Some 50,000 people gathered with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in the Himalayan foothills to salute the power of yoga. Modi called yoga as the most powerful unifying force in a strife-torn world. Last year, after inaugurating the programme at the Assam Rifles ground, the then Governor Lt Gen (retired) Nirbhay Sharma said: "Some believe that yoga is a religious activity impinging on other faiths".
An instructor for 11 years now, Gingari teaches yoga in clubs and open areas in Abu Dhabi. Terming yoga as a "good exercise" for the body and mind, the chief minister said, "though there may be many other forms of exercises in the world, there is nothing as good as yoga especially for the mental health and well-being".
But this doesn't bother the spiritual head of the biggest ashram or retreat in Rishikesh, the Indian city on the banks of the holy Ganges river considered the world yoga capital.
Eastern Naval Command's submarine staff also participated in International Yoga Day.Sailors do yoga in what is probably the submarine's torpedo room.More news: Instagram launches IGTV to compete with YouTube and Snapchat
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The 67-year-old leader, who lobbied for global recognition of Yoga Day in 2014, landed in Dehradun, Uttarakhand late Wednesday, but was up early to take his position on a bright orange yoga mat. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning.
Modern Western references such as the Oxford English Dictionary define yoga as a "spiritual and ascetic discipline" which includes "breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures".
Mrs Ugalahia said although Yoga used to be seen as an act of worship or spirituality by Indians and Buddhist, it has evolved in recent years.
When is International Yoga Day 2018?
Stories of a large number of people taking to yoga has come from different Gulf countries and around the world. "Yoga is handsome because it is ancient yet modern, it is constant yet evolving", he said. The prime minister 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.
Theresa Ugalahia, one of the few certified psychiatrists in Nigeria, said people are beginning to appreciate the benefits of the practice in the country.