Enthusiastic response to Yoga Day in Karnataka

Indo Asian News Service

Bengaluru, June 21 (IANS) A cloudy and windy Sunday provided a perfect setting for Karnataka to take to yoga and join the world in celebrating the international event in a big way.

The day-long World Yoga Day was led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who participated in the main function at Sri Kanteerava stadium here where about 10,000 people, including Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty performed various yogic exercises spreading across the sprawling venue.

"As modern lifestyle is full of pressures and stress, doing yoga asanas (exercises) daily will rejuvenate the body and activate the mind to enable us maintain good health for long life," Siddaramaiah said.

Home minister K.J. George and Tourism Minister R.V. Desphande joined the chief minister and were seen in various yoga postures on the dais under the guidance of yoga guru Swamy Vachananda.

"Yoga is for peace, health and harmony. Health is more important than wealth, which will be of no use if we suffer from ill-health," Siddaramaiah asserted.

Earlier, he presided over an hour-long official function at Vidhana Soudha to formally inaugurate the International Yoga Day.

"We are planning to include yoga in school and college curriculum to benefit lakhs of students across the state, as the ancient Indian system is helpful in maintaining good health at body, mind and heart levels," Siddaramaiah said.

"It's an international event, declared by the United Nations and endorsed by 192 nations the world over at the behest of India. It is everybody's function," Siddaramaiah told IANS on the occasion.

Soon after dignitaries left, all eyes were on Shilpa, a yoga exponent, as she demonstrated various yoga postures.

Besides hundreds of school students, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Bharat Scouts and Guides, state police, cabinet ministers, lawmakers, officials and nurses from Victoria hospital participated in both the functions.

Hundreds of schools, colleges, social organisations, corporates, IT firms, armed forces celebrated the event across the city and state.

Not to be left behind, the BJP's state unit also marked the day with yoga functions in the city and in districts where members of Hindu organsiations participated in the event under the presence of many seers and pontiffs.

Art of Living Foundation also celebrated the event at its ashram on the city's outskirts with about 500 of its followers participating in day-long yogic events.

The SGS International Yoga Foundation College held a yoga championship at the sport stadium in the city centre to mark the occasion

Reports of yoga celebrations were received from Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Belagavi, Ballari, Shivamoga, Kalaburgi and Bidar.