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UNGA President, Richard Gere join PM Modi for yoga session at UN headquarters

New York, June 21 (IANS) Hollywood actor Richard Gere and the President of United Nations General Assembly, Csaba Korosi, were among some of the prominent personalities who joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a yoga session at the UN headquarters in New York to mark International Day of Yoga on Wednesday.

Modi led the yoga session at the UN headquarters in New York, where he had reached on Tuesday as part of his three-day state visit to the US.

Some other personalities attending the yoga session include New York Mayor Eric Adams, UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, Vala Afshar, who is the chief digital evangelist at Salesforce, American singer and actor Mary Millben, composer Ricky Kej and chef Vikas Khanna, among others.

Prime Minister Modihit out at the commercialization of yoga, pointing out that it is free of copyrights and patents.

“Yoga is free from copyrights, free from patents and free from royalty payments,” Modi said.

In the US in particular, as well as elsewhere, yoga teachers and organisations claim copyrights and royalties and, sometimes, approach the courts.

For example, Indian-American yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury had sued an organisation that he claimed had violated his copyright on yoga practices. But the US federal courts threw out his case.

Meanwhile, Modi also welcomed the medical and scientific research on yoga.

“I’m delighted that many of you are working on scientifically validating the different aspects of yoga. Indeed, this is the way,” he said while addressing a gathering of about 1,800 people.

“Yoga comes from India and it has a very old tradition. But like all ancient Indian traditions, it is also living, dynamic,” Modi said.

“Yoga is a way of life, a holistic approach to health and well-being, a way to mindfulness in thought and action, a way to live in harmony with self, with others and with nature,” he said.

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