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India set to celebrate Int'l Yoga Day

NEW DELHI, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Indian authorities within the country and outside are all set to celebrate the International Day of Yoga, officials said Tuesday.

The day would be celebrated on Wednesday across India and abroad.

Officials said preparations for the day have been made to mark the day. The main event of Yoga celebration will take place at Ramabai Ambedkar Groundin in Lucknow city of Uttar Pradesh, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the program.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be reaching Lucknow this afternoon on his two days' visit to state capital. During his stay he will participate in International Yoga Day function on Wednesday at Ramabai Ambedkar Ground and perform Yoga postures with above 60,000 participants," an official said.

The local government in Uttar Pradesh have made massive security arrangements in view of Modi's visit to the capital city - Lucknow.

Reports said the rehearsals for the day have already began and were going on in full swung on all the designated places within and outside India.

"Ahead of the main event people enthusiastically participated in full dress rehearsal here," an official at Lucknow said.

Indian officials at the embassies in foreign countries too have geared up to celebrate the day and have been organising Yoga Day celebrations ahead of the main event.

Officials said such events were held in Pakistan, Paris and London.

"In these events Indian officials highlight the efforts of government of India in promoting ancient Indian traditions of healthy living," an official said.

According to the state-run TV Doordarshan, the celebrations were also held at Wenzhou in eastern China, the Asia Society in China's Hong Kong, Indonesia's Jakarta and Chile's Santiago.

On Sunday, India's yoga guru Baba Ramdev kickstarted celebrations for the annual International Yoga Day in Ahemdabad. Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts along with Ramdev stretched their body and performed exercises to mark celebrations ahead of the International Yoga Day.

Yoga includes stretching and bending of body besides doing breathing exercises aimed at transforming body and mind. Proponents of the exercise say it is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice with origins in India.

The United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga after Modi, a Yoga enthusiast, lobbied for the ancient Indian art.


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