Don't shy away from yoga benefits, says WHO as Delhi gets ready to bend

‘It fits in very well with the healthy lifestyle that WHO has been strongly advocating’

GN Bureau | June 20, 2015


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Notwithstanding needless controversies and posturing by pseudo-secularists, yoga is relevant in current India, suffering from effects economic growth.

Those are skeptical should understand that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is saying. The WHO, which knows the social cost of unhealthy world, has asked the people across the world to incorporate yoga in their daily life. It said that such a practice will reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases including heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases.

The WHO has said that the United Nation's decisions to observe June 21 as the International Yoga Day is a recognition of this ancient Indian practice which has become global.

"Yoga can be practiced anywhere by people of all age groups, irrespective of their socio-economic status. It fits in very well with the healthy lifestyle that WHO has been strongly advocating for, throughout the life cycle - from childhood to healthy ageing," WHO's Southeast Asian regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said in New Delhi.

"Yoga is very much relevant even today - as it is both a physical activity and an effective way of managing stress. Yoga is believed to offer means for actualisation of human potential to perfection through its three-dimensional approach to health - physical, mental and spiritual," said Singh.

Emphasising that the Southeast Asia region had a long history and rich heritage in traditional medicines and practices that contributes to health and wellness of the people, she said that Yoga was one of the finest traditional therapeutic system.

Meanwhile, the biggest gathering on International Yoga Day on June 21will be at the majestic Rajpath in the national capital. Prime Minister Narenda Modi will arrive at 6.40 am, to participate in the function. After a preliminary introduction, he will speak for a few minutes after which Modi will participate in the 35-minute demonstration beginning at 7 am.

In Delhi, Metro train services will run from 4 am instead of 6 am on Saturday and Sunday and government offices around Rajpath will be shut from 1 pm on Saturday for security drills.

Around 37,000 people are expected to join the function on both sides of Rajpath giving the government the confidence to apply to the Guinness World Records for claiming the record for "Largest Yoga Demonstration at a single venue."

Four experts will show asanas and these images will be projected through 28 big screens. Around 80-100 foreigners from around 50 countries are also expected to take part in the exercises. A 1,400 metre stretch on Rajpath will have 37,000 yoga mats laid out for the participants, many of whom will be government officers and staff.

With the programme being held at various places simultaneously across the country, Cabinet ministers will also fan out across the country to participate in the 35-minute drill. If transport minister Nitin Gadkari is in Nagpur along with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu will be in Chennai and food minister Ram Vilas Paswan in Patna. Agriculture minister Radhamohan Singh will in Motihari, in Bihar, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan in Bhuvaneshwar and health minister J P Nadda will be in Hyderabad. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Sri Sri Ravishankar will attend the function at UNO Hall in New York between 11.00 am and 12.00 pm.

Among the participating countries, the US will have 200 programmes and Japan will be holding around 30 programmes at different venues. All over the world, 45 Muslim countries have extended support to yoga day.

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