Leading a yoga session at the WHO regional committee meeting in Colombo, Health Minister J P Nadda today said the ancient Indian practice can contribute to building resilience against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which account for 60 per cent of mortalities.
Nadda, who led health ministers of several nations and hundreds other participants at the yoga session, said knowledge of yoga can be effectively used for preventing and controlling many lifestyles diseases.
“Problems of modern lifestyles are well known. Decline in communicable diseases has been accompanied by a gradual rise in the prevalence of chronic NCDs which now contribute to 60 per cent of mortalities. Yoga, an ancient practice of India, can contribute to building resilience against NCDs.
“The knowledge of yoga can be very effectively used for preventing and controlling many of the lifestyles diseases. Major NCDs like cancer, diabetes, CVD and stroke are to a great extent due to unhealthy lifestyle,” he said while expressing concern over rising prevalence of NCDs.
Nadda is representing India at the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee of South-East Asia Region at Colombo.
Nadda said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call at the United Nations General Assembly to recognise yoga as a provider of holistic approach to health and well-being and the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, with co-sponsorship from 177 countries, to observe June 21 as International Day of Yoga.
Nadda said yoga has the ability to bring together the body, soul and mind for a holistic approach to health and well-being, including physical, mental and spiritual realms of the human being.
“Yoga is not just a set of exercises. Yoga is a philosophy of discipline and meditation that transforms the spirit and makes the individual a better person in thought, action, knowledge and devotion,” he said.
Noting that the spread of yoga is a symbol of a changing world, Nadda said it represents a world where knowledge flows without restriction of country, creed or class and represents a world where people come together across boundaries for causes and concerns that unite the planet.
Noting that yoga is a collective gift to humanity, Nadda said that although it may have originated in India, it draws its energies from the millions who practise it around the world.