Thinley Namgay

Yoga is increasingly gaining popularity among Bhutanese urbanites.

Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre (NWCC) has more than 4,000 registered Bhutanese.

Tashi Yetsho, a yoga instructor, in a conversation with KVSSN Murthy, at the Indian Embassy yesterday, said that some Bhutanese had now opened private yoga studios.

The programme was one of the activities to commemorate the Sixth International Day of Yoga on June 21 with the theme “Ghar Ghar Se Yoga” (Yoga from Home).

“Most of the schools, institutions and hotels are also incorporating yoga in their daily life. In western countries, yoga is more focused on body fitness. But Bhutan and India deal with travelling inwardly and knowing your own body and mind,” Tashi Yetsho said.

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India 5,000 years ago.

The press release from the Indian Embassy states: “Yoga consists of series of poses, meditation, controlled breathing, word chanting, and other techniques designed to help individuals build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation.”

Tashi Yetsho said that practising yoga could cure lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and stress-related disorders. “These diseases are all due to lack of timely exercises. There is a risk in it and requires a lifestyle re-modification. By diligently doing yoga regularly will cure these diseases.”

In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the yoga was becoming ever more popular, said Tashi Yetsho.

“People explore the yoga online by following YouTube, Instagram, and the Indian Embassy is also giving online yoga session every morning. Amid Covid-19, yoga is beneficial to boost immunity, to stay calm, and also to remain stable,” she said.

KVSSN Murthy said that the use of the ancient Indian traditional medicine system called Ayurveda had the potential to perform the yoga better. “The use of Ayurveda has benefit in terms of boosting immunity, detoxification, anti-agent and attaining spirituality.”

Tashi Yetsho, who has collaborated with BBS and demonstrated a few episodes focusing on how to remain calm during the pandemic, said, “Comments from the people were positive so far. Yoga has no age bound. Everyone can do it.”

Besides supporting the people with disabilities, Tashi Yetsho also teaches yoga to private individuals, institutions, expatriates, elderly groups, and youth. Currently, she is working with Royal Thimphu College in the disability project as an inclusive employment coordinator.

The embassy conducted ‘asana of the day’ competition from June 10-12, and an online yoga quiz contest on June 11. India’s Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy launched a yoga video blogging contest on June 1 which will end on June 21.

International day of yoga was first proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of UN’s general assembly.