Celebrations on International Yoga Day

New Delhi: Among thousands of people twisting, bending and stretching at a ceremonial road in Delhi at the crack of dawn was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the first International Yoga Day celebrations on Sunday. “Who would have thought that Rajpath would become Yoga Path,” he commented as he joined the mass yoga session.

  1. Dressed in all-white and a tricolour scarf, PM Modi performed a variety of poses, including the Vajrasan and Padmasan, along with nearly 40,000 people on red mats. (5 Best Pics of Yoga Day)

  2. Yoga is an everyday part of life,” said PM Modi, adding, “Yoga is not just for contorting your body into shapes. If that were true, people working in the circus would be called yogis.”

  3. The 64-year-old prime minister briefly stopped to inspect students performing yoga before rejoining the gathering that followed instructions in Hindi and English to the sounds of chanting and Tanpura.

  4. The prime minister had tweeted early this morning: “Greetings to people around the world on 1st International Day of Yoga! Lets pledge to make Yoga an integral part of our daily lives #YogaDay.”

  5. The grand event, also featuring bureaucrats, ministers, diplomats and soldiers, was monitored by the Guinness World Records as the government aimed at a record for “largest yoga demonstration or class at a single venue.”

  6. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also participated in the event. “Yoga is a good thing. Everyone should do it,” he told reporters at Rajpath.

  7. Huge digital screens streamed the event at Rajpath, where security arrangements rivaled Republic Day celebrations. Over 8,000 security personnel guarded the venue; traffic restrictions have been in place since June 14.

  8. Similar yoga events took place simultaneously across India, with Chief Ministers joining students and others.

  9. The UN announced an International Day of Yoga last year after PM Modi’s appeal at the General Assembly. To prepare for the big day, ministers, top bureaucrats and soldiers practised yoga for days.

  10. Yoga day will be celebrated in over 251 cities in 191 countries across the world; in Britain, mats will be rolled out along the banks of the River Thames. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj will be at the UN’s headquarters in New York for the Yoga Day celebrations in Times Square


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