 state-run TV cameras and broadcast all over the nation, would help them reclaim it, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the first International Yoga Day in Delhi, which he said would help restore peace and train the human spirit. Credit Saurabh Das/Associated Press

Source: The New York Times



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