India celebrates International Day of Yoga

Friday marked the UN-designated International Day of Yoga. People in India, the birthplace of yoga, took part in events nationwide to celebrate the day, including the country's leader.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined thousands of residents at an event in the city of Srinagar. It was his proposal in 2014 that served as the basis for the UN to declare June 21st as International Day of Yoga.

He said "the world is looking at yoga as a powerful agent of global good," adding "yoga helps us live in the present moment without the baggage of the past."

Modi is a known yoga enthusiast. He performed meditation and breathing exercises with other participants.
Rashmi Sinha, a participant, said Modi has taken yoga to the masses. She also said that not only people in India, but around the world, believe in the exercise.

New Delhi is believed to be promoting the country's image by highlighting the health benefits of yoga, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago.