NEW DELHI, June 21 - The world is feeling the need for yoga more than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ancient Indian practice is helping a large number of COVID-19 patients across the globe in defeating the disease, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
The coronavirus specifically attacks the respiratory system and pranayama or breathing exercise helps in strengthening the respiratory system the most, Modi said in his message on the sixth International Day of Yoga.
The sixth International Day of Yoga was celebrated with great enthusiasm across the country through electronic and digital media, an official statement said.
Modi said yoga has emerged as a force for unity and it does not discriminate 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,� he 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. �If our immunity is strong, it is of great help in defeating this disease.
For boosting immunity, there are several methods in yoga, various asanas are there. These asanas increase the strength of the body,� he said.
Talking about the benefits of pranayama � a form of breathing exercise, Modi said it is very effective and has countless variations like sheetali, kapalbhati and bhrastika. �All these forms of yoga, help a lot in strengthening both our respiratory and immune system,� he said, urging people to include pranayama in their daily routine.
�A large number of COVID-19 patients all over the world are taking the benefits of all these techniques of yoga. The strength of yoga is helping them defeat this disease,� Modi said, asserting that anybody can embrace yoga.
With the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic looming large, 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.
On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as �International Day of Yoga�, months after Prime Minister Modi had proposed the idea.
The Ministry of AYUSH had planned to hold a grand event in Leh, but cancelled it due to the pandemic. � PTI
CM performs yoga at home: �Yoga leads to strong immunity and sound immunity is the only answer to our body�s response to fight against diseases, including COVID-19,� said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while taking part in a yoga session on the occasion of the International Day of Yoga on Sunday. While greeting the people of Assam on this occasion, Sonowal celebrated the day following social distancing protocol at his residence in Dibrugarh.