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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged educational institutions to include Yoga as part of online learning programmes being conducted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to improve immunity. He said children must be introduced to the ancient Indian technique at a young age.

Naidu was speaking at the digital 'Yoga and Meditation Shivir' organised by SPIC MACAY on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.

The Vice President said that Yoga is a unique gift of India to the world which is successfully transforming millions of lives around the globe.

"I am glad that 'UNICEF Kid Power' has listed 13 Yoga stretches and poses for children," Naidu said on the occasion of the 6th International Yoga Day.

Observing that the 5,000-year-old tradition is not a mere workout, he said, "It is a science that emphasizes balance, poise, grace, equanimity, peace and harmony".

Various components of yoga such as postures, breathing exercises and meditation techniques together help in bringing about a positive transformation in the human body and mind in innumerable ways, he said.

Calling for large-scale scientific experimentation to further explore the immense possibilities of Yoga as a wellness solution, Naidu said Yoga as a mode of therapy or Yog Chikitsa has become extremely popular. He said that a large number of studies offer scientific evidence for its potential to treat a number of diseases.

Referring to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of the people, the Vice President said, "Indeed the world is going through challenging times and we simply cannot allow the pandemic to get the better of us. We have to unite and put up a stronger fight and to ensure that we are healthy, both physically and mentally."

He said that yoga can be an effective solution for the high level of stress that the pandemic has created in our lives. "Yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health and its full potential must be harnessed," he added.

Pointing out that the pandemic is not the only health crisis that has threatened the wellbeing of the people, he expressed concern over the increase in lifestyle diseases.

Quoting WHO, he said it was estimated that 63 per cent of all deaths in India in 2016 were because of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). "Yoga remains an incredibly simple but powerful instrument to prevent and control lifestyle diseases," Naidu observed.

Yoga Day was also observed with enthusiasm in five of the eight northeastern states. Chief Ministers of five northeastern states and Governors of eight NE states apart from prominent personalities performed Yoga at their respective residences.

The International Yoga Day was observed in Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim on limited platforms, mostly at homes.

Officials of central paramilitary forces like Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, and Border Security Force observed the Yoga Day at their respective complexes across all the eight states while adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted: "Practiced Yoga with colleagues. Yoga has given the world India's ancient heritage of physical, mental and spiritual wellness. Let's do Yoga and build a healthier society."

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb performed Yoga along with wife Niti Deb and two children at his official residence in Agartala. "I urge everyone to practice Yoga and make it a daily habit for a healthy and stress-free life," Deb tweeted.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh in his tweet said that the ancient science of Yoga keeps mind and body healthy and fit. "This is one of our greatest gifts to the world... let us all contribute by religiously practising and introducing Yoga to others," Singh said.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said: "The longest journey begins with a single step. On International Yoga Day, let us resolve to start our days with Pranayam to boost our immunity to fight COVID-19."


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