Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on 10 October said that though yoga has nothing to do with religion, some people, unfortunately, give religious overtones to the ancient scientific system, which is a disservice to humanity.
"Yoga adopts a holistic approach towards health and well-being. While Yoga has nothing to do with religion, some people unfortunately attribute religious overtones to this ancient scientific system. Any one trying to do so is harming humanity," said Naidu after inaugurating the 3rd International Yoga Conference here.
Stressing that "Yoga is a science of well-being", he called for the subject to be studied and practised like any other medical system.
"More research needs to be done to take this science forward, so that the world population benefits from this treasury of knowledge and wisdom," said Naidu.
The Vice President said the ancient science of Yoga "is India's invaluable gift to the modern world".
Calling it mother of all exercises, Naidu said there was a misconception that Yoga was only a kind of physical exercise meant to help improve the physical fitness of an individual.
"Nothing could be farther than this. It is a holistic system where the mind and body act in unison and get completely rejuvenated, as physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation help in overall well-being of an individual.
"And, of course, Yoga also helps in the spiritual quest of an individual through understanding of the inner-self and achieving complete peace with the surroundings," said Naidu.
The theme of two-day international conference is "Yoga for Wellness". Around 25 national and international experts are speakers at the event, which is being attended by over 500 delegates. Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik presided over the inaugural function.
Secretary (AYUSH) C.K. Mishra, Special Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and yoga gurus of international repute were also present.
Naidu on the occasion also stated that while, yoga was an integral part of "Health and Physical Education" in India, it was also gaining popularity in schools in far-off lands, including the United States.
"It has been introduced in schools in the UK and Australia because of its positive effects on concentration levels and emotional balance, among others," said Naidu.
The Vice President on the occasion also appreciated the efforts of people like Baba Ramdev.
"He (Baba Ramdev) took Yoga to every house. That is the greatness of this individual. He made this herculean task simple by explaining what Yoga is and how it helps you lead a better life," said Naidu.