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Beijing: Yoga represents aspirations of the people from India and China that it is beneficial to work together in spirit of "friendship and cooperation", Indian envoy Vikram Misri said Friday as he along with a large number of Chinese yoga enthusiasts here marked the fifth International Yoga Day.

Hundreds of thousands of yoga enthusiasts across China rolled out their mats on Friday to participate in colourful yoga events here to mark the yoga day.

Yoga has become immensely popular all over China in the past few decades and is emerging as a major fitness discipline which is specially promoted by the Chinese Ministry of Sports.

The ancient Indian practice has got official recognition in 2015 after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi participated in a joint event of yoga and Chinese martial art practice Taichi.

Since then both the countries established a Yoga college in Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province in joint collaboration with India.

Popularity of yoga in China has attracted scores of Indian yoga teachers to either start their own institutes here or work for popular yoga institutes.

On Friday, few hundred yoga enthusiasts took part in the yoga day event organised by the Indian Embassy here at the India House in which Indian Ambassador Vikram Misri and his wife Dolly Misri were also present.

Addressing the gathering, Misri said yoga represents not just the civilisational connect between India and China "but also the modern aspirations of our two peoples, that acknowledges the shared benefit of working together in spirit of friendship and cooperation".

China has this year already conducted three celebratory activities, in Guiyang, at Shaolin Temple and also at the iconic Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, he said.

Another event is set to get underway in Qingdao as well, he said.

Indian Embassy has also organised yoga events in various historic and scenic sites in different provinces of China, in collaboration with the local and provincial governments.

Yoga events were held at the Tianhe Tan Park in Guiyang, Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, Shaolin Temple in Henan and Qingdao in Shandong, the embassy said in a statement.

Indian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou have also organised a number of events to mark the International Yoga Day.

The Consulate in Shanghai in association with local governments, cultural and yoga groups have organised eight events to celebrate the 5th International Day of Yoga.

This year's curtain raiser event was held at Wuyi on the auspicious day of Buddha Purnima recognising the importance of yoga in the life of Mahatma Buddha, Consul General Anil Kumar Rai said in a press release.

The Indian Consulate in Guangzhou has organised major yoga events at several places, including at the picturesque Dujiangyan City, Consul General Sujit Ghosh said.

The Consulate has also organised a special yoga event on Friday on the banks of the Zhujiang River in Guangzhou. Around 300 yoga enthusiasts participated in this event, Ghosh said.

By K J M Varma

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