Braving moderate dusty winds on Sunday morning, nearly 30,000 volunteers participated in the state level function to mark the first International Yoga Day in Karnal.
According to the district authorities, a total of 12,000 students participated in the mass yoga exercises.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, a yoga enthusiast, performed all guided yoga activities which were part of the 35-minute long yoga exercise protocol adopted by the United Nations.
Since 4.30 am, yoga lovers from different parts of the state had started reaching at the venue in Sector 33 grounds.
As the venue was almost packed by 6 am, dust storm hit the venue, a wide open space in developing stage.
But the programme started as per schedule and no one panicked.
A close aide of yoga guru and Haryana’s brand ambassador Ramdev, Dr Jaivir Arya guided India’s traditional breathing and light physical exercise.
On the occasion, chief minister Khattar urged the people of the state to implement yoga in their lives, adding that his government had planned to ensure that the benefits of yoga reach everyone.
Khattar laid emphasis on promoting yoga as a tool of a healthy society which was direly needed in stressful modern day lifestyle.
“Statistics say that nearly 16 million individuals are enrolled in various yoga schools in the United States and the Indian society too should adopt it for a healthy lifestyle. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to popularize the traditional Indian way of physical activities is well accepted globally,” he said.
Khattar said that yoga helps in improving concentration and keeps the body fit for modern day challenging tasks of personal and professional lives.
“Nearly 1.50 lakh people actively participated in the yoga programmes organised by the state government in different parts of Haryana today. We have already announced to hire 1,000 yoga experts for holding training sessions in the upcoming yoga classes at village level,” he said.
“Yoga helps in overcoming physical challenges and calms down mind. It leads to spiritual life and known as a stress buster,” he said.
Later, Khattar told reporters that today’s event was not propelled by any political agenda and even the opposition parties should join for health reasons.
“Programmes like prompting yoga, cleanliness or Beti Bacho- Beti Padhao- are not just government programmes but we are making plans so that they benefit everyone," he said.
Acharaya Balkrishan lauded the efforts of the Haryana government for its outreach programme to promote yoga.
Religious leader Swami Gyananand referred yoga as a life science that helped in attain divinity.
Sidelights: Yoga function was spread over 12-acre land which was divided in 56 zones. Each zone was supervised by a deputy superintendent of police (DSP).
Senior bureaucrats KK Khandelwal and Ram Niwas also performed yoga exercises with the CM Khatar at the VVIP dais.
Participants were served packed refreshments including fluids before starting the programme.
Heavy police bandobast was in place where nearly than 2,000 policemen including more than 100 senior police functionaries were present.
Patanjali Yoga Samiti volunteers were guiding participants about various yoga activities.
Freak weather did not affect the programme. It started drizzling at the tail end of the event.