Yoga has become India’s ‘soft power’, says Health Minister Mandaviya

New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said yoga has become India’s “soft power” as he marked the International Day of Yoga by leading a session with hundreds of participants at AIIMS, New Delhi.

Recognising its universal appeal, in December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga by a resolution. The day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga.

Addressing the event, Mandaviya said, “Yoga is an ancient tradition of India but, with time, its practice started to decline. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a huge impetus to yoga and, today, there is no place in the world where yoga is not practised. It has become India’s soft power.”

Highlighting the benefits of yoga in everyday life, he said, “Yoga helps calm the mind and energise the body. Whenever we talk about health and wellness, yoga comes to our mind. It is a kind of preventive care as it builds immunity in the body.”

Narendra Modi, who is on an official State Visit to the US at the invitation of President Joe Biden, will lead the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York later in the day.

At AIIMS, Mandaviya spoke on the widespread acceptance of yoga following the outbreak of COVID-19.

“Post-Coivd, people have become more aware of their health and wellness. Because of this, yoga’s relevance and popularity has also increased substantially,” he said.

He also thanked the prime minister for globalising yoga and urged everyone to not only practise yoga but also encourage others to follow it.

Prior to the event, Mandaviya lent his support to AIIMS’ ‘Go Green’ initiative by taking part in a cycle ride.