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International Yoga Day finally

News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all slated to lead a 45-minute yoga session on the occasion of International Yoga Day 2016 in Chandigarh on June 21, Tuesday. Here are the live updates to the event, which will mark the second International Yoga Day.

Details of the event can be found HERE. However, if you are unable to live-stream the event, you may have a glimpse of how the event went through

This is how it happened:

4:30 a.m. (IST): Welcome to the build-up to the International Yoga Day main event, to be held at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, where people have been rehearsing for this momentous event for the past few days. The numbers have reached 30,000 on some occasions.

4:40 a.m. (IST): This is the second time International Yoga Day is being observed around the world.

4:50 a.m. (IST):June 21 was notified as International Yoga Day in December 2014 by the UN at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He reportedly chose the day because it, being Summer Solstice, is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, and is considered auspicious in many cultures.

7:30 a.m. (IST):Each yoga movement is followed by announcement of its health benefits, in keeping with the prime minister’s description of yoga as a “zero-budget health assurance.”

5 a.m. (IST): This time, instead of being held in Delhi, as was the case last year, the main event is being held in the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh.

5:10 a.m. (IST): Several countries across the world have already seen programs organised for International Yoga Day this year, while some are yet to see them.

5:20 a.m. (IST): In the run-up to International Yoga Day 2016, Modi has also shared some of his thoughts and words of encouragement.

5:30 a.m. (IST): Even celebrities have exhorted people to observe International Yoga Day, with words of encouragement all round.

5:40 a.m. (IST): We are less than an hour away from the event to begin. So up with you, wipe the sleep off your eyes, and rise and shine!

5:50 a.m. (IST): Yoga has been a truly global influence, with even the German football team that is participting in the Euro 2016 taking up yoga to keep fit. Now that’s definitely one great goal yoga has scored!

6 a.m. (IST): We are less than half an hour away from the event.

6:10 a.m. (IST): DD National is counting down to the event with a really cool curtain-raiser.

6:20 a.m. (IST): Less than 10 minutes away. Spread out those yoga mats and start stretching!

6:30 a.m. (IST): Sources say around 30,500 of the more than 85,000 who had registered have settled in at the Capitol Complex venue. Even some who are differently-abled!

6:40 a.m. (IST): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at the venue, waving at the gathering, who are waving back.

6:45 a.m. (IST): Prime Minister Modi has just been presented a replica of Chandigarh’s famed Rock Gardens on the occasion. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and actor-turned politician as well as Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher are also present, as is Union minister Shripad Yesso Naik.

6:50 a.m. (IST): Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki addresses the crowd, and presents Modi with a statuette of Rock Gardens creator Nek Chand. The statuette has Nek Chand performing Surya Namaskar.

6:55 a.m. (IST): Narendra Modi begins addressing a jubilant audience. “Of the many occasions universally recognised by the UN and observed across the world, there is probably none that can compete with.”

6:55 a.m. (IST): Narendra Modi begins addressing a jubilant audience. “Of the many occasions universally recognised by the UN and observed across the world, there is probably none that can compete with International Yoga Day in terms of how revolutionary it is and the extent to which it has been accepted worldwide,” he says.

“Yoga is not about what we get, but what we can give up,” adds Modi.

7 a.m. (IST): “The mind is fickle, while the body is still. Yoga teaches us to calm the mind and propel the body forward with energy,” he says. “You do not get zero-budget insurance, but yoga gives ytou zero-budget health assurance.”

7:05 a.m. (IST): “Don’t wait. Make yoga as much a part of your life as your mobile phone,” says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

7:10 a.m. (IST): The prime minister is now talking of the business of yoga, like dedicated TV channels.

“Can we take the next year, until the next International Yoga Day, to focus on diabetes? Diabetes cases are rising in the country,” he says. “We can take up one such disease every year and focus on it.”

7:15 a.m. (IST): Modi announces two awards, to be given out next year — an international award and a national award for the promotion of yoga.

7:20 a.m. (IST): Modi finishes his speech to thunderous applause. The participants now prepare for live yoga. The announcements come in Hindi and English. Some advisories are put out. Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to sit with the participants, to lead them, but first takes time out to meet some differently-abled fans.

7:25 a.m. (IST): The rudimentary asanas have begun. Modi is ambling through the ground, taking in the ambience of the thousands of people performing yoga as one.

7:35 a.m. (IST): The training before the main event seems to have brought together the participants well. The asanas are being performed in unison, with nary a delay between instruction and its following.

Meanwhile, Modi has joined the crowd in performing yoga

7:40 a.m. (IST): International Yoga Day is being observed all across the country. Union Home minister Rajnath Singh is leading participants in Lucknow, as is Bandaru Datttreya in Hyderabad. Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani is in Bhopal.

7:45 a.m. IST: Modi is indeed leading the gathering. He is implementing the asanas even before they are announced.

7:50 a.m.: U.S. ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma is currently performing yoga in the U.S. Embassy in Delhi.

7:55 a.m.: The meditation phase begins. Controversy is at bay as the participants are asked to connect to the Almighty according to their religion.

Meanwhile, the differently-abled participants at the mega-event in Chandigarh are also performing yoga with full enthusiasm and to the best of their abilities.

8 a.m.: As the session draws to an end, Modi begins to leave, but is again mobbed by fans who want a glimpse, a handshake or, in the case of some, a selfie. The crowd is beginning to disperse.

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