Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the country on Sunday to mark International Yoga Day, said that practising yoga can help strengthen the immune system and help fight the highly-contagious coronavirus.

“The coronavirus attacks our respiratory system,” the prime minister said during his virtual address. “Pranayaam or breathing exercises help strengthen the respiratory system to fight the disease.”

Modi added that the theme of this year’s International Yoga Day was to stay at home and exercise with family. “Today, we will stay away from all social gatherings and do yoga with our family,” the prime minister said. “When families do yoga together, it helps them bond. We must try to make yoga a part of our lives.”

The prime minister said that yoga has immense benefits for the mind too. “Yoga provides us with the self-motivation and confidence to fight and win against difficulties,” he said. “Yoga calms us down mentally and also gives us endurance.”


‘Yoga day goes indoors’: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a message about International Yoga Day

Modi added that yoga also unites people across the world. “Yoga enhances our quest for a healthier planet,” he said. “It has emerged as a force for unity and deepens the bonds of humanity. It does not discriminate. It goes beyond race, color, gender, faith and more. Anybody can embrace it.”

The prime minister, while addressing the nation on the coronavirus pandemic on previous occasions, has repeatedly emphasised on the effectiveness of yoga in boosting immunity.

The International Yoga Day is being celebrated digitally for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was first established on June 21, 2015.

India is witnessing a sharp increase in coronavirus cases and is now among the world’s five worst-affected countries. On Saturday, the country had recorded 14,516 new coronavirus cases – the biggest single-day rise so far. India now has 3,95,048 cases. The country’s toll has gone up to 12,948.