Yoga teacher Swami Ramdev - who has millions of followers in Asia - will attend a ceremony later this month when Little Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde will be re-named Peace Island.

Sam and Sunita Poddar, who recently bought the private isle, reportedly plan to run yoga breaks where visitors will practise stretching routines and breathing exercises.

The couple are trustees of the charity Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust, sister organisation of Divya Yoga which was founded by Ramdev.

He is a huge star in India, where millions follow his yoga camps on TV.

However, he is no stranger to controversy after reportedly claiming that yoga can cure cancer and homosexuality and treat Aids.

His website states that people are invited to the opening ceremony on Little Cumbrae "with Yogrishi Swami Ramdev's blessings".

Today, Alan Hill, North Ayrshire councillor for North Coast and Cumbraes, welcomed the plans, which he said could also benefit the nearby island of Great Cumbrae.

He said: "Lots of people are probably a bit bemused by the idea at the moment but I think in the longer term it will be beneficial.

"The new owners are keen for people to go for tourist purposes and that's something that can benefit both islands.

"I would be hoping to have discussions with the new owners to see what areas of mutual interest we can explore in terms of development."

In the 7th century a nun known as Saint Veya apparently lived on Little Cumbrae.

Mr Hill added: "There's some religious history to the island so it's quite nice to see that given a modern twist."

Fellow councillor Elisabethe Marshall said the retreat could provide a welcome boost as the seaside town of Largs has become the kind of place people visit on a day trip rather than a longer stay.

She said: "I think the new owners want to make it more of a tourist attraction, which would be good for the area.

"It may well help the area."

Mrs Poddar said: "We want to celebrate the glory of the island and for people to come and learn to live with nature."