Blurring borders, millions in India and world celebrate yoga power

As night melted into the first glimmer of sunlight, all roads in New Delhi led to the majestic Rajpath area of the capital, as more than 37,000 people gathered around the venue to commemorate the first International Day of Yoga. It’s not just the capital Delhi which celebrated the power of yoga to transform one’s life, but across India and the world millions of celebrants of this ancient Indian practice of yoking body, mind and spirit joined in this collective rite, blurring borders and ideologies.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had only a few months ago called for observing a Day of Yoga at the UN General Assembly, led the celebrations, performing several yogic ‘asanas’ (postures). Wearing his trademark kurta-pyjama and matching them with a white tracksuit and a scarf with the colours of the Indian flag, the Indian leader took part in synchronised yogic exercise and pranayams.
Addressing the congregation, Mr Modi underlined the universal character of yoga, elevating it above politics and partisan rhetoric that had threated to spoil what is clearly not just India’s heritage, but that of the entire humankind. “This is a programme for ‘manav kalyan’ (welfare of manking), a tension-free world and a programme to spread the message of ‘sadbhavana’ (goodwill).”

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