New Delhi: In his annual International Yoga Day pitch, prime minister Narendra Modi linked up yoga with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. He said the world needs yoga more than because the ancient Indian practice is helping COVID-19 patients across the globe in defeating the disease.
The coronavirus specifically attacks the respiratory system and pranayama, or breathing exercise, helps in strengthening the lungs, Modi said in his message.
Modi's message also contained a nod to the international protests over racism. He said yoga has emerged as a force for unity as it goes beyond race, colour, gender, faith and nations.
"Yoga enhances our quest for a healthier planet. It has emerged as a force for unity and deepens the bonds of humanity. It does not discriminate. It goes beyond race, colour, gender, faith and nations," the prime minister said.
In his nearly 15-minute address early Sunday morning, Modi said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world is feeling the need for yoga more than ever.
Under the shadow of COVID-19, the International Day of Yoga is being marked on digital media platforms sans mass gatherings. This year's theme is 'Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family'.
Yoga Day is going digital for the first time since June 21, 2015, when it began to be celebrated annually across the world, coinciding with the Summer Solstice each year.
The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy (Ayush) had planned to hold a grand event in Leh, but cancelled it due to the pandemic.
Yoga programmes are organised across the globe by Indian missions every year, but this year will be different. Several missions are organising digital events to mark the occasion....