Mumbai, Dec 28 (IANS) The ancient Indian science of wellness, Yoga, exemplifies India's soft power to the world and interconnects cultures, President R. N. Kovind said here on Friday.
"Togetherness is the essence of yoga. It not only helps us in connecting body, mind and soul, but plays an important role in connecting different communities and countries," said the President.
He was addressing the centenary celebrations of The Yoga Institute (TYI), whch has been engaged in propounding yoga on a global scale for the past 100 years.
Stressing the need to strengthen yoga training institutes in the country, President Kovind said that teachers must be trained to take forward yoga.
"Yoga has earned huge respect from various countries in the world, the Central government too has been contributing a lot to spread and promote yoga," he observed.
Narrating an anecdote on his interactions with the President and First Lady of Cuba, Kovind said the First Lady informed him that they practised yoga daily, and when enquired further, the Cuban President said yoga is a 'valuable gift which India has given to mankind'."
Citing another instance, he said that the first Indian who travelled in space, cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma, had revealed how he dealt with "space sickness" by practising yoga in the spacecraft, proving yoga is beneficial not only on land, but also in space.
While lauding Maharashtra for introducing yoga as a syllabus for students, President Kovind said it was not appropriate to link it with any religion on sect.
"It is common heritage of mankind. It belongs to everyone who is looking forward to a healthy life. A healthy person makes a healthy family, community, country and finally a healthy world," the President said.
Maharashtra Governor C. V. Rao released a book entitled, 'Yoga For All', penned by TYI Director Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra, based on a century of research at TYI.
Present on the occasion were Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik and other dignitaries.
A non-profit organization, TYI was founded on December 25, 1918, in Santacruz suburb of north-west Mumbai by Mani Haribhai Desai, later revered as yoga Guru Yogendraji.
For three generations, it has been engaged in imparting training in yoga and propounding the ancient science with branches worldwide.
Today, it has more than 500 publications on the subject to its credit, and the books of TYI founder Yogendraji and his wife Sitadevi have been stored since 1940 in the oldest and largest millennial time capsule, the 'Crypt of Civilisation' at Oglethorpe University, Georgia, USA, which will be reopened in 8113 AD, after more than 6,000 years.
Acknowledged for its contribution to holistic development of Yoga for householders and families, it became the country's first Yoga school certified by the Quality Council of India, Ministry of AYUSH, and bagged the Prime Minister's Award 2018 for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of the ancient Indian science.
As part of the centenary celebrations, TYI has organized a two-day wellness festival, the Harmony Fest, at the MMRDA Grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex.