Our most precious blessing is to be part of this expanding worldwide community of Thai Massage practitioners: the Sangha. And it all begins, somehow, back in the 80’s with a German buddhist monk, Asokananda. He started it all. His vision was to bring together Yoga, Vipassana Meditation and Thai Massage. And he called it Thai Yoga Massage. Over the years he built the Sunshine Network, a global movement with it’s base of operations located up in the Lahu Village, 86km north east of Chiang Mai.
His two main teachers, Chaiyuth Priyasith and Pichest Boonthumme, are widely recognized as important Thai Massage masters of the 20th century. Their approach could not be more different. The first, Chaiyuth, very dynamic. Rythmic movements moving the fluids, with a lot of contact and filled with intuition. His way included plenty of rocking, shaking, rubbing, moving; often with eyes rolled up and in
‘shamanic mode’. The second, Pichest, uses gravity as the main force for his Static style. He finds the tension, stabilizes the area, and leans with his body weight as he exhales. They both share their passion and dedication for Buddhist teachings and meditation. Pichest still teaches in his home outside Chiang Mai. Unfortunately both Chaiyuth (2004) and Asokananda (2005) passed away earlier than expected.
I was only lucky to meet Pichest in person. And I have been fortunate to study in depth with Asokakanda’s direct students, an endless source of inspiration.
Thank you all.