Abuja - The First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, on Sunday in Abuja urged Nigerians to embrace yoga to enhance their physical and mental well-being.
Buhari, who spoke at the First International Day of Yoga, organised by the Indian High Commission in Abuja, said, "Yoga is a gift from India to the world".
The first lady, who was represented by Alanyingi Sylva, the wife of the of the former governor of Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva, pointed out that Yoga had been a success story of India.
"Her (Aisha’s) message is to thank the Indian High Commission for bringing Yoga and to encourage Nigerians to embrace the initiative of yoga.
"This is because, it (yoga) is for the well-being of your mind and body. Yoga is a very welcome initiative by the Indian High Commission because it has been around and it has been a source of well-being for the Indian people.
"It is a gift from India to the world. They’ve had a success story of yoga for thousands of years and they are bringing it to Nigeria.
"We hope it is going to add to the well-being of Nigerians. Nigerians should do what is physically fit for them to enhance their well-being," she said.
The Indian High Commissioner, Ajjanpur Ghanashyam, said yoga was a concept designed for the well-being and wellness of humankind.
He said: "It tries to put together the body, the mind and the soul with the rest of environment and nature.
"The beauty of it is it doesn’t require any money, it doesn’t require equipment; it does not require any kind of financial investment and it helps you.
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"Basically what it does is to make sure that your bones are fit, the joints of your bones are well-healed and well-oiled.
"You also feel more focused when you do your work and much more happy with yourself, with your family, with your environment and with your friends.
"So most people think that Yoga is a form of exercise; it is not just an exercise, it is much more than exercise," he said.
Ghanashuam said Yoga had the capacity to increase the oxygen content inside the body to ensure well-being.
"It has been proved that children who do Yoga perform better in their examinations.
"They are able to hold their minds and focus on to what they are doing by helping their attention span to go up," he said.
The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, whose address was read by Ghanashyam, said India was proud that the UN had taken Yoga as one of the world’s invaluable legacies.
"If we really wish to have a stable, stress-free life, we need to have a stable inner self.
"The opportunity of stability of inner self comes through the practice of Yoga when we attempt to explore our inner self everyday for a certain period of time."
The UN General Assembly on December 11, 2014, declared June 21 of every year as the International Day of Yoga.