Yoga day 2019: From Line of Control, high-security prisons to Himalayan peaks, India celebrates ancient fitness with enthusiasm

The International Yoga Day is India's gift to the world. A brainchild of Narendra Modi-led dispensation, India pushed for the event on the global platform and as a result, the United Nations recognised it as an international event to be celebrated on 21 June (also the Summer Solstice for Northern Hemisphere) each year, starting 2015.

The event is marked with massive awareness campaigns, seminars on health benefits of the Vedic-era practice, and grand group yoga events. Not only did the event witness heavy participation across the globe, in India yoga day was celebrated in the most unusual places and the most unusual ways.

Yoga in the Himalayas

Amid sub-zero temperature, the Indian Army on Thursday celebrated International Yoga Day at the icy peaks of Himalayan ranges. The Additional Directorate General of Public Information, Ministry of Defence tweeted out pictures of soldiers holding complex yoga postures in bone-chilling cold. The Indian Army has incorporated yoga asanas into the daily routine of the soldiers in high altitude areas with harsh climatic conditions to help soldiers maintain their fitness and proper blood circulation in frigid terrains.

 Yoga day 2019: From Line of Control, high-security prisons to Himalayan peaks, India celebrates ancient fitness with enthusiasm

Indian Army soldiers practice Yoga on the icy heights of Himalayan Ranges. Twitter @adgpi

Apart from this, Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel performed Yoga at the Rohtang Pass, one of the world's highest motorable roads.

Last year, the Indian Army made a record by holding a yoga session at the world's highest battlefield, the Siachen Glacier, situated at the height of over 20,000 feet. Led by spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev, more commonly known as Sadhguru, the jawans performed yoga this day in 2018.

Jaggi Vasudev leads yoga session on board Floating Dock of Indian Navy (FDN-2)

The spiritual guru, this time around is onboard Floating Dock of Indian Navy (FDN-2) leading the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) in the exercise session, flanked by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, along with senior officers, personnel and families of the Indian Army, navy, air force and coast guard.

As part of programmes, yoga sessions will be conducted in various clusters on Thursday and Friday at Birchgunj, Minnie Bay and INS Utkrosh. During both the days, more than 800 personnel and their families are expected to participate.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose island in Andaman. Twitter @SadhguruJV

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose island in Andaman. Twitter @SadhguruJV

The founder of Isha Foundation is expected at arrive Port Blair on Thursday and depart on Saturday, after attending the events earmarked for International Day of Yoga, a statement from the Ministry of Defence said. During the visit, Vasudev will facilitate organ donors of the command and will interact with personnel and families of ANC, it said.

Tihar inmates practice Yoga

More than 1,000 inmates of the Tihar jail will practice yoga together on the occasion of yoga day. They will eventually be trained as yoga teachers within a year under an initiative aimed at helping them start a new life after being released, officials said.  The project, 'Sanjeevan', was inaugurated on 23 January after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in this regard between the Prison Department and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) in December 2018, they said.

Under 'Sanjeevan', instructors from the institute will train inmates in 16 jails in the city, including Tihar, with an aim to provide them life skills so that they can work as yoga teachers and make a living, Director General (Prisons) Ajay Kashyap said.

Yoga at Statue of Unity in Gujarat

On the yoga day this year, over 1,000 Hindu seers, mahants and religious leaders would perform yoga at the premises of 182-metre Statue of Unity in Gujarat. Besides Sardar Patel Stadium, Yoga Day celebrations will be held in at nine heritage places in Gujarat, including Bhadrakali Temple, Siddi Saiyed Jali, Kavi Dalpatram Chowk, Kankaria Lake, Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple and Sabarmati Ashram. Over 1.50 crore people are expected to participate in the Yoga Day events to be held at 50,000 different locations across the state, Ahmedabad Mirror reported.

Saints of iHaridham join Yoga Day celebrations with CM Vijay Rupani at Statue of Unity. Twitter @iHaridham

Saints of iHaridham join Yoga Day celebrations with CM Vijay Rupani at Statue of Unity. Twitter @iHaridham

Even dogs perform Yoga

Personnels of the Dog Squad of the Border Security Force (BSF) were seen flexing some muscles alongside their canine friends in Jammu.

Apart from this, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troops of Animal Training School (ATS) Lohitpur also performed yoga with their pets. ITBP personnel performed yoga asanas with their dogs and horses.

Troopers perform yoga at the border, onboard navy submarine and near Amarnath temple 

Troops of Assam Rifles, CRPF and the local police performed yoga at the India-Myanmar border despite bad weather and rain, on Friday, while the Indian Army soldiers were seen practicing yoga and meditation near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Soldiers practise meditation and yoga on operational areas on Line of Control. Twitter @adgpi

Soldiers practise meditation and yoga on operational areas on Line of Control. Twitter @adgpi

Indian Navy personnel practiced the ancient form of exercise onboard submarine INS Sindhudhvaj. Army soldiers also collaborated with the personnel of Royal Bhutan Army near India's border with the landlocked nation to hold a yoga session.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2019 10:17:13 IST