177 countries to participate in International Yoga Day

289wrn6aOn June 21, some 177 countries will participate in International Yoga Day observance, as a result of an initiative by PM Narendra Modi.

A 35 minute programme devised by Yoga guru H R Nagendra, will include an opening prayer in Sanskrit from the Rig Veda, followed by loosening exercises, simple Ansanas, pranayam, meditation, a pledge, and a closing prayer.

The idea of holding an international yoga day was first mooted by a Portuguese yoga guru in 2004. He has been in close touch with Nagendra. PM Modi a keen Yoga practitioner started in 1980 and does daily Yoga since. He thought of propagating yoga across the world and kept to the June 21 date which happens to be the birth anniversary of RSS founder K B Hedgewar.

Modi recently tweeted that a new website dedicated to International Yoga Day has been launched, which is operated by the eternal affairs ministry and gives details of the programmes to be conducted internationally on June 21.