Modi calls yoga as ‘source of strength’ in fight against covid-19

From Indian security personnel doing yoga asanas at high altitudes in the Himalayas, the internet unearthing and posting pictures of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe doing a headstand to Indian missions across the world organizing virtual and in person events, celebrations marking International Day of Yoga were in evidence on Monday.

In his remarks on the occasion of the 7th International Day of Yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed yoga as a “ray of hope” and a “source of strength” in the fight against covid-19 as tens of thousands of people across the world performed the exercises at beaches and town squares to neighbourhood parks as well as in the isolation of their homes.

Joining in the events have been prominent leaders of neighbouring countries – “Our sincere gratitude to

@PresRajapaksa,Hon’ble PM, and Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa for this inspiring glimpse of one of your #yoga sessions. Millions of #yoga enthusiasts will continue to be enthused to see you make Yoga a part of your lives. Respect,” said a Twitter post from the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka that was accompanied by a picture of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa practicing yoga.

“Yoga can play a significant role in promoting both physical & mental well-being, especially for those facing social isolation & emotional distress as a result of the (covid-19) pandemic,” said a post from the United Nations’ Twitter handle of the ancient Indian wellness discipline.

Due to the pandemic and the shutdowns imposed by different countries across the world last year, the International Day of Yoga could not be celebrated. This year however, with many countries vaccinating their populations and slowly opening up to travel and lifting restrictions on group activities, New Delhi had prepared to mark the day with all Indian diplomatic missions organizing pre-Yoga day events. Prime Minister Modi had written to heads of states and governments of many countries to ensure that the International Day of Yoga was marked with celebrations and the organisation of special events this year.

“From Japan to Niger to Spain to the U.S. ! Indian Missions across the globe celebrate the 7th #InternationalDayOfYoga” said a Twitter post from Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi.

India which has just surfaced from a brutal second wave of infections that claimed thousands of lives in April-May, marked the day with a number of events. Prime Minister Modi began the day with an address to the nation in which he stated that yoga was a ray of hope to a world grappling with the covid-19 infections and its after effects.

“When the unseen coronavirus knocked on the doors of the world, no country was prepared for it in terms of resources, capability and mental toughness. We all have seen that in such difficult times, yoga has become a great source of inner strength,” he said.

“At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is yoga,” he said adding that this year’s theme for International Yoga Day “Yoga for wellness” had raised the morale of the people.

He added his wishes for good health of every country, society and individual, and hoped that everyone “will be united and will strengthen each other.”

The celebrations in India included those by Indian security personnel.

“Indian Navy personnel on mission deployed warships in the true spirit of #YogaDay #YogaforWellness carry out Yoga on the high seas across the Indian Ocean region and beyond” said a post from the Indian Navy with pictures of service personnel performing asanas on the deck of INS Airavat deployed in Vietnam’s Camranh Bay.

Personnel aboard the Indian warship Kiltan, deployed off the coast of Vladivostok in Russia, also performed exercises on the deck of the ship, according to pictures released by the Indian Navy.

In the Himalayas, members of the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police performed exercises in Ladakh along the banks of Pangong Tso lake, according to pictures on Twitter.

Twitter also had posts of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe performing a headstand to mark Yoga Day.

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