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21/06/2015 7:29 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

PHOTOS: 50 Cities Across The World Greet The Sun With Yoga Before International Yoga Day

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As a prelude to International Yoga Day, thousands of enthusiasts in 50 cities around the world rolled out their mats in historic locations. The event called 'The Sun Never Sets On Yoga' spanned five contents, from Japan to Budapest, London, St Petersburg, and Rio De Janeiro amongst other places.

In India, people practiced the surya namaskar and other yogic postures in a number of cities, including in Agra before the Taj Mahal.

This initiative was organised by the Art of Living, an NGO established in 1981 to promote good living and humanitarian practices with heavy emphasis on stress-relief.

"​Just like the Sun, yoga is age-old and yet ever-ne​w.​ ​It ​is ​a holistic way of life that integrates all elements to make a prayerful discipline uniting the body, mind and soul​," said Kamlesh Barwal, Global Head, The Art of Living Yoga.​

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the programme also allayed the fear that he claimed many have about yogic practices leading one away from their religion. “Like eating pizza or chowmein doesn’t make one Italian or Chinese, doing yoga isn’t going to make one Indian or Hindu. When we accept cuisines, fashion, music and technologies from every part of the world as a sign of progressive thinking, why not wisdom of yoga from India,” adding that yoga (synonymous with relaxation, happiness or a creative mind) has been embraced by the world as a skill to enhance the quality of life.

Here are images of people from across the world practising yoga as a prelude to International Yoga Day.

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