New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said yoga provides multi-dimensional solutions to many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Urging people to observe this year's International Yoga Day from the confines of their homes due to the pandemic, he said the deadly virus may have reduced mobility, but it should not affect enthusiasm. The International Day of Yoga falls on June 21.
"These are times of distancing. But do you know Yoga is what ends distance? Yoga is that which joins or brings things together," he said in a video message.
To drive home his point, the prime minister explained that yoga ends distance between the mind and the body, which is the root cause of many problems.
"It also ends the distance between the life we have and the life we want to have," Modi said, adding yoga also ends distance between expectations and reality, which can become a source of stress.
"Regular practice of yoga gives emotional strength and empathy. We begin to understand that others would be going through the same struggle as us, so we become a shoulder of support for someone in need of it," he said.
He said after the pandemic blows over, the focus would be on preventive healthcare and stressed that it makes him confident that yoga will become more popular.
Noting that this year's theme is ''Yoga at home' and 'Yoga with family', he said in view of the present situation, people should mark the day at their homes with their families keeling in mind the social distancing norms.
"This time, small is smart and small is good," he said indicating that large gatherings are avoidable. We are marking the sixth yoga day in extraordinary times. Usually, yoga day is about public events, mass participation. This year, yoga day goes indoors," the prime minister said.