International Day of Yoga 2017

Masses and Modi practice yoga despite downpour


June 21, 2017

/ By / Lucknow

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The third International Day of Yoga concluded in Lucknow despite heavy rains; saw participation from thousands of Yoga practitioners including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

There were thousands of colourful yoga mats spread out for participants of the third International Day of Yoga being held at the Ramabai Ambedkar Ground in Lucknow, the capital of the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It had taken about a week’s preparations to get the huge ground ready for the mega event but little could have been done pre-emptively to tackle the heavy downpour.

Lucknow witnessed heavy rains in the wee hours of the day, which halted the practice sessions, but only for a while.
People used Yoga mats for umbrellas as they waited for the clouds to pass and for the Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi to arrive.

“The rain cannot stop us from doing Yoga. Moreover, the excitement to see the PM come here is boosting our spirit,” said a young cadet of the 63 UP battalion, National Cadet Council. The battalion alone had 1,000 people participating in the event.
Other participants included, school and college students, followers of the humanitarian NGO Art of Living and locals of Lucknow.

The crowd was soon joined by PM Modi, who was accompanied by the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath.
While recognising the value of Yoga and Modi’s efforts in taking it to the world, Adityanath said, “Yoga should be a way of life.” He added, “The International Day of Yoga is being celebrated in villages, small towns and major cities around the world and has now become like a major festival.”

Around 200 countries are celebrating the International Yoga Day 2017.

Commenting on the global acceptance that Yoga is receiving, “Yoga has become part of so many lives. Countries that are unaware of Indian culture and languages are adopting it. Its popularity outside India is high and is connecting the world with us,” Modi said.

Modi also lauded the perseverance the participants had shown by staying put under the rain and practicing asanas (positions) with him. He spoke of the many health benefits that Yoga has for the human body and of it being a medium to attain wellness.

Last year, the International Yoga Day was celebrated in Chandigarh, the capital city of the north Indian state of Punjab while the first International Yoga Day was held in the Indian capital, New Delhi.
The United Nations on December 11, 2014 had declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, having recognised its universal appeal.

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