Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday spoke about how Yoga helped people during coronavirus-induced restrictions on public activities and asserted that its benefits in immunity building and stress management are well documented. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Global Yoga Conference 2021, he said there is an increasing acceptance of the practice of Yoga across the world.
The statement came days after yoga guru Ramdev stirred a controversy with his comments on the efficacy of allopathic drugs against COVID-19, drawing the ire of the medical fraternity. Soon after, Vardhan had asked him to “completely withdraw” his “objectionable and unfortunate statement” as it not only insulted scores of Covid warriors, but were hurtful to the citizens too.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, Vardhan said, "Yoga's uptake as a part of daily lifestyle is observed even in the western world. Even during the present times of pandemic, when physical and mental fitness has been stressed upon, many people have turned to Yoga for the same. On the importance of the central message of Yoga Day this year, 'Be with Yoga, Be at Home', he said, congregational activities in the run-up to International Yoga Day have been muted in light of the global health emergency.
"This message is most relevant in times of COVID-19, when it is necessary for all of us to maintain all possible precautions while also looking out for our overall wellness. "Considering the immense and well- documented rewards of Yoga for the holistic health and well-being of the population, it is our government's objective to take Yoga to every citizen, he said.
The event was organised by 'Mokshayatan Yog Sansthan' along with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and Indian Council for Cultural Relations to mark the occasion of 7th International Day of Yoga which falls on June 21. It is indeed a matter of pride for every Indian that this precious inheritance of our country has found global acceptance. The benefits of Yoga in immunity building and management of stress are well documented with evidence," Vardhan said.
With programmes like this Global Yoga Conference, more people shall be drawn into the fold of practicing Yoga and related activities. Since the onset of the pandemic last year, many people have been working from home and the impact of being quarantined has been felt by many, Vardhan said. With several restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, other popular methods of maintaining physical fitness, such as public places, parks, sports and gyms have shut down, he said.
"A spike in stress levels has also been observed with increased time being spent in confined spaces along with added workload as people adapt to new realities. Yoga offers a solution for maintaining physical fitness as well as contributing towards one's mental peace, even in the midst of such restrictions, he said. Vardhan noted that there is a widespread realisation today that health is of foremost importance for everyone. Countries around the globe have recognised the potential benefits that humankind can enjoy by embracing Yoga.
He extended his sincere gratitude to Swami Dr Bharat Bhushan and Mokshyatan Sansthan for organising this conference and spreading awareness of healthy living among common people. Swami Dr Bharat Bhushan has over decades put in untiring efforts in promoting Yoga and Indian culture, the statement said.
(With PTI inputs)