आज राजपथ योगपथ हो गया! “Did anyone imagine Rajpath would ever become Yogpath? We are not only celebrating a day but we are training the human mind to begin a new era of peace and Sadbhavana.”, Dressed in all-white and a tricolor scarf,  Prime minister of India, Narendra Modi addressed the nearly 40, 000 strong and enthusiastic people who thronged early Sunday morning to become part of the history which is also expected to be registered in Guinness World Records for the “largest yoga demonstration or class at a single venue”. He also said “for most of the people, Yoga is just a physical exercise. This is the biggest mistake..Had this been the case, children working in circuses could have been called ‘yogis’.

Modi, thanked the United Nations and 177 nations for co-sponsoring the Indian resolution in the United Nations for adopting June 21 as International Yoga Day. The proposal had been mooted by the Prime Minister during his first address to the UN General Assembly in September last year. Yoga guru Ramdev shared the dais with Modi along with heads of some other religious and yoga institutions. Modi, also performed a variety of poses, including the Vajrasan and Padmasan. Yoga unites all, held in a bitter row Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manis Sisodia also participated in the event. Earlier President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaguarated the mass event and said “Best wishes to all on International Yoga Day, India is the home of Yoga where it has been practiced over centuries, Yoga is both an art as well as a science, Yoga has amazing curative & preventive powers for the management of modern lifestyle related disorders”.

“We live in a world that is divided and full of conflicts. Yoga transcends caste, creed and community”, people doubt Yoga when they do not understand its benefits, The solidarity shown by the neighboring countries for today has brought us closer”. International Yoga Day is not the brainchild of a government or United, it is a movement of people whose lives have been changed by Yoga. We will take this movement forward. Expectations from India has risen across the world with this event, now it becomes the responsibility of every Indian to live up to it”,  Narendra Modi, said while addressing International Yoga conference.

International day of Yoga Celebration was not just limited to Rajpath, from Kargil to Thiruvananthapuram, Varanasi to Kolkata, Ahmedabad to Mumbai it was a mass celebrations. From ice-capped Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world, to the warships in the South China Sea, Indian armed forces joined the International Yoga Day celebrations. Soldiers did yoga in full gear on the Siachen Glacier at a height of 18,800 feet above sea level. The event was aired in over 251 cities in 191 countries across the world and the Indian missions and diplomatic posts have made arrangements for the celebrations and other related events. In Australia, event was inaugurated by pace bowler Brett Lee in Sydney.

Art of living volunteers organized the event in Hong Kong, Beijing, Tehran (Iran), Nepal, Mexico  and many other cities across the world which was attended well by the locals. Overseas branches of Indian associations and local Indophile associations have also organized International Day of Yoga celebrations in collaboration with the mission as have local associations in the French overseas territories and Monaco.

Social media was abuzz with #InternationalYogDay and #InternationalDayofYoga making a top spot on trendlists of Facebook and Twitter, thousands of pictures of people doing Asanas were shared and few were also Retweeted by Modi. As day progresses, celebration will move from Asia to Africa and Europe to America making Yoga a leveler and uniting force of the world.

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Contributor: Shivaji Singh

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