Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a historic yoga session at the United Nations Headquarters today (Wednesday, 21 June), marking the celebration of the ninth annual International Day of Yoga.
The session had the participation of top UN officials, diplomats, and prominent individuals from around the world, including attendees from more than 180 countries representing various walks of life such as diplomats, artists, academicians, and entrepreneurs.
On the occasion of International Yoga Day on Wednesday, the Prime Minister emphasised in a video message that yoga strengthens feelings, expands the inner vision, and connects us with that consciousness which makes us feel the unity of the living being.
"Through Yoga, we have to eliminate our contradictions, blockages and resistances. We have to present the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ as an example to the world," he further stated.
The Prime Minister's vision for an annual celebration of International Yoga Day, presented nine years ago at the United Nations General Assembly, has now become a UN-mandated occasion. This year's celebration holds particular significance as it marks the realization of that vision.
"Thank you all for coming," said PM Modi, addressing the gathering at the lawns of the UN Headquarters for the Yoga Day Event.
In his address at the event, he stated that "Yoga is free from copyright, patent and royalties" and does not belong to any one country, religion or ethnicity.
PM Modi also remarked, "Almost every nationality is represented here today. Your coming together is an expression of another form of Yoga, as Yoga means to unite."
PM Modi expressed his delight at the world coming together again for Yoga, saying, "Last year, the entire world supported India's proposal to celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millets. It is wonderful to see the same unity for Yoga."
He further added that yoga is a very old tradition originating from India. He emphasised that yoga is adaptable to people of all ages, genders and fitness levels. Additionally, he highlighted that yoga is portable and truly universal.
During the same speech, PM Modi urged people to use the power of yoga not only to maintain good health, but also to be kind to themselves and others.
PM Modi is on a three-day State visit to the US.
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