High Commissioner of India to Kenya Dr Virander Paul on Wednesday urged Kenyans to embrace yoga while highlighting its health benefits.

Speaking during the eighth International Day of Yoga marked at the United Nations Complex in Nairobi, Virender said Yoga has played a critical role in curbing the cases of mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This year, the theme for this day is Yoga for Humanity. Yoga played a key role in tiding up the suffering we all faced on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Practising yoga will continue to help us alleviate human suffering,” he said.

He said that yoga is not only a physical exercise but also a holistic approach for the overall human being and promotes good mental health.

The High Commissioner lauded the participants of the event for their enthusiasm and interest in yoga.

The United Nations declared 21st June as the international day of yoga in December 2014, through a resolution proposed by India and endorsed by 175 member states.

UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Stephen Jackson, who was in attendance, also acknowledged that yoga was a universal activity and it promotes mental strength and health.

“Sometimes, people say that all the physical poses that you do, the upside and down poses and the balances are nothing but a way of getting you to breath properly. Yoga is about breathing, breathing deeply, reflecting and using that to promote a sense of mental and physical health,” Stephen said.

He noted that the celebration was aimed at promoting the awareness of the benefits of yoga to Kenyans where he encouraged people to embrace it and make it a routine.

“This day is a centre part and falls within our stronger commitment to the promotion of universal health, similar to the Kenyan Government’s commitment to promoting Universal Health Coverage in Kenya,” he said.

Jackson was also representing United Nations Office at Nairobi director general Zainab Hawa Bangura.

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