Across all Indian states lawmakers, top officials along with hundreds of people, mostly young, stretched their bodies to perform Yoga to mark the third global Yoga Day.
As participants at the sprawling Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan used mats to cover themselves from the rain, Modi chuckled: "I knew yoga benefits very well but Lucknowites today taught me the benefits and use of yoga mats as well". "Now, it has become part of every person's life", he said in his address.
Across the country, lakhs of people - including Union ministers, bureaucrats and school children - joined in at exercise and meditation sessions to celebrate the third International Yoga Day.
At the centre of the performance was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who executed multiple asanas or yogic postures even as the weather conditions threatened to spoil the show. Delivering the secretary generals message, an official said yoga can make an important contribution in achieving a healthy life and promoting well-being at a time when the world is striving to achieve sustainable development goals. "It is not necessary to perform yoga 24 hours a day". The United Nations adopted in December a resolution submitted by the New Delhi government to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day. He added that there was a demand for yoga instructors, especially from India, around the world.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and cabinet ministers were also be present at the event.
India's permanent representative at the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin performed yoga in NY along with many foreign nationals, the broadcaster said. Programs were held simultaneously at the iconic Burj Khalifa park, Zabeel Park and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre complex in Dubai.