Washington: Impressed by the "energy and vigour" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the US despite being on fast, President Barack Obama has expressed his interest in yoga, officials have said.
While the First Lady has been instrumental in introducing yoga inside the White House, Obama appeared to be very impressed by the energy and vigour shown by Modi when he hosted the latter over a private working dinner in the Blue Room of the White House on Monday.
"They joked about the fact that the rest were eating and the Prime Minister (Modi) was fasting. The President expressed admiration for the energy and the vigour with which the Prime Minister was able to maintain this rigorous schedule on a diet of only warm water," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal told reporters yesterday.
"The President also expressed interest in having a conversation about yoga. There were some of these very personal, very human moments of interaction," Biswal said in response to a question.
Modi, 64, a self-practioner of yoga, in his address to the UN General Assembly this year, called for declaring an International Yoga Day, which has gained support from several countries.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has said that she would help the US Congress pass a resolution in this regard. Since 2009 yoga has been a part of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in the South Lawn.
The Easter Egg Roll is the largest public event held at the White House for the last 135 years. An unprecedented 30,000 families experienced yoga each year with the event since 2009.
The Obama family has given the traditional event a twist, turning it into an active family-oriented day, and included yoga as part of the celebration.