International Yoga Day: India takes a deep breath with Modi on the mat

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in a mass yoga session along with other practitioners to mark International Yoga Day at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun on June 21, 2018.

(CNN)Indian Prime Minister and longtime yoga practitioner Narendra Modi led an estimated 50,000 volunteers through a series of yoga asanas Thursday to celebrate the fourth anniversary of International Yoga Day.

The 67-year-old leader, who lobbied for international recognition of Yoga Day in 2014, landed in Dehradun, Uttarakhand late Wednesday, but was up early to take his position on a bright orange yoga mat.
Uttarakhand, home to the city of Rishikesh and a self-professed "abode of the Gods" has long been a center for yoga tourism.
    The Prime Minister's decision to celebrate International Yoga Day in Dehradun was warmly welcomed by the Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat, who said he hoped it would cement the state's status as a premier destination for yogis worldwide.