Lakhs of people perform yoga 'asanas' in Pb, Hry to mark International Yoga Day

(Eds: Adding details) Chandigarh, Jun 21 (PTI) A large number of people Friday participated in the fifth International Yoga Day events which were organised at various places in Punjab and Haryana. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar described yoga as an ancient practice and said Yoga Day functions have been organised simultaneously at 80 places in the state in which about five lakh people participated. Khattar was speaking at a state-level Yoga Day function held in Rohtak in which Union Minister Amit Shah was the chief guest. He said the state government has constituted a Yoga Council so that the people from all walks of life adopt yoga in their life and ensure their physical, mental and spiritual development. He said a decision has also been taken to construct Yog or Vyamshalas in villages of the state. After the event was over in Rohtak, a few participants jostled with each other for yoga mats. Some of them were seen carrying mats which were provided to them on the occasion for performing yoga 'asanas'. They were seen arguing with volunteers who asked them not to take along these mats. Another group of participants could be seen pulling out packed mats of the boxes kept at the venue. A Yoga Day function was also held in Haryana Raj Bhavan at Chandigarh. Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya said, "Yoga should be included in our daily routine only then we and our country will be healthy. Yoga is the art of living life, which leads to both mental and physical well-being." Describing yoga as an invaluable gift, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has provided yoga distinct identity at international level and because of his efforts June 21 has been declared as the International Yoga Day. In Chandigarh, a yoga session was held at Plaza sector 17 in which around 3,000 people took part. Punjab Governor and UT Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore joined people in the Yoga Day event. Besides the Chandigarh Police, various NGO's, including Patanjali, Government college for yoga education, Bhartiya Yog Sansthan, participated in the events, officials said. Four jawans of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) performed yoga 'asanas' on horseback during the event. Yoga sessions were also held at 37 government schools under the National AYUSH Mission (NAM) and 10 health and wellness centres at various locations of Chandigarh. PGIMER director Jagat Ram highlighted the importance of yoga in prevention of non-communicable diseases and asked students to practice yoga regularly. In Punjab, yoga events were held at different places, including Amritsar, Ludhiana. BSF personnel also performed yoga 'asanas' in Jalandhar. Main Yoga Day event was held in Mohali where Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, who performed various 'asanas', said that the yoga should be made an integral part of our daily life. "Deputing yoga instructors in schools is under consideration of the government so that children could be made aware of the benefits of yoga," he said, according to an official release. PTI CHS SUN SNESNE