NEW DELHI, June 21 (Xinhua) -- India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday performed yoga with thousands of yoga enthusiasts in India's national capital New Delhi.
Singh in his address to the yoga practitioners at Rajpath said "Yoga is playing a pivotal role in getting the whole world together and people from Tokyo to San Francisco are welcoming the morning sun rays through Yoga."
Singh praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his cultural diplomacy, saying that unprecedented 177 nations and regions supported Yoga Day resolution in the United Nations.
Since 2015, "International Day of Yoga" is celebrated annually on June 21.
The main function was held at the eastern state of Jharkhand with Modi leading the celebrations at the Prabhat Tara ground at Ranchi.
India's Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also joined the Yoga Day celebrations in the capital and expressed his views on the importance of yoga practice.
Yoga is an old practice involving physical exercise and meditation. It uses breathing techniques, bending, stretching, etc., to improve health.
For the first time during the event, participants were seen doing yoga on Khadi (a hand-woven natural fiber cloth) mats. Previously, the participants were using plastic yoga mats.
In Delhi, the celebrations were held at Rajpath, the lawns of Red Fort, the municipal parks, the hospitals and the gardens.