By Goodluck Ikiebe
The Federal Government has called on Nigerians to embrace Yoga as a reliable exercise for the enhancement of their physical and mental wellbeing.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, gave the advice at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja during the 2023 International Day of Yoga organised by the Indian High Commission in Nigeria.
He observed that Yoga is a safe practice for all age-groups, sex and social background, as it provides rich varieties of exercises for all body types.
Alhaji Ismaila explained that Yoga goes far beyond mere stretches as it also consists of series of isometric contractions that combines with intentional breathing intervals to improve healthy living and well-being, which he said, “manifests by ways of improved cardio-respiratory activities, recovery from stress, increased flexibility as well as improved respiratory energy and vitality”.
He added that “the exercise among others; prevents injuries, weight reduction, improved muscular strength, enhances balanced metabolism, increases mental alertness, relaxation, and ultimately harmonizes the mind, body and soul for optimal productivity”.
While describing Yoga as an ancient form of Indian exercise, the Permanent Secretary noted that the commemoration of the day further demonstrates the long, strong and healthy bilateral relationship existing between Nigeria and India.
He therefore called on all Nigerians, both young and old to key into the exercise for good health and longevity, with a view to enhancing productivity so as to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri-G Balasubramanian, thanked the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration for its commitment to the development of the citizens through various sporting exercises for enhanced economic growth and development.
He expressed optimism that the constant practice of the exercise will not only go a long way in ensuring improved health and longevity of the lives of the citizens of Nigeria but also help in producing a stronger workforce that would drive the economic transformation of the country.