On the International Yoga Day, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged educational institutions to include Yoga as part of online learning programmes being conducted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to improve immunity.

Vice President’s remarks came at the digital ‘Yoga and Meditation Shivir’ organised by SPIC MACAY on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.

“I am glad that ‘UNICEF Kid Power’ has listed 13 Yoga stretches and poses for children,” Naidu said.

Observing that the 5,000-year-old tradition is not a mere workout, he said, “It is a science that emphasizes balance, poise, grace, equanimity, peace and harmony”.

Calling for large-scale scientific experimentation to further explore the immense possibilities of Yoga as a wellness solution, Naidu said Yoga as a mode of therapy or Yog Chikitsa has become extremely popular. He said that a large number of studies offer scientific evidence for its potential to treat a number of diseases.

Referring to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of the people, the Vice President said, “Indeed the world is going through challenging times and we simply cannot allow the pandemic to get the better of us. We have to unite and put up a stronger fight and to ensure that we are healthy, both physically and mentally.”

He said that yoga can be an effective solution for the high level of stress that the pandemic has created in our lives. “Yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health and its full potential must be harnessed,” he added.

Pointing out that the pandemic is not the only health crisis that has threatened the wellbeing of the people, he expressed concern over the increase in lifestyle diseases.

Quoting WHO, he said it was estimated that 63 per cent of all deaths in India in 2016 were because of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). “Yoga remains an incredibly simple but powerful instrument to prevent and control lifestyle diseases,” Naidu observed.

(With inputs from IANS)