New Delhi: Ahead of the International Yoga Day on June 21, Baba Ramdev on Sunday evening kick-started a yoga camp at the iconic Rajpath here.
Around 35,000 yoga practitioners attended the rehearsal ceremony here today marking the beginning of second International Yoga Day to be celebrated on Tuesday.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated today's event which was followed by a cultural event here at the national capital.
The event was also attended by Minister of State for Urban Development, and for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Babul Supriyo, BJP leaders Meenakshi Lekhi, Manoj Tiwari and Vijay Goel besides other political bigwigs.
The event was further rocked by some soothing songs sung by renowned singer-composer Kailash Kher.
Speaking at the occasion, Ramdev said that yoga was not a religious but a spiritual practice and did not make a practitioner lose his religious identity.
"Practicing yoga is not a religious practice. It's spiritual and secular practice," Ramdev said.
"Doing 'Surya Namaskar' does not convert a Muslim into a Hindu," he said, while leading the rehearsal ceremony.
For further details watch the event here:
WATCH via ANI's Facebook live: Baba Ramdev holds Yoga camp at Rajpath (Delhi) ahead of International Yoga day https://t.co/cXf1aYQcMg
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2016
Yoga exponent Ramdev is also scheduled to hold a mass session with over 3,000 BSF jawans and officers to mark the International Yoga Day (IYD) on June 21, in Jodhpur.
According to officials, Ramdev will hold an early morning yoga session in the border town at a Border Security Force camp where over 3,000 troops of the paramilitary force and others will participate, PTI reported.
Close to 30,000 troops from various central paramilitary forces like BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP and SSB will take part in these events across the country to mark the day.
While about 2,000 Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel will join the event in Chandigarh, men and women of the force which guards the Sino-India border will also display their yoga skills at the high-altitude Pangong lake in Ladakh.
The paramilitary personnel will also perform yoga exercises in cities like in Srinagar, Jammu, Shimla, Lucknow, Patna, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala, Imphal, Kohima, Itanagar, Aizawl.
Similar activities will also be undertaken in Dehradun, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Chennai, Bengaluru, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi, by the personnel to make the event successful.
In Delhi, the event will be led by the Central Industrial Security Force at the Central park in Connaught Place.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister posted a video message on his Twitter handle and said, "The International Yoga Day is a unique occasion that brings us closer. The invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition."
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 19, 2016
He further said that when he outlined a vision for an International Yoga Day in September 2014 at the United Nations General Assembly, even he had not anticipated the "enormous enthusiasm for the occasion from all parts of the world".
"Your support and participation last year, and once again now, redeems our commitment to nurture and promote this ancient discipline and reaffirms yoga as an exemplary manifestation of Vasudhiava Kutumbakam, or the world as one family," PM Modi said.
"I recall the iconic images from that momentous day last year, all the way from the Pacific Islands to the Port of Spain, from Vladivostok to Vancouver, and from Copenhagen to Cape Town, thousands gathered to unite the bodies and minds through the practice of yoga," he added.
The Prime Minister also said that yoga is much more than physical exercise, and enables us to access a new dimension of the self while providing a holistic approach to preventive healthcare.
"Yoga helps us to restore our balance and furnishes us with a much-needed sense of clarity. And through its unifying power we seek completeness and at the same time a oneness with the One," he said, urging people across the world to act as the ambassadors of the event.
A total of 10,000 participants will be performing yoga in various places in Delhi including Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park and Talkatora Stadium as part of the second International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21.
The programme will start at 6 am and Common Protocol Yoga by all participants will start at 7 am and go on till 7.45 am. Diplomats will participate in the Yoga programme at Nehru Park.
According to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), organisers of the Yoga event in collaboration with the AYUSH ministry, the various spots for the Yoga events include Connaught Place, New Delhi and its six radials and inner circles and roads along Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park and Talkatora Garden.
Meanwhile, elaborate preparations are underway to celebrate the International Yoga Day on Tuesday. The main event will be held in Chandigarh to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Divyangs, a term coined by Prime Minister Modi for the differently abled, are receiving special training for the mega yoga event on June 21 in Chandigarh. As many as 150 differently abled persons are expected to take part in the event.
In the national capital, there will be 20 differently abled participants, who will give a special performance during the opening ceremony at Connaught Place.
June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2014.
Over 190 countries, including 40 Islamic nations, supported the move to have a special day for yoga.
(With agency inputs)