From subway stations to frozen lakes—how the world practices yoga

That’s how you do it.
That’s how you do it.
Image: Reuters/Michael Fiala
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Narendra Modi—in his address at the UN General Assembly in New York last year—called for an International Yoga Day. It should “not be just an exercise for us, but it should be a means to get connected with the world and with nature,” the Indian prime minister said.

An avid yoga practitioner, Modi has time and again underlined the importance of this esoteric practice, which finds its roots in ancient India. In fact, on June 21—the day he had declared as the International Yoga Day—Modi and his colleague Rajnath Singh, India’s home minister, will perform yoga together at Rajpath, a boulevard in central Delhi.

The Indian prime minister’s intention is to bring yoga to the world, but it seems that the world has already embraced it years ago.

Quartz brings you a collection of photos of men and women from around the world performing the ancient meditative practice. Contrary to a typical outdoor surrounding, or an indoor studio—where people usually practice—they are seen performing yoga in the most unusual places: From a museum, to a juvenile detention centre, to a New York subway station.

Demonstrators sleep as people practice yoga at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol.
Image: Reuters/Susana Vera
Inmates practice yoga during class inside a juvenile detention centre in Mexico City.
Image: Reuters/Carlos Jasso
Yoga aficionados practice on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Twelve-year-old certified yoga instructor Jaysea DeVoe (right) does the mermaid pose with her friend Miely as they float on their paddle boards after the sun sets in Encinitas, California. DeVoe became a certified yoga instructor in 2014 after completing 200 hours of teacher training.
Image: Reuters/Mike Blake
Revellers perform yoga as they celebrate the summer solstice on Salisbury Plain in southern England. Stonehenge is a celebrated venue of festivities during the summer solstice—the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere—and it attracts thousands of revellers, spiritualists and tourists. Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, believe Stonehenge was a centre of spiritualism more than 2,000 years ago.
Image: Reuters/Kieran Doherty
People practice yoga in Times Square as part of a Summer Solstice celebration in New York.
Image: Reuters/Eric Thayer
Lauren Tallody (bottom) and Bassam Kubba (top) practice acroyoga, a mixture of yoga and acrobatics, on a subway platform at 42nd Street beneath Grand Central station in New York.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
Xie Xiaoming, 26-year-old owner of a yoga club, practices yoga in thin clothes near trees covered by frosty fog on the snow-covered banks of Songhua River in Jilin, Jilin province.
Image: Reuters/stringer
Members of the yoga project ‘Y-8’ practice their ‘Alsteryoga’ on the frozen Alster lake in the northern German town of Hamburg.
Image: Reuters/Christian Charisius
Yoga students stretch in front of fish in the Lisbon Oceanarium while a diver works on cleaning maintenance.
Image: Reuters/Nacho Doce
Participants attend a monthly yoga class in a room with specially chosen artwork by artist Gao Xingjian at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Image: Reuters/Francois Lenoir
Participants take part in the first-ever public yoga session at Fenway Park, home of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image: Reuters/Brian Snyder
People take part in a yoga class on a capsule of the Singapore Flyer observation wheel in Singapore.
Image: Reuters/Vivek Prakash
People take part in a group yoga practice at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Image: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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