LUCKNOW: For Roshni, 14, it was the experience of a lifetime — a moment she did not want to forget. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was practising yoga just a row away from the teenager. Bubbling with childlike enthusiasm, she said, “I have emblazoned the moment on my mind and will never forget it.” Ritesh, 19, who had come from Kanpur, said, “Though I had practised all the aasans to be performed at Modi camp on Wednesday for almost two weeks, I forgot those and started following the Prime Minister.”
Even the downpour failed to dampen the spirits of Yoga enthusiasts when Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself led the celebrations of the third edition of International Yoga Day in Lucknow.
Modi started the session by chanting ‘Om’ thrice followed by a brief prayer. In between the sessions, the PM was seen going towards the schoolchildren and correcting the positions and postures of the participants. As he moved towards the rows of youngsters, he was welcomed with blowing of conch shells which the participants had brought along.
“When the PM of the nation can do it amid showers, why couldn’t we brave the rains,” said Manoj Singh of Hardoi. Modi did not confine himself to high-security VIP enclosure designated for him to perform yoga at the sprawling venue – the Rambai Ambedkar Maidan – and mingled with the crowd freely.
Sporting a white t-shirt with white pants, Modi wore an Assamese gamochha (towel).
The venue had some foreign participants as well. Hailing from Japan, 48-year-old Naoki, who owns a tour and travel agency, foresees India as a hub of wellness tourism. “For me it is a spiritual revival,’’ he quipped.
Earlier, Modi, in a lighter vein, said that the downpour on the occasion had taught the yoga enthusiasts how yoga mats could be used to protect them from rain. He was all praise for the people of Lucknow who turned up in thousands to join him on the occasion.