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International Yoga Day LIVE: Nitish Kumar Skips Event, Aides Say 'No Need for Public Display' | June 21, 2018, 11:50 AM IST
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International Yoga Day Live Updates | Bihar Chief Minister and key NDA ally Nitish Kumar has skipped a yoga day function organised in his state to mark the 4th International Yoga Day. Defending the CM’s absence on a day when NDA ministers participated in similar events across India, sources close to Nitish said yoga is a personal act and “doesn’t need public display”. Celebrations for the International Yoga Day were kick-started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dehradun, where the PM performed asanas with thousands of enthusiasts and hailed yoga as “India’s gift to the world”. Several celebrities and sportspersons have also joined in the celebrations, posting videos and photos of their yoga poses on social media.

Stay tuned as Sumedha Kirti brings you LIVE updates:
Jun 21, 2018 11:50 am (IST)

Where is Nitish Kumar on Yoga Day?

Nitish Kumar Missing from Yoga Day Event? | Even as BJP ministers were busy leading the International Yoga Day across India, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar did not attend the event in Patna. Nitish Kumar's JD(U) and BJP have a coalition government in the state. While deputy chief minister Sushil Modi and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad performed Yoga in Patna, Kumar was missing from the event. Apparently, he performed yoga at his residence. "Yoga is a personal act; doesn’t require a public display," he said.

Jun 21, 2018 10:12 am (IST)

Tennis star Sania Mirza also performed Yoga on International Yoga Day.

Jun 21, 2018 9:52 am (IST)

In Tokyo, around 80 people -- mainly in their 60s and 70s -- took part in a special yoga session organised through the Indian Embassy in the Zojoji Temple, the two-storey red shrine in the shadow of Tokyo Tower. Among those being put through their paces by the guru was a Japanese MP, a member of the yoga group in the Japanese parliament. Other events were scheduled around the world later, including in Kilkenny in Ireland, Bahrain, Brisbane in Australia and in Milan. In the Italian city, participants will perform 108 "sun salute" cycles. On the northern facade of the United Nations building in New York a laser projection of yoga postures has been in place since Monday.

Jun 21, 2018 9:52 am (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose proposal for the global event won UN approval in 2014, led the way, performing his asanas with over 50,000 others in Dehradun. People gathered at a sprawling forest research institute -- snakes and monkeys were removed in advance -- before dawn for the communal session involving the yoga-mad premier, an AFP reporter at the scene said. "The way to lead a calm, creative and content life is Yoga. It can show the way in defeating tensions and mindless anxiety," Modi said on Twitter. "Instead of dividing, Yoga unites. Instead of further animosity, Yoga assimilates. Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals," the 67-year-old said. Other gatherings took place in the capital New Delhi with 10,000 enthusiasts registered. Several hundred braved unhealthy pollution levels and hot and humid weather to lay out their mats in the Lodi Gardens park.

Jun 21, 2018 9:47 am (IST)

Actress Kangana Ranaut performs yoga in London.

Jun 21, 2018 9:39 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Long Before World Woke Up to Yoga, Mysore Masters Took it to Kremlin and Connecticut

Mysore, the cultural capital of Karnataka and former capital of the princely state of Mysore, has been the yoga capital for over a century.

Jun 21, 2018 9:36 am (IST)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Ram Naik and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh performed Yoga in Lucknow during early morning hours. 

Jun 21, 2018 9:35 am (IST)

Yoga was performed in Cambodia's Phnom Penh in the early morning hours.

Jun 21, 2018 9:13 am (IST)

Union minister Smriti Irani celebrated International Yoga Day in Chandigarh's Sector 17 Plaza where elaborate arrangements were made. This year the cost of the event was estimated over Rs 40 lakh, around Rs 10 lakh more than 2017. The event began with welcome address at 6.12 am. Member of Parliament Kirron Kher was also present on the occasion.  According to a report in The Indian Express, the first line at the plaza was filled with 30 disabled people, who were trained in yoga. Apart from them, around 1,000 students, teachers and other trained staff from Government College for Yoga Education and Health, Sector 23, besides the members of Patanjali, Brahmakumaris, Art of Living, yoga sabhas and various other associations were there among the participants. 

