India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands in a spectacular mass participation attempt for two Yoga world record titles yesterday in New Delhi.
The event, which took place in front of India’s government buildings on the iconic Rajpath saw 35,985 people take part in the attempt which set a new record for the largest yoga lesson (single venue).
The event formed part of the International Day of Yoga, a UN backed initiative supported by over 170 members states.
Enthusiastic participants started to flow onto a 1.4 km long section of the ceremonial boulevard at daybreak under the watchful eye of Guinness World Records official adjudicators who were assisted by over a thousand stewards.
The attempt beat a previous benchmark which had stood for almost ten years of 29,973, which was set in Gwailior, India back in November 2005.
With a total of 84 different and unique nationalities taking part in Sunday’s attempt, a second record was also set for most nationalities in a yoga lesson.
Mr Modi was joined by cabinet members and foreign diplomats as well as over 5,000 schoolchildren and 5,000 members of the central army forces for the record-breaking session.
Speaking after the lesson, the Prime Minister said: “We are not only celebrating a day, but we are training the human mind to begin a new era of peace and harmony.”
35,985 people belonging to 84 nations joined the #YogaDay programme at Rajpath. 2 world records have been set. Yoga truly unites.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 21, 2015
Four instructors lead the lesson which was relayed on 32 large LED screens with instructions in both Hindi and English throughout.
The lesson focussed on traditional yoga, with common poses that people of all age groups would be able to attempt.
Events for the International Day of Yoga took place across India and throughout the world including large-scale lessons in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Beijing, and Paris.
The ancient form of exercise, which originated in India, dates back thousands of years, and is used to calm the mind and stretch the body.