“The number of people practicing Yoga is growing worldwide”
“The atmosphere, energy and experience from Yoga can be felt in Jammu & Kashmir today”
“Today the world is seeing a new Yoga economy emerging”
“The world is looking at Yoga as a powerful agent of global good”
“Yoga helps us live in the present moment, without baggage of the past”
“Yoga is scripting new pathways of positive change in society”
“Yoga helps us realize that our welfare is related to the welfare of the world around us”
“Yoga is not only a discipline but also a science”

I am fortunate to be in the land of yoga and meditation, Kashmir, on International Yoga Day. The environment, energy, and experiences of Kashmir and Srinagar allow us to feel the strength we get from yoga. I extend greetings from the land of Kashmir to all people in the country and to those practicing yoga in every corner of the world on Yoga Day.

Friends,

International Yoga Day has completed a historic journey of 10 years. I proposed International Yoga Day at the United Nations in 2014. This proposal by Bharat was supported by 177 countries, which was a record in itself. Since then, Yoga Day has been setting new records. In 2015, 35,000 people practiced yoga together at Kartavya Path in Delhi, which was also a world record. Last year, I had the opportunity to lead the Yoga Day celebration at the UN Headquarters in the USA, where people from more than 130 countries participated. This journey of yoga continues unbroken. The AYUSH department has established the Yoga Certification Board for yoga practitioners in Bharat. I am pleased that today more than 100 major institutions in the country are recognized by this board. Ten major institutions abroad have also received recognition from this board.

Friends,

The number of people practicing yoga around the world is steadily increasing, and so is the attraction towards yoga. People are increasingly convinced of the utility of yoga. Whenever I meet global leaders anywhere in the world, almost everyone talks to me about yoga. Senior leaders from all over the world always discuss yoga with me and ask questions with great curiosity. Yoga is becoming a part of daily life in many countries. I remember inaugurating a yoga centre in Turkmenistan in 2015. Today, yoga has become very popular there. Yoga therapy is also included in the State Medical University of Turkmenistan. Saudi Arabia has even included yoga in its education system. Several yoga schools are being run in Mongolia under the Mongolian Yoga Foundation. The trend of yoga is also increasing rapidly in European countries. Today, about 1.5 crore people in Germany have become yoga practitioners. You may recall, a 101-year-old female yoga teacher from France was awarded the Padma Shri in Bharat this year. She had never been to Bharat, but she dedicated her entire life to promoting yoga. Today, major institutions and universities worldwide are conducting research on yoga and publishing research papers.

Friends,

The expansion of yoga over the past ten years has changed perceptions associated with yoga. Yoga is now emerging beyond limited boundaries. The world is witnessing the rise of a new yoga economy. In Bharat, a new trend of yoga tourism is being observed from Rishikesh and Kashi to Kerala. Tourists from all over the world are coming to Bharat because they want to learn authentic yoga. Yoga retreats and yoga resorts are being established. Dedicated facilities for yoga are being created at airports and hotels. The market is seeing designer apparel and equipment for yoga. People are now hiring personal yoga trainers for their fitness. Companies are also starting yoga and mindfulness programs as part of employee wellness initiatives. All these have created new opportunities and employment for the youth.

Friends,

The theme of this year’s International Day of Yoga is ‘Yoga for Self and Society’. The world is looking at Yoga as a powerful agent of global good. Yoga helps us live in the present moment, without baggage of the past. It connects us with ourselves and our deepest feelings. It brings about oneness of the mind, body and soul. 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.

Friends,

Yoga is not just a discipline but also a science. In this era of information revolution, where there is a flood of information resources everywhere, focusing on one subject is proving to be a big challenge for the human mind. Yoga provides a solution to this as well. We know that concentration is the greatest strength of the human mind. This ability is also enhanced through yoga and meditation. Therefore, yoga is being included in the army to sports. Astronauts are also given yoga and meditation training as part of their space program training. This increases productivity and endurance. Nowadays, even prisoners are being made to practice yoga in many jails, so they can focus their minds on positive thoughts. Yoga is paving the way for positive changes in society.

Friends,

I believe that the inspiration from yoga will continue to energize our positive efforts.

Friends,

There was a slight delay today due to rain causing some obstacles, but since yesterday, I have seen the attraction towards yoga and the enthusiasm with which people in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, are eager to join yoga. This itself is an opportunity to strengthen tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. I will certainly meet with people associated with yoga after this program. Due to the rain, we had to hold the program here today. However, I consider it a great achievement that 50-60 thousand people in Jammu and Kashmir participated in the yoga program, and I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Once again, I extend my best wishes for Yoga Day to all of you. My best wishes to all yoga enthusiasts around the world.

Thank you very much!

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