Yoga has become a ray of hope amid the global fight against the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. He made the remark during his address to the country on the seventh International Yoga Day. The theme for 2021 was “Yoga For Wellness”.

“No country was prepared when Covid-19 emerged,” Modi said. “In these tough times, we all saw that yoga became a huge source of self-confidence.”

The prime minister claimed that yoga showed practitioners the road from “stress to strength and from negativity to creativity”.

“Yoga tells us that many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves,” he said. “We are the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

India has registered 2,98,81,965 coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year. It is the second worst country affected country in the world, behind only the US, which has 3.35 crore cases. There have been 3,86,713 deaths in India.

Modi claimed that doctors and frontline workers had told him they made yoga a shield for protection against Covid-19 for themselves as well as their patients.

The prime minister said that researchers were studying the benefits of yoga for immunity. “We see that yoga and breathing exercises are being done at the beginning of online classes,” Modi said. “This is helping children in fighting the virus.”

Modi announced the launch of the “M-Yoga app”, which will make training videos available across the world in different languages. The initiative is a collaboration with the United Nations and the World Health Organization.