India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined thousands bending, stretching, twisting, and holding yoga postures on Friday, in Ranchi to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21.
Lift your arms and stretch like Modi, who was present to partake in the hourlong yoga session as he greeted participants. “On the occasion of the 5th International Yoga Day, let our motto be yoga for peace, harmony, and progress,” said Modi.
Modi talked about the benefits of practicing yoga and how yoga can promote “unity among people and in our society.” The Indian prime minister said that yoga “can heal several challenges that our world faces.”
Friendship, peace, and harmony are intrinsically connected with yoga practices, said Modi.
In New Dehli, thousands of Indian people also gathered for a massive yoga class to mark the fifth annual event.
Several Indian people spoke about the role of yoga in their lives and how it will benefit the individual as well as the nation.
“If we do the yoga, we will be healthy. Mentally, physically, we become robust, which is very beneficial for the nation,” said Ram Krishna Dahal from Assam Rifles.
For student Ankit Chaudhry, yoga gives him “peace of mind.” Chaudhry added he practices yoga because it “makes my body stronger and flexible.”
Likewise, Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said regular yoga practice helps to keep the body and mind healthy. Kotecha stated that because of its immense health benefits, the practice of yoga would have a great impact on public health. “We want that [every] single villager of our country [to] practice yoga,” said Kotecha.
International Yoga Day is celebrated annually on June 21. The date was declared by the United Nations in 2014 but suggested by Modi because June 21 happens to be the longest day of the year in Northern Hemisphere.