Indian school children perform yoga in an open field as they mark International Yoga Day in Kolkata, India, on June 21. Millions of yoga enthusiasts across the world bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures Sunday. (Bikas Das/AP)

Millions of people celebrated the first International Yoga Day, rolling out their mats and striking complex postures on city streets, squares and classrooms around the world.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spread his mat among rows of people, including his Cabinet members and foreign diplomats, at New Delhi’s main thoroughfare, which was transformed into a sprawling exercise ground. New York’s busy Times Square was closed off to traffic as several hundred yoga enthusiasts took to their mats.

In Taipei, more than 2,000 participants rolled out mats and performed 108 rounds of the “sun salutation” — the sequence of poses often practiced at the beginning of a routine as the sun rises.

And in Dubai, a city in the Middle Eastern nation of United Arab Emirates, 21-year-old Ivan Stanley from India tried to breaks the world record for holding a headstand. Stanley held the position for 61 minutes and registered his attempt with Guinness World Records, which has yet to announce if he broke the record.

Other cities where people celebrated Yoga Day include Austin, Texas; Tel Aviv, Israel; Beijing, China; and Mexico City.

A young participant makes a pose during a yoga event in New York’s Times Square as part of International Yoga Day on June 21. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Many believe that yoga, the ancient form of exercise, is the best way to calm the mind and the best form of exercise for the body.

— Associated Press