Yoga gathering too during

DEHRADUN: Chief minister Harish Rawat on Sunday announced that the state government would organize a four-month 'Yoga Mahakumbh' from January next year, which would occur simultaneously with the six-yearly Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar. "This will be a massive exercise, the first of its kind to be held at Haridwar, which will offer people a chance to take to a practice that is known to hold physical and mental benefits. It will motivate people of different age groups to take to a life free of tension and stress," the chief minister said. The chief minister was addressing a gathering at Haldwani's Heera Nagar on Sunday, where he had earlier inaugurated the new Yoga Park for police personnel in Nainital district. The chief minister said he had asked senior officers of the tourism, sports and other related departments to prepare modalities for the four-month Yoga Mahakumbh. People across the world are taking to yoga and meditation, the chief minister said. Senior officials involved in chalking out the programme at the Yoga Mahakumbh told TOI that a large gathering is expected. Inaugurating the Yoga Park at Heera Nagar, the chief minister said although the five-acre park is intended for serving police personnel, people from all walks of life should ideally be allowed to use it. A source in the state government said the park was developed at a cost of about Rs 40 lakh. He said half the expenses were borne by local residents who wanted a beautiful park in the area. A senior official said professionally-trained yoga teachers will train others at the park. The chief minister said his government was also exploring making use of yoga to treat the sick in the state. Ramesh Chandra Jain, a resident of Dehradun who is also a keen practitioner of yoga, said, "The decision to organise a Yoga Mahakumbh should be welcomed. The government will earn plaudits if it manages to hold it in a systematic and proper way."

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