"Yoga belongs not merely to India but to the whole world".
The third International Day of Yoga concluded in Lucknow despite heavy rains; saw participation from thousands of Yoga practitioners including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Similar yoga displays were organized in villages, towns, and cities across India.
"Many countries which do not know our language, tradition, or culture, are now connecting to India through yoga", Modi said in his address to a almost 50,000-strong crowd.
"Yoga connects body, mind, and soul. It is playing a big role in bringing the world together too", Modi said after performing various poses. In December 2014 the Member States of the United Nations adopted a resolution proclaiming 21 June as International Yoga Day.
Yoga has also become part of education curriculum in various states, he said and added that this would make Yoga become part of one's life from student days itself.
Around 6,500 NCC cadets under the aegis of NCC Directorate West Bengal and Sikkim participated in yoga sessions at Brigade Parade Ground (Maidan) and Tarakeshwar Degree College, the spokesperson said. Occasionally, he paused to correct a child's posture. It was not easy.
An estimated 50,000 participants will take part in about 80-minute yoga session in the UP capital.
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"Earlier, Yoga was only restricted to saints and seers in the Himalayan mountains". Last year, Prime Minister Modi had joined school children and Yoga followers in the northern city of Chandigarh.
Around 200 countries are celebrating the International Yoga Day 2017.
She thanked the worldwide community for the "tremendous response" India received for its proposal of adopting June 21 as the global Day of Yoga at the United Nations and its inclusion as World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and also the "support our missions and posts are getting overseas in successful celebrations of global Day of Yoga every year by the host countries".
From China's Great Wall to the London Eye, yoga enthusiasts performed "asanas", or poses, at major landmarks.
In a video footage released by the news agency, ANI, the jawans can be seen enthusiastically performing Yoga at almost 18000 feet above the sea level in Ladakh at -25 degree Celsius. "Your body is like that", the 66-year-old told AFP in Delhi.
Vishnudeo Vishwakarma, a retired former Air India employee, said he began every day with a 5 am yoga session. "Your joints and muscles will be stuck up".
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