Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted the health benefits of yoga in an address to the nation on Sunday.
He championed it as an exercise that has soared in popularity during lockdowns worldwide, reports the BBC.
Modi endorsed the exercise in a video speech on Sunday to mark International Yoga Day, an annual event observed mostly in India but other countries too.
He said "the world is realising the need of yoga now more than ever" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yoga is the "best exercise to keep ourselves safe" because it helps to strengthen "our respiratory and immune system" against the disease, Modi said.
"A large number of Covid-19 patients all over the world are taking the benefits of all these techniques of yoga. The strength of yoga is helping them defeat this disease," Modi said.
A keen yoga enthusiast, Modi proposed the event to the United Nations General Assembly, which formally adopted it in 2014.
This year, Modi urged Indians to celebrate International Yoga Day at home, but some events did take place in outdoor spaces in India and other countries.