Millions of yoga enthusiasts twisted their bodies in complicated poses across India and much of the world on Sunday to mark the first International Yoga Day, AP reported.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had lobbied the United Nations to declare June 21 the global Yoga Day, spread his mat among rows of people, including his cabinet members and foreign diplomats, on New Delhi’s main road, which was transformed into a sprawling exercise ground.
Tens of thousands of schoolchildren, bureaucrats, housewives, soldiers and others took part in the exercise, which occurred in all India’s state capitals.
Indian officials said more than 35,000 people took part in the New Delhi event in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the largest single yoga class at a single venue.
“We are not only celebrating a day, but we are training the human mind to begin a new era of peace and harmony,” Modi told those taking part.
“This is a program for the benefit of mankind, for a tension-free world and to spread the message of harmony.”
However, many in India were concerned that the push for yoga was an attempt by Hindu groups to give a boost to their religion, the report said.
In Taipei, more than 2,000 participants rolled out mats and performed 108 rounds of the “sun salutation” — the sequence of yoga poses often practiced at the start of a routine as the sun rises.
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