Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India after releasing the Book Yoga and Mindfulness authored by well known Yoga exponent, Ms. Mansi Gulati, in New Delhi on October 29, 2018.

New Delhi | October 29, 2018

“I am delighted to release the book, “Yoga and Mindfulness’, which provides a broad and comprehensive overview of Yoga and its benefits.

This book by Ms. Mansi Gulati, a well-known Yoga exponent, will further enrich the enormous literature and body of work on Yoga. Written in simple language and from a user’s perspective, the book will come in handy for beginners as well as regular yoga practitioners. I would like to compliment Mansi for her untiring efforts to popularize yoga.

Dear sisters and brothers, Yoga, an ancient physical, mental and spiritual discipline, is India’s gift to the world. We all need to be proud of the fact that UN has declared June 21 as International Yoga Day following the efforts of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

I would like to recall what the Prime Minister had told the UN General Assembly in 2014. He had said : “ Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change”.

Today, around 180 countries are celebrating International Yoga Day on June 21 as the world leaders have recognized its wide-ranging beneficial effects on mind and body and its holistic impact on the well-being of an individual. In fact, during my foreign travels, I have noticed the presence of Yoga training centres in many countries, including Latin America.

I would also like to mention that Yoga has nothing to do with religion although some people with bigoted mindset and a tunnel vision are attempting to give it a religious colour. The fact that people in several countries across the continents have embraced Yoga shows the hollowness of the claims that link yoga to religion.

Various studies have chronicled the health-enhancing outcomes of Yoga for many medical problems from depression to asthma. The need to make Yoga an integral part of the daily routine has become an absolute necessity in the present times to combat lifestyle diseases which have acquired menacing proportions.

According to ICMR India State-Level Disease Burden Study report, the estimated proportion of all deaths due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has increased from 37.09% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016.

As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16, 11% of women (1 in 10) and 15% of men (1 in 7) in the 15-49 age group are hypertensive.

It is estimated number of cancer patients in India is around 2.25 million and every year over 11.5 lakh new patients are diagnosed with the disease. the estimated number of cancer-related deaths are in 2018 is over 7. 8 lakhs. These are worrisome statistics and this unhealthy trend of trend of increasing cancer cases has to be curbed by concerted efforts of healthcare professionals, policymakers and other stakeholders in health sector.

The Government has formulated the National Health Policy, 2017, which seeks to promote preventive healthcare and ensure universal access to good quality healthcare services. In short, the policy seeks to move away from sick-care to wellness, with thrust on prevention and health promotion. It basically seeks to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases.

Every individual has to become health conscious and avoid leading sedentary lifestyle, eating junk food and harmful use of alcohol and tobacco.

Obesity also is becoming a common health problem and I am sure that integrating Yoga into daily routine will help in combating various illnesses. Regular practice of Yoga will aid in strengthening muscles, improving respiration, lung functions, metabolism and circulation.It would also help in improving immune system and mind relaxation.

Thank you. Jaihind!”