International Yoga Day 2018: From Dehradun to Dublin, yoga unites a divisive world, says Narendra Modi

Greeting the nation on the occasion of the fourth International Yoga Day on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the benefits of yoga and said it has become a positive influence in the lives of millions across the world.

Speaking at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) campus in Dehradun, the prime minister said Uttarakhand has been a centre for yoga for several decades. "The mountains around here inspire people to do yoga. Man experiences a divine intervention," he said, while adding that it was a matter of pride for all Indians that wherever the sun rises, people around the world would be welcoming it with yoga.

He said in fact yoga has become the biggest mass movement across the globe in the quest for good health and wellbeing, which is crucial to the creation of a peaceful world.

"Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, Himalayan highlands or sunburnt deserts, yoga is enriching millions of lives all over the world.

File image of Narendra Modi on International Yoga Day 2017. Twitter@AIRNewsAlerts

File image of Narendra Modi on International Yoga Day 2017. Twitter@AIRNewsAlerts

"Be it in the Himalayas or the acrid desert, yoga is developing life. When forces defeat us and break us, there is division within society and family. The person breaks from within, with loneliness enveloping him/her. Yoga does the work of joining these pieces," said Modi in his address.

Modi also said that yoga connects the entire world. "Family, society, country, world — yoga connects all of them. Connecting the mind, body, intellect and soul, it brings about peace," he said.

He said the proposal for the Yoga Day at the UN was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it.

Calling it a proud day for India, Modi highlighted the universality of yoga across the world. "Friends, the world has embraced yoga and proof of this can been seen in how International Yoga Day has been marked. From Tokyo to Toronto, from Stockholm to Sao Paulo, yoga has become a positive influence in the lives of millions," he said.

The prime minister termed yoga as a beautiful ancient form that is constantly evolving. "Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient yet modern, constant yet evolving. It is a ray of hope for our future. In yoga, we have the perfect solutions to problems we face," he said.

Modi also pointed out the health benefits of performing yoga everyday. "Every year, almost 18 million people die due to heart related diseases. About 1.6 million people lose the fight to diabetes. The way to lead a calm, creative and content life is yoga. Instead of dividing, yoga also unites; instead of animosity, yoga assimilates; instead of increased suffering, yoga heals," he said, adding it helps reduce medical expenses too.

Modi also discussed technology's role in creating awareness about yoga and how it helps deepen one's connection with people. "Practicing yoga has the ability bring about brotherhood. As more people practice it, there is a need for more teachers. New institutions are being set up and even technology is being used for it. May this yoga day become an opportunity to deepen our connect with people. This can have an enduring impact. It has shown the way for wellness," he said, citing it as a reason for why yoga is recognised and accepted everywhere.

The growing popularity of yoga across the globe has brought India closer to the world and this position is going to get strengthened in times to come, he said.

On a concluding note, the prime minister requested those who don't perform yoga to get themselves involved in it in order to remain healthy.

The prime minister had arrived in Dehradun on Wednesday night to participate in the main event on the International Yoga Day.

Elaborate security arrangements were made and nearly 3,000 security personnel deployed in and around the venue.

Modi arrived at the FRI at around 6.30 am and addressed the people before performing asanas with them.

The prime minister had earlier participated in yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.

On Wednesday, while greeting yoga enthusiasts across the world, the prime minister had said that this exercise is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind.

“Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well," a statement quoting Modi had said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 08:29 AM

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