Bengaluru, June 21 (IANS) Thousands of people from all walks of life, including children, in Bengaluru woke up early on Tuesday and performed Yoga exercises across the city under a cloudy sky, marking the second year of the International Yoga Day.
Though a normal working day, the annual event has made young and old, men and women flock to neighbourhood parks and playgrounds, while hundreds assembled in the famous Cubbon Park and Lalbagh botanical garden to perform various Yoga asanas (exercises) on mats.
At the main event in the Kanteerva Sports Stadium in the city centre, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah joined union Ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar to do Yoga with about 800 people, mostly the young one from the city schools and colleges under the guidance of a yoga guru.
Gowda and Kumar are also members of parliament from this tech city.
Bollywood star Bipasha Basu, a yoga freak, was a star attraction on the dais.
Addressing the huge gathering, Siddaramaiah said Yoga was the best form of exercise for a healthy body and mind and cheapest preventive healthcare.
"I have been practising yoga since the past two years under a trainer to be fit physically and mentally. Though I am 68 years old and diabetic, daily yoga exercises are helping me withstand the stress and strain that comes with duties and responsibilities of being a chief minister," Siddaramaiah said in Kannada.
Extending his government's support to the global event, the Chief Minister had directed state-run and private schools and colleges to hold Yoga class daily so that it could become a life-long habit for the younger generation.
"From experience I can assure you that one-hour yoga daily keeps us fresh, active and stress-free for the rest of 23 hours in a day. It is a free exercise with healthy rewards for life. As Yoga is a universal practice, it can be done by all irrespective of religion, caste, creed and nationality," Siddaramaiah asserted.
The Chief Minister also released a compact disc (CD) on aswasha asana (breathing exercise) with do-it-yourself Yoga tips.
Celebrity Bipasha Basu demonstrated forms of Yoga postures to make the audience repeat them.
State ministers K.C. George, U.T. Khader and T.B Jayachandra and senior officials of the state health and education departments participated in the event.