Launching the observance of first International Yoga Day, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday emphasised on the importance of yoga in daily life and underscored the need for incorporating it as an integral part of life.

Pradhan launched the observance of first International Yoga Day at Cuttack, Odisha, on Sunday where more than 1,000 people including officials from various walks of life participated, an official release said.

Addressing the gathering at the Cuttack Indoor Stadium, Pradhan stressed on the importance of yoga in daily life.

He also underscored the need for incorporating yoga as an integral part of our life in order to achieve a healthy and prosperous life as well as a strong nation.

"Today is a proud day for all of us when more than 190 countries are observing International Yoga Day, conceptualised by our visionary Prime Minister. Yoga, an ancient knowledge of this great country and enriched through ages of experiments, has been recognized today as the best technique towards making a healthy body and mind," he said.

Pradhan also advised all the oil companies under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) to encourage their employees and family members to imbibe yoga as part of life. A concrete roadmap needs to be drawn to sensitise people about how Yoga can make a difference in an individual’s life, he added.

The state-run Public Sector Undertakings under the MoPNG had also observed International Yoga Day in their respective work centres across the country in which their employees and family members had participated in large numbers.