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International Yoga Day 2017: PM Modi Says Exercise as Important as Salt

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said yoga, akin to its capacity to unite the body, mind and soul, has played a "big role" in binding the world, cutting across linguistic and cultural barriers.

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Updated:June 21, 2017, 12:12 PM IST
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International Yoga Day 2017: PM Modi Says Exercise as Important as Salt
Donning a white t-shirt and loose trousers, Modi also performed asanas along with over 50,000 yoga enthusiasts braving early morning drizzles. (Image: PIB)
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Lucknow: "Yoga, like the way it unites the body, mind and soul has played a big role in binding the world by cutting across linguistic and cultural barriers," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on the third International Yoga Day.

Addressing a huge gathering at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow, Modi asserted that the traditional practice has now become part of every person's life.

"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," he said.

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Donning a white t-shirt and loose trousers, Modi also performed asanas along with over 51,000 yoga enthusiasts braving early morning drizzles.

"Earlier, Yoga was only restricted to saints and seers in the Himalayan mountains. Now, it has become part of every person's life," he said in his address.

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He also asserted that attaining "wellness" through yoga was more important than simply being physically fit.

"It is not important to perform yoga for 24 hours. 50 or 60 minutes (is fine) because it lends harmony to the body, mind and intellect. If 1.25 billion Indians and people around the world can attain this state of well-being, then humankind can also tide over problems born out of human thoughts," he said.

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He also explained the importance of Yoga using an analogy of salt.

"Just as the importance of salt is not only to lend taste to food, but also ensure well-being of the body, similarly Yoga can have the same importance as salt has in life," he said.

The PM said yoga is about health assurance. "It is not even expensive to practice. I urge everyone to make yoga a part of their lives," said PM Modi, adding that he was glad to see several yoga institutes take shape over the last three years.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath joined the prime minister in performing yoga at the sprawling venue. In his address, Adityanath thanked Modi for enhancing Yoga's reputation globally.

ALSO READ | NDA Presidential Candidate Ram Nath Kovind Performs Yoga in Delhi

Intermittent rains since morning failed to deter thousands of yoga enthusiasts, who enjoyed performing asanas fully drenched.

Three years ago, Modi had persuaded the United Nations to declare June 21 as the International Yoga Day. Since then, thousands of people hold yoga programmes across the world on this day.

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A tight security cordon was put in place around the venue, while all arterial roads were under strict CCTV vigil.

Yoga Day in Numbers:

- 180 +: Number of countries participating in the 3rd International Yoga Day celebrations.

- 40-50 crore: yoga day participants from across world.

- 51,000: Participants joined PM Modi and Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow in performing yoga.

- 74: Union Ministers took part in the yoga day functions in 74 cities.

- Over 100,000: Yoga programmes organised across India.

- More than 100: Countries across the globe organised various events to celebrate the yoga day.

- 150: Physically challenged students performed yoga with PM Modi

- 14.3 million: people in india practised yoga in 2013, up from 6.3 million in 2001.

- 30-40%: Annual increase of 30-40% in the number of yoga practitioners as per recent estimates by Assocham.

(With inputs from PTI)
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