Prime Minister Modi kicks off Yoga Day celebrations in India


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the celebrations of the 8th International Yoga Day – observed annually on June 21 since 2015 – at Mysuru Palace in the southern Indian state of Karnataka on Tuesday, India time. “Yoga is not a part of life, it is a way of life,” Modi said. “Yoga is ensuring universal health. Yoga, which was practiced in houses and spiritual centres in India, is now being seen around the world. It has become natural human spirit.”

He said two years of the Covid-19 pandemic has not diminished the spirit of Yoga. “Yoga is not for individuals, Yoga is for humanity,” he said. “I thank the United Nations and all countries and all citizens of the world on behalf of India.”

He added, “People become united with the flash of the rays of Sun. As the sun rises, practitioners across the world will form a guardian ring of yoga. Yoga relieves an individual on agitated mindset at any given point.”

The celebration began with a one-minute prayer and with Modi performing 19 asanas, including Tadasana, Vrikshasana, Padahastasana, Ardha Chakrasana, Vakrasana, Makarasana, Setubandhasana and Shalabhasana.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel led the celebrations on Tuesday morning by performing yoga in the sprawling lawns of the Governor’s residence in Lucknow. A large number of state ministers, bureaucrats and eminent citizens were also in attendance.

The state government made special preparations for mass yoga practice at Kashi, Mathura, Gorakhpur, Naimish Dham, Chitrakoot and Bithoor, among others. Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak led the celebrations in Prayagraj, while his counterpart Keshav Maurya was in Ayodhya.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha participated performed yoga at the banks of the Dal Lake in Srinagar city. Sinha along with Union Minister of State Kapil Patil and senior officials of administration joined hundreds of people at the Dal Lake on Tuesday to perform Yoga.

“I urge all to embrace Yoga as an integral part of life for a holistic approach to health and wellbeing,” Sinha said. “The Yoga For Humanity theme this year emphasizes the message of universal brotherhood in trying times.”