Daily yoga has now been made compulsory for the 10 lakh-strong central paramilitary forces as part of their physical drill.
A directive issued to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) by the Union Home Ministry said they should also ensure that Yoga is practised even at active duty areas like border posts and those in the Left Wing Extremism affected states of the country.
The CAPFs were directed to implement the Yoga drill on a "priority" and that an action taken report be also submitted.
"Physical exercises are the part of daily routine of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles personnel in various field formations like battalions, Group Centres, border out posts etc. Keeping in view the importance Yoga has gained in recent time, it would be prudent to include it as part of daily physical exercise of the forces in various field establishments," a directive from the Home Ministry said.
The directive has been issued to the six CAPFs like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, National Security Guard and the Assam Rifles which work under the command of the Union Home Ministry.
The order has asked the Directors General (DsG) of the forces to issue appropriate instructions to their field formations spread across the country and also submit an action taken report in this regard.
"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition and it is the responsibility of everyone to preserve it by adopting it as a part of daily activity. Accordingly, it would be appropriate to incorporate Yoga as part of daily routine of force personnel," the order said.
While the force headquarters are still formulating an action plan to start these exercises in a full-fledged manner, a plan of utilising off-duty personnel for the same has been chalked out initially.
"In active duty areas, the reserve or off-duty troops and officers would be asked to perform Yoga. This will be done in rotation in such areas where the facilities are not so much in abundance," a senior official said.
They said various 'asanas' would be done at certain areas on a case-by-case basis. Locations where there are thin levels of oxygen, there can be a relaxation in doing breathing exercises.
While Yoga is an important component of the introductory and refresher training courses of these forces, it is not conducted daily in active-duty and hard areas as troops at these locations are instructed to carry out fast physical exercises keeping in mind the task at hand.
The world celebrated the first International Yoga Day on June 21 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up a proposal for the same during his first address to the UN General Assembly in September last year.
Two world records were also set by India on the same day by having 35,985 participants performing 'asanas' at one venue and as many as 84 nationalities joining in the official observation of the day at Rajpath.