Indian PM posts video of 'refreshing and rejuvenating' workout


Narendra Modi, whose supporters boast of his physical prowess and indifference to sleep, has shared the secrets to his morning fitness regime in a video in which the Indian prime minister wields a staff, walks backwards and flexes over a boulder.

The “refreshing and rejuvenating” benefits of his exercise workout were posted online on Wednesday, and also included a meditative stroll along a path inspired by nature.

It follows a trend of homemade motivational fitness videos from prominent Indians, including the national cricket captain, Virat Kohli, in an effort to tackle obesity and poor health among the country’s 1.25 billion people.

Modi, 67, implores Indians to follow his example in a two-minute clip shot in the lush garden of his New Delhi residence.

“Apart from yoga, I walk on a track inspired by the panchtatvas or five elements of nature – prithvi (earth), jal (water), agni (fire), vayu (air), aakash (sky),” Modi says in the video, which had been viewed nearly 200,000 times within hours of being posted.

“This is extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. I also practise breathing exercises.”

In one clip Modi, clad in a black tracksuit, walks backwards over a lawn with his hands clasped in a prayer pose, before stretching over a large boulder. He then proceeds to a specially designed path around a large tree, balancing on its edges before walking over pebbles, wood and water, as he pumps a wooden staff from side to side.

The teetotal vegetarian then stands before a Buddha statue, breathing through one nostril. Later he sits on a rock in a meditative pose, taking quick breaths.

Modi claims he operates on little sleep and his devotees have hailed his impressive physique, including a rumoured 56-inch chest. The passionate yoga enthusiast has also touted the benefits of the ancient Indian practice via a cartoon avatar of himself performing sun salutations and downward dogs.

Government ministers were quick to heap praise on Modi for his “unparallelled energy levels”. But others were less impressed.

“Majority of middle-class citizens live amidst stink from open defecation by slumdwellers & smoke from waste burning & fuelwood,” posted one Twitter user, Naresh Minocha.

Despite the tranquillity depicted in Modi’s garden, experts often warn Indians against exercising outdoors in New Delhi and other major cities due to poor air quality. Levels of harmful airborne pollutants in the capital reached 14 times the World Health Organization safe level on Wednesday, according to the US embassy website.



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