LUCKNOW/DELHI, June 21 - Breathe in, breathe out. Stretch and bend. Twist and chant. Wellness was the mantra on the third International Day of Yoga today with lakhs of people across time zones rolling out their mats as Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled the connect that bound India to the globe.
From the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and the Great Wall in China to Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow and Connaught Place in Delhi, the sound of �Om� reverberated through India and the world in celebration of the traditional fitness regime that combines spirituality and physicality.
Politicians, bureaucrats, students, judges and simply yoga enthusiasts gathered at offices, parks and even the road at specially held yoga camps to observe the day.
In India, where yoga originated, the centrepiece of the celebrations was Lucknow where the Prime Minister joined over 51,000 people at the sprawling Ramabai Maidan.
Dressed in a white T-shirt and trousers, Modi said yoga had now become part of every person�s life.
�Many countries which do not know our language, tradition or culture are now connecting to India through yoga. The practice, which connects body, mind and soul, has played a big role in binding the world too,� he said.
In a series of tweets, Modi said later, �Today, Yoga has become a part of so many lives. Yoga�s popularity outside India is high and has connected the world with India.�
While similar scenes were seen in other parts of the country, many gathered in places across the world, including iconic landmarks like the London Eye and Eiffel Tower, to celebrate the day.
At the UN headquarters in New York, people from all walks of life congregated at the North Lawns to participate in the �Yoga Session with Yoga Masters�. The UN issued special stamps to commemorate the day. Delivering the secretary general�s message, an official said yoga can make an important contribution in achieving a healthy life and promoting well-being at a time when the world is striving to achieve sustainable development goals.
Elsewhere in New York, a large number of people, including from the Indian community, participated in special yoga sessions organised by the Indian Consulate in New York.
The UN General Assembly had made a declaration in December 2014 that every June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga, a move that India lobbied hard for. � PTI