India leader proposes International Yoga Day

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — India’s prime minister is proposing a new addition to the lengthy list of annual U.N. observances: World Yoga Day.

In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled the therapeutic powers of yoga and said it could help tackle global problems.

Modi told delegates Saturday that yoga could, “bring a change in our lifestyle and create awareness in us, and it can help in fighting against climate change.”

The Indian leader has a reputation as an ascetic. He’s in the midst of a nine-day fast dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga.

The U.N. already has 118 awareness-raising days of observance.

Saturday is World Tourism Day. Among others in the calendar: the International Day of Happiness, World Soil Day, International Mother Earth Day and International Jazz Day.