Jun 21, 2018 9:01 am (IST)

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar performs Yoga at Marine Drive in Mumbai on International Yoga Day.

Jun 21, 2018 8:47 am (IST)

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on International Yoga Day that the growing popularity of yoga across the globe has brought India closer to the world and this position is going to get strengthened in times to come. The prime minister had arrived in Dehradun on Wednesday night to participate in the main event. Elaborate security arrangements were made and nearly 3,000 security personnel deployed in and around the venue. Modi arrived at the FRI at around 6.30 am and addressed the people before performing asanas with them. The prime minister had earlier participated in yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017. On Wednesday, while greeting yoga enthusiasts across the world, the prime minister had said that this exercise is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind. Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well," a statement quoting Modi had said. 

Jun 21, 2018 8:43 am (IST)

"I congratulate PM Narendra Modi for making yoga known in the entire world," Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on International Yoga Day.

Jun 21, 2018 8:40 am (IST)

On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts have helped Yoga reach international platform. Today nearly 190 countries are performing Yoga for a healthy life." Adityanath's Maharashtra counterpart, Devendra Fadnavis said, "I think that all the sweating while performing Yoga has paid off as my mind and body feels refreshed and happy." Union minister Babul Supriyo said, "Health is wealth and Yoga is one of the ways of achieving fitness and wellness. It's great to see other countries performing the exercises too. Japan, in fact, started even before us today. I urge people to practice Yoga every day."

Jun 21, 2018 8:33 am (IST)

Union Minister Piyush Goyal and BJP MLA Pankaj Singh perform Yoga in Noida on International Yoga Day.

Jun 21, 2018 8:31 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | International Yoga Day: Asanas to Combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression

International Yoga Day: Any posture in yoga helps you gain flexibility in the body, that reduces rigidity in the mind thereby being open to and accepting of flow of life.

Jun 21, 2018 8:27 am (IST)

Navy personnel perform Yoga onboard INS VIraat in Mumbai.

Jun 21, 2018 8:23 am (IST)

Around 1.25 crore people, including over 8,000 differently-abled and over 4,000 pregnant women, are taking part in the International Yoga Day events across Gujarat on Thursday. Ahmedabad district administration is attempting to break the world record of maximum number of differently-abled people doing ‘silent Yoga’ together, Minister of State for Education Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said. “Around 750 to 1,200 differently-abled people are performing ‘silent Yoga’ by wearing headphones connected to Bluetooth an attempt to break the previously-held world record of 350 participants,” he said.

Jun 21, 2018 8:17 am (IST)

AcroYoga, or acrobatic yoga brings to the table a combination of acrobatics, yoga and thai massage. A young alternative format that emerged about 10 years ago, AcroYoga has become a trend among Delhiites in the last couple of years, Anuraag Tiwari from The Delhi Rock, a city-based institution, said. According to Allena Humtsoe, a certified Level 1 AcroVinyasa instructor in the city, the emergence of these alternative forms can be credited to the "static" nature of the conventional practice. AcroVinyasa combines the traditional vinayasa yoga and the modern inversion training. "Yoga might seem static, so you try other ways and do it as long as you benefit from it. It is not dilution of yoga but a union by adding more things to it," Humtsoe said. However, institutions and instructors imparting classical yoga lessons see the alternative forms as merely a fad, and warned against the negative health impacts they might have.

Jun 21, 2018 8:16 am (IST)

"Aerial Yoga adds a fun aspect to yoga. People are apprehensive because it is different but they are also curious," she said. Aerial yoga involves defying gravity and practising the postures in air with supporting equipments. "It is more challenging because you are off the ground. The benefit is that all your muscles are engaged and your entire body is working out, so weight loss is quicker," Vasak told PTI. Dog Yoga lets you work out with your favourite pal -- your pet. Nandita Sikka, head psychologist at Pawsome Pet Wellness that offers Doga sessions in Delhi said the exercise allows people to bond with their pets while working out.

