New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The AYUSH ministry will organise a tour of Yoga professionals from abroad to Kerala, known as “Yoga’s birth place”, as part of various programmes in the run up to the International Day of Yoga (IDY).

Yoga Ambassadors Tour, the 10-day educational tour of Kerala is being organised with the support of the Kerala Tourism and the Association of Tourism Trade Organisations, India (ATTOI).

“Applications have been invited from established and practising yoga professionals from around the world to have a first-hand experience of Kerala, the southern state of India, the country proud to be known as the birth place of Yoga,” a senior AYUSH Ministry official said. The tour will culminate on June 21, which is the International Day of Yoga, and the delegates would also get a chance to participate in a mass yoga drill to mark IDY 2018.

“The Yoga professionals do not need to be only yoga practitioners, they can be yoga tour operators or yoga writers. “India is the source of yoga and place of its origin. We want them to experience and get the feel of how yoga is practiced in India,” the official said.

Meanwhile, around 5,000 delegates hailing from 16 countries and more than 40 yoga institutions and universities participated in the three-day International Yoga Fest which began on March 21.

Further, the ministry has shortlisted four cities — Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mysore — for holding the main function of International Yoga Day this year.

These four names will now be sent to the PMO which will select one city and then finalise the venue of the main event.

The international yoga fest will be followed by 10 state-level fests to be held in different parts of the country.

Also, 100 yoga teachers have been deployed in Indian missions abroad and delegates from more than 16 countries will participate in the event.

“The aim is to build an atmosphere of yoga leading up to the main event and sensitise the masses about the grand function on June 21,” an official had said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.