The world’s third International Yoga Day is TODAY!
This morning India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi led more than 50,000 yogis in an outdoor yoga practice in Lucknow. Inaugurated by Modi in 2014, International Yoga Day is celebrating its third birthday with yoga sessions being held in its honour worldwide, from Macchu Pichu to an Indian Navy submarine.
Rain did not stand in the way of the 50,000 who joined Modi in a park in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh.
“Yoga has connected the world with India,” Mr Modi told the excited crowd, going on to extol some of yoga’s benefits. “Yoga is about health assurance. It is not expensive to practice.” He also emphasized its potential as a champion of cultural cohesion, commenting that “many countries which do not know our language, tradition, or culture, are now connecting to India through Yoga. The practice, which connects body, mind and soul, has played a big role in binding the world, too.”
Mr Modi’s official Twitter handle, which has more than 30 million followers, has posted pictures of mass yoga sessions in China, Colombia, the United States, Paraguay, Mexico, Italy, Singapore and atop Machu Picchu. Meanwhile social media has been flooded with pictures of yoga being practiced by individuals and communities the world over.
International Yoga Day has highlighted the evolution of yoga from what what was once a rarefied spiritual practice to something for everyone. “Earlier, yoga was only restricted to saints and seers in the Himalayan mountains. Now, it has become a part of every person’s life,” said Modi. The aim of International Yoga Day looks set to promote yoga’s cultural heritage and origins, and its evolution into the multi-billion dollar lifestyle industry that has grown from those roots. Estimated at $106 billion USD, yoga could be seen as India’s largest export.
Read more at: ABC News and The Indian Express.