Despite Inclement Weather, PM Modi Leads Yoga Celebrations in Kashmir

   

SRINAGAR: Despite the inclement weather, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the 10th International Yoga Day celebrations at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. The morning rain initially forced the event indoors, but once it cleared, Modi addressed the participants, praising their determination and participation, official sources said.

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The Yoga Day event originally planned for the scenic lawns of SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake, faced challenges due to heavy rainfall. Yet, the celebrations went on, with PM Modi spending over 40 minutes interacting with participants, exchanging greetings, taking selfies, and acknowledging the warmth and eagerness of the yoga practitioners.

In his speech, Modi insisted on Yoga‘s global impact, highlighting its role in promoting present-moment living and contributing to global welfare. He noted the increasing number of yoga practitioners worldwide and the regimen’s integration into daily lives across various countries, including Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, and Germany.

Modi cited examples of Yoga‘s growing popularity, such as a recent competition in Egypt where yoga was used to promote tourism. He suggested that similar initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir could boost tourism and provide new livelihood opportunities for residents. He also mentioned 101-year-old Frenchwoman Charlotte Chopin, awarded a Padma Shri for popularising yoga in France, as an example of yoga’s widespread influence.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took selfies with the Kashmir participants at the International Yoga Day event in the SKICC lawns in Srinagar on June 21, 2024.

Highlighting Yoga‘s benefits, Modi stated that it not only aids personal development but also contributes to societal and global welfare. He stressed that yoga helps improve focus, manage the flood of information in today’s world, and enhance productivity and tolerance, benefiting diverse fields from the military to sports and even space projects.

Modi spoke about the potential of Yoga to attract tourists to Jammu and Kashmir, citing examples of yoga tourism in Uttarakhand and Kerala. He suggested that incorporating yoga into daily routines can provide continuous benefits and improve personal development, ultimately benefiting society.

Modi praised the enthusiasm and commitment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir towards Yoga, noting that the rainy weather and drop in temperature did not dampen their spirit. Despite delays and the need to fragment the programme, the event was a success. He emphasised that Yoga should become an instinct of life for both individuals and society, and its benefits are best realized when integrated into daily routines in a simple form.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that meditation, a component of Yoga, might seem intimidating due to its spiritual connotations. However, he explained that it can be understood as concentration and focus, which can be cultivated through practice and techniques. This focused state of mind yields great results with minimal fatigue and helps avoid distractions. He highlighted meditation as a tool for self-improvement and training, beyond its spiritual journey.

He insisted Yoga‘s importance and power for both individuals and society, stating that entire humanity benefits when society embraces Yoga. He shared his admiration for a Yoga photography and video competition held in Egypt, suggesting that similar initiatives could boost tourism and employment in Jammu & Kashmir.

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