Thousands join Modi for world yoga celebration; some wear masks

International Yoga Day 2018 Have you ever faced any problems while practising Yoga

For the fourth time in a row, the Prime Minister's Office has once again denied appointment to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"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", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. Modi called yoga as the most powerful unifying force in a strife-torn world.

He has also spearheaded an initiative to reclaim the discipline as an historic part of Indian culture since his Hindu nationalist government came to power in 2014.

It is born of an "awareness of the unsatisfactory character of the human condition", says India specialist Tara Michael, author of the book "Yoga" published in France in 1980. Many Union ministers will join similar events across the country on Thursday.

He said the way to lead a calm, creative and content life was yoga. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning.

"Yoga is lovely because it is ancient yet modern, it is constant yet evolving", he said.

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In a world of excess, yoga promises restraint and balance. "In fact, Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being", Modi said while addressing a large gathering.

He said the set of exercises bring about oneness among the mind, body and intellect.

"Designed to help individuals build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation, (yoga) is practised by the young and old without discriminating against gender, class or religion", UNESCO added in a tweet. Modi said India should be proud to be the "guardians of the great practice".

"When disintegrating forces gain prominence, it is yoga that unites and creates amity in societies, which forms the basis for national unity and unity among nations, and finally leads to universal peace and brotherhood".

Modi 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.

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