India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga along with thousands of others in Dehradun. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: International Yoga Day was celebrated with much gusto in most countries around the world Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi kick-started celebrations for the International Yoga Day in Dehradun, where he performed several ‘asanas’ (yogic positions) with thousands of yoga enthusiasts.

Modi hailed yoga as “India’s gift to the world”.


“Yoga is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind. The growing popularity of yoga across the globe has brought India closer to the world,” Modi said in Uttarakhand capital Dehradun.

He said yoga was a passport to complete physical, mental and spiritual health.

“Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to overall fitness and wellness. Nor is yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of yoga as well,” he said.

On his part, yoga guru Ramdev led celebrations in Kota, Rajasthan, where he created a Guinness World Record with the largest number of people performing Yoga together. Around 1.05 lakh people performed yoga at Ramdev’s event.

Executive officers representing the office of Guinness Book of World Record presented the certificate to Ramdev.

“A certificate has already been issued to us for making a record of more than 1.05 lakh people performing Yoga together. More than 100 world records were recorded today in different sections based on ‘surya namaskar’ (sun salutation yoga), push-ups, etc. It is a proud moment for us,” Ramdev said.