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World looking at yoga as powerful agent of global good, says PM Modi

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Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the world is looking at yoga as a powerful agent of global good.

Modi was addressing an event while leading the celebration on the occasion of International Day of Yoga at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on the banks of the iconic Dal Lake.

The celebration was disrupted due to incessant rain, and the event was shifted indoors at SKICC. The event was originally slated to be held on the lawns of the venue.

“The theme of this year’s International Yoga Day is ‘Yoga for Self and Society’. The world is looking at yoga as a powerful agent of global good, and it enables us to live in the present without the baggage of the past.”

“Yoga helps us realise that our welfare is related to the welfare of the world around us. When we are peaceful within, we can also make a positive impact on the world,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the global leaders discussed yoga with him.

“….Yoga’s utility is also being recognised by the people, and there is barely any world leader who has not discussed yoga during my interactions. All world leaders show a keen interest in yoga during their interactions with me,” he said, adding that yoga has become a part of daily life in every corner of the world.

Throwing light on the growing acceptance of yoga around the world, the Prime Minister recalled inaugurating a Yoga Center during his visit to Turkmenistan in 2015 and said yoga has become extremely popular in that country today.

He further informed that State Medical Universities in Turkmenistan have included yoga therapy in their curriculum, Saudi Arabia has made it a part of their education system; and Mongolian Yoga Foundation is running many yoga schools.

Informing about the acceptance of yoga in Europe, the Prime Minister said so far, 1.5 crore German citizens have become yoga practitioners.

PM also recalled India awarding a Padma Shree this year to a 101-year-old French yoga teacher for her contributions to yoga, even though she had not visited India even once. He added that yoga has become a topic of research today, and multiple research papers have already been published.

Modi said the expansion of yoga has created employment, and tourists across the globe were visiting India to learn authentic yoga.

“People from all over the world are coming to India in pursuit of learning authentic yoga. And as a result of this, sectors related to hospitality, tourism, apparel, etc. are booming from the huge inflow of people. This is creating new avenues for employment for youth,” Modi said.

Stressing the scientific aspects of yoga, the Prime Minister highlighted its importance for coping with information overload and maintaining focus, as, he said, concentration is the greatest power.

“That is why yoga is being incorporated in fields ranging from army to sports. Astronauts are also being trained in yoga and meditation. Yoga is also being used in prisons to spread positive thoughts among the inmates. Yoga is scripting new pathways of positive change in society”, Modi said.

He said the attraction towards Yoga in Jammu and Kashmir has given a new impetus to the tourism sector.

After leading the Yoga event, PM Modi spent over half an hour interacting with the Yoga participants on the lawns of the SKICC. He moved through the lines of the participants and greeted several Yoga practitioners. PM Modi took selfies with student participants.

Addressing the participants, the Prime Minister said that the spectacle of enthusiasm and commitment shown by the people of Jammu and Kashmir towards yoga will be immortalised in the minds.

“The rainy weather conditions leading to a fall in the temperature failed to dampen the spirit of the people, even though the International Yoga Day programme was delayed and had to be fragmented into 2-3 parts,” he said.

Modi arrived in Srinagar on Thursday for his first visit to the union territory after being sworn in as Prime Minister for the third time.

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