Jun 21, 2018 8:16 am (IST)

Traditionally, yoga as a form of exercise involves physical and spiritual disciplines to promote wellness. With quiet ambience, clean air and perhaps some meditative chants, yoga is practised almost like a ritual. However, in the four years since June 21 began to be celebrated as the International Day of Yoga, the form of exercise has been reinterpreted time and again to make the erstwhile meditative experience more contemoprary and "fun". Alternative forms of yoga -- beer yoga, dog yoga or 'Doga', artistic yoga, aerial yoga, goat yoga and acroyoga among others have caught on since 2015. Kavita Das Vasak, who owns Delhi-based 'The Yoga Chakra', says people's curiosity has contributed significantly to the growing popularity of aerial yoga.

Jun 21, 2018 8:14 am (IST)

Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel perform Surya Namaskar in cold desert of Ladakh at an altitude of 18,000 feet.

Jun 21, 2018 8:11 am (IST)

Indo Tibetan Border Police jawans perform 'River Yoga' in Digaru river in Arunachal Pradesh's Lohitpur on International Yoga Day.

Jun 21, 2018 8:10 am (IST)

"I want yoga to become a public movement like Swach Bharat and Beti Padhao Beti Bachao. It is not political event or a religious event. Everyone should do yoga everyday," said Venkaiah Naidu.

Jun 21, 2018 8:08 am (IST)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu performs Yoga in Amaravati on International Yoga Day 2018.

Jun 21, 2018 8:05 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Yoga Everywhere from Dehradun to Dublin, Presents Ray of Hope for World's Future: PM Modi

Celebrating the 4th International Yoga Day in Dehradun, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yoga presents a ray of hope for future of the world.

Jun 21, 2018 8:04 am (IST)

Specially designed white flowing robes made of khadi, a mattress and a water bottle were distributed among participants at the International Day of Yoga in Lucknow. Principal secretary for khadi and village industries development department Navneet Sehgal said that the move is to promote Yoga. Ahead of the event, Sehgal had said that the yoga robe would have a logo of Kumbh, which is to be held in January. "The chief minister wants to showcase both yoga day and the Kumbh at international level," he said.

Jun 21, 2018 8:00 am (IST)

Yoga should not be used as a political tool or linked to a particular community, top Muslim bodies said on the eve of International Day for Yoga. The organisations also said that Yoga should be seen as form of exercise and not through the prism of religion. "Islam lays special emphasis on physical fitness and considers things related to fitness as good. Yoga as an exercise is good, but it should not be made compulsory which may not be acceptable to people of other religions. The most important thing is that Yoga should not be used as a political tool. But, sadly this practice is going on," All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesman Sajjad Nomani said.

Jun 21, 2018 7:59 am (IST)

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik in Lucknow.

Jun 21, 2018 7:56 am (IST)

Several ministries, like the Ministry of AYUSH has launched mobile app 'Yoga Locator' giving details of yoga activities in a particular surrounding area, while the Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched "#YogaFor9to5", a contest to generate awareness on the benefits of yoga at workplace for women.

Jun 21, 2018 7:54 am (IST)

A mobile application named 'Yoga Locator', launched by the Ayush Ministry, providing ongoing details of yoga activities in surrounding areas, was downloaded by all CISF units/ field formations for availing the facility. The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), as the nodal force in state capitals and prominent cities --Shimla, Patna, Guwahati and Gangtok -- has organised a mass yoga demonstration in which 1,000 CAPFs personnel are participating. Also, SSB personnel are participating in yoga demonstrations in all other state capitals in collaboration with nominated nodal force of the state concerned where SSB personnel are deployed.

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