India kicks off International Day of Yoga

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those seen participating early Tuesday in the 8th International Day of Yoga.

This year’s theme is ‘Yoga for Humanity,’ and events were taking place across the country, considered the birthplace of yoga, including in Mysuru, Kolkata, Mahabalipuram and Kashmir’s Srinigar. Practitioners were also seen taking part in public events across the region, such as in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and later on, around the world.

The day has been celebrated every June 21 since 2014 when it was established in a United Nations resolution after being proposed by India.

In his address to introduce the proposal, Modi told the UN General Assembly that “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition.”

“Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature,” he said, according to the UN.

A visual story by epa’s Jagadeesh NV, Piyal Adhikary, Farooq Khan, Idrees Mohammed, Narendra Shrestha and Fazry Ismail.

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