LUCKNOW: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh led hundreds and thousands of people here into performing yoga on the maiden International Yoga Day on Sunday.
Singh, who is also the Lok Sabha member from the city, urged people to embrace the ancient practice for a better body and mind.
Stating that yoga was an Indian heritage, benefits of which have been acclaimed worldwide, Singh said yoga should not be seen through a political prism, and pointed out that Indian Muslims were also a part of the Indian heritage.
Singh was the chief guest at the yoga event organised by the Central Reserve Police, sat in the 'Vajrasan' posture (sitting on one's heels) for some time and also did 'Tadaasan', which helps in maintaining balance of the body.
He said India was fast emerging as the 'Vishwa Guru' (world leader) of yoga.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, who performed yoga at Swarna Jayanti Park, said the sun gave energy to people and through the 'Surya Namaskar' we only express our attitude to the sun for its benevolence and hence there should be no controversy in it.
Many Muslim groups have opposed the idea of 'Surya Namaskar'.
Thousands of people, young and old, men and women converged at different places like at the KD Singh Babu Stadium, Ram Leela Maidan at Aishbagh, Vallabh Memorial Hall at Haiderganj and at the day boarding Military School.
Many other union ministers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet and senior BJP functionaries also participated in the yoga events held across the state.
While Kalraj Mishra was in Varanasi, Defence Minister Manohar Parriker was in Meerut and Uma Bharati in Jhansi, leading the mass yoga exercises.