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National News
Yoga a unifying force, says Modi
 
(DEHRADUN,June 21, 2018):Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday heralded this year's main event of the International Yoga Day at the sprawling campus of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun where he performed yoga asanas for almost 45 minutes along with an estimated gathering of around 50,000 people. Before starting the yoga session, the PM in his address termed yoga as "one of the most powerful unifying forces in the world" and "a path from illness to wellness which is linking people from Dehradun to Dublin, and Shanghai to Chicago."

"Yoga Day is becoming one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for health and well-being...It has the best of our past and present and a ray of hope for our future. In yoga, we have the perfect solution to the problems we face," the PM said.

He further appealed to those who are associated with yoga to "do it regularly and those who have not yet adopted yoga to give it a try." "The spread of yoga has brought the world closer to India and India closer to the world," he added.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in his address said that "it was matter of pride for Uttarakhand residents that they got an opportunity to do yoga along with the Prime Minister" and thanked the PM for choosing Uttarakhand to host the fourth International Yoga Day event.

The yoga session was conducted by four students, two each from Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Vidyapeeth in Haridwar and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga in New Delhi.

Incidentally, there was no separate yoga corner made for the PM. Instead, his yoga mat was kept along with students which they termed as a "pleasant surprise." The FRI campus had turned into a fortress for several days prior to the event. In the wake of the PM's visit, movement in the area was restricted and roads were made one-way soon after midnight. However, that didn't deter yoga enthusiasts who foresaking their sleep had started converging at the venue since the wee hours.

Barring a few hiccups where people complained of the odd timings to enter the venue and large number of restrictions on what they could not carry inside the venue, most people said that the event was well-managed.

"Yoga is all about balancing. Having a huge crowd and managing it well is an evidence of immense balance," said Dileep Rawat, a resident of Vasant Vihar.


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