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International Yoga Day: India takes a deep breath with Modi on the mat

In India, the main event was kick-started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who performed yoga along with over 50,000 enthusiasts at Dehradun's sprawling Forest Research Institute. Several union ministers are expected to join in similar events across the country.

Yoga became known in the West towards the end of the 19th century as it was undergoing a major revival in India under the Hindu teacher Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902).

The world has embraced Yoga and glimpses of this can be seen in the manner in which International Day of Yoga has been marked every year.

He said the way to lead a calm, creative and content life was yoga.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yoga presents a ray of hope for the future of the world. The Yoga trainer from the "Art of living" organisation, Ashish Chhabra, addressing the public at the police lines said, "Yoga is an age-old method for staying fit both physically and mentally". "Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature".

Sharing his opinion upon yoga, South Korean Consul General Lee Sang-Kyoun said, "Yoga is practiced by many people in Korea which is good for health and mind".

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Modi portrays himself as a keen yoga practitioner, last week posting on Twitter his morning routine involving plodding around a tree and flexing over a boulder.

He also urged Indians to take pride in their heritage.

In Mumbai, Vice President M Venkiah Naidu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavais attended a yoga event hosted by the BJP Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar, and Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal also tweeted pictures from a yoga session he attended in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The Indian discipline of yoga, involving spiritual and physical practices, is followed in myriad forms today by millions of people worldwide, with an entry in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list.

He said yoga offers a solution to ailments and practising it helps combat stress and find peace. The Embassy has been celebrating the International Day of Yoga since 2015 by organising mega Yoga Sessions in Muscat.

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