Yoga doesn’t have narrow religious connotation: Naidu

Mumbai: Yoga does not have a narrow religious connotation but with its holistic approach to well being, it has physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday.

Yoga connects physical health with mental equilibrium and emotional tranquillity, it promotes concentration and focused attention, he said at inaugural ceremony of the centennial celebration of the Yoga Institute here, according to an official statement.

Naidu said that Sage Patanjali who compiled the first yoga philosophy defines yoga as an ability to control one’s own random thoughts and achieve a stillness, a calmness that creates inner harmony. “This philosophy is usually referred to as Ashtanga Yoga,” he noted.

The components of this yogic philosophy form the universal ethical principles — “non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, fidelity and not being avaricious”, he said, adding that the emphasis on physical exercises emerged around 11th century A.D. in a branch of yoga called ‘Hatha Yoga’.

“We in India felt that this treasure house of knowledge should be shared with the entire world. We are so pleased that in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly has established 21st June as international day of Yoga.

“This resolution has given a new impetus to the popularization of this ancient science,” he said.