Responding to a query on the move of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to move court if 'surya namaskar' and 'yoga' were thrust on school children, the minister said that yoga should only be seen as an activity which benefits the mind, body and the soul.
"Yoga should not be categorized as belonging to some caste or community or some community...it should be seen purely as something which helps the body and it is for this reason that the practice of yoga was appreciated and followed globally," the former BJP national president said.
The AIMPLB had on Monday openly opposed yoga and said that it cannot be thrust on anyone.
The Narendra Modi government plans to take yoga further and efforts are on by the union HRD ministry to assimilate the practice in all schools and colleges.
On June 21 - the first International Yoga Day - children across the country will perform yoga.