Sorig Zhiney and Luejong gaining popularity in schools

Sorig Zhiney and Luejong, a mindfulness and yoga practice, based on the Bhutanese traditional medicine system, is gaining popularity in schools across the country after its introduction, last year. The practice was initiated in schools by The PEMA Secretariat in collaboration with the National Traditional Medicine Hospital. Students and teachers who practise Sorig Zhiney and Luejong say it has been helpful to them.

Designed to improve the functions of the sensory and inner organs, and mind relaxation, the Sorig Zhiney and Luejong include 32 exercises.

Sorig Zhiney was introduced by a twelfth-century physician, Yutok Yoenten Gonpo, known as the “Father of Tibetan Medicine.”

Before introducing the practice in schools, teachers and health workers from different districts were trained by the National Traditional Medicine Hospital.

“Sorig Zhiney refers to the practice of keeping our mind focused and Luejong means exercise for our body. There are a total of 32 exercises divided into five sub-parts namely Sorig Zhiney, warm-ups, exercises for mental health, general exercises for people of all age groups, and exercises for patients who could not be cured by medicine,” said Ugyen Phuntsho, In-charge of Soring Zhiney at National Traditional Medicine Hospital.

Students say practising Sorig Zhiney and Luejong helped them develop a healthy mind and body, improved their focus, relieved stress, and added to their overall well-being.

“As a student, we are stressed because of our studies. So, joining this initiative not only promotes mental well-being but also helps us concentrate while studying. Unlike regular meditation, which only focuses on breathing, this one also helps enhance physical well-being,” said Kinley Bidha, a student.

“I could focus more on my studies and be mindful of my actions. So, I think it is different from the usual mindfulness practice, which we do in school as it focuses on our body as well,” said Tenzin Lhaden, another student.

According to teachers, students mostly need mental health exercises compared to other exercises.

“It is hard to identify the benefits of Sorig Zhiney and Luejong but if I have to measure, they are 100 percent beneficial. After practising them, those who were suffering from mental illnesses can now interact better with other people. We do this exercise thrice a week, rigorously, before the beginning of the class for one hour,” said Khenpo Tshewang Loday, a teacher at Motithang Higher Secondary School.

According to the National Traditional Medicine Hospital, the Sorig Zhiney and Luejong practice will now be implemented in all schools across the country.

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