"Yoga for all, all for yoga."
That was PM Narendra Modi’s clarion call to the 40,000 yoga enthusiasts in Raipur, Jharkhand, on the 5th International Day of Yoga. The PM also stretched out on a mat and performed asanas like the Ushtrasana (camel pose) with hundreds of people.
Interestingly this year’s theme for International Yoga Day, as per UN, is “Climate Action.” Back in 2015, in a speech at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, NaMo recommended yoga as one way of fighting climate change, urging people to change their lifestyles and develop a sense of harmony with self, society and nature.
This year, days before International Yoga Day, NaMo took to Twitter to release a series of videos with an animated version of the Prime Minister performing asanas. The instructional videos demonstrate some very effective yoga poses with a voiceover listing the benefits of the asanas.
NaMo’s yoga practice has been much discussed—he has, in the past, shared how it has played a big role in that much-discussed aspect of his personality—his work-rest balance. News anchors have questioned him about the secret behind his vitality despite “only four hours of sleep” and his disciplined practice of yoga has had a role to play in it, we were told. Every year, on International Yoga Day since it’s institution in 2015, NaMo has shared pictures and videos of his yoga practice. Suffice to say, social media loved every bit of it.
Extolling its virtues, the PM believes that yoga can bring about a health revolution in the country. This year he announced that the government is working to make Yoga “a pillar of preventive health care.” We picked five asanas recommended by the PM, that you can begin your practice with.
The surya namaskar, consisting of 12 different postures, is known to increase blood circulation, aid weight loss, increase fitness and flexibility and more.
Setu bandhasana or the bridge pose works on the back and core muscles and can help keep your blood pressure under check and improve digestion.
Ardha chakrasana or the half-moon pose, for a “stronger back, better blood circulation and more.” An easier variation to the Chakrasana, this asana is known to strengthen the buttocks, vertebral column, abdomen, thighs and even your ankles.
Last year saw the animated videos demonstrating poses such as the Tadasana and the Trikonsana had been shared. The Tadasana or the mountain pose works to improve the posture. When practised regularly, it strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, buttocks, lower abdomen, shoulders and neck.
The trikonsana or the extended triangle pose, on the other hand, not only helps you maintain balance but also in stretching out your muscles and improving your body’s regular functions.
Surprisingly, Modi is not the only global leader aiming for a modern-day yogi status. Before him, it was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who, in 2013, performed the peacock pose by balancing on his wrists on a conference table. Apart from political leaders, quite a few celebrities too have been actively practising and promoting yoga.
Image courtesy: Twitter
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