The Prime Minister's decision to celebrate International Yoga Day in Dehradun was warmly welcomed by the Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat, who said he hoped it would cement the state's status as a premier destination for yogis worldwide. The United Nations General Assembly in 2014 adopted a resolution declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, co-sponsored by 175 countries.
On Wednesday, while greeting yoga enthusiasts across the world, the Prime Minister had said that this exercise is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind.
People gathered at a sprawling forest research institute - snakes and monkeys were removed in advance - before dawn for the communal session involving the yoga-mad premier, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
"From Dehradun to Dublin, from Shanghai to Chicago, from Jakarta to Johannesburg, Yoga is everywhere".
Downward-facing dogs, cobras and warriors were set to sprout all over the world Thursday, as the fourth annual International Yoga Day got under way.
"The gems of India's unique heritage such as yoga will be respected by the world at large only when we ourselves respect our culture and traditions, and take part in our legacy and heritage", he said. In Yoga, we have the flawless solution to the problems we face, either as individuals or in our society. "People from all walks of life including tax payers, common citizens too are most welcome to join this cause and practice yoga which is a proven technique to bust stress".
"Instead of dividing, Yoga unites".
The Prime Minister termed yoga as lovely, ancient and modern. Instead of further animosity, Yoga assimilates.
The day is celebrated in 25 to 30 cities in different parts of China with larger turnouts, he said.
"As the Sun is for all, the Moon is for all, rivers are for all, in the same way yoga is for all", he said.
In Mumbai for the Yoga Day celebrations, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said that he want it to become a people's movement because it is not political or religious.
In Bhubaneswar, a special camp was organized by the Khurda District Patanjali Yoga Samiti on Durga Puja Mandap premises in Nayapalli.Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, who joined as the chief guest at the camp practiced yoga along with hundreds of participants.
A series of yoga related events are also being organised across the world to mark the occasion. Previous year he participated at an event at the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow.