Letha Yoga Workshop
& The Bodyworks Program
Tues. 6 - 7:15 PM, Sat. 2:30 - 4 PM
Group Leaders: Anthony Sell,
Kari Post, Adam Nowakowski, Regi Bron
Bodyworks Program is led by Anthony Sell, who has been given permission
to teach the Bando Monk Healing Systems by Dr. Maung Gyi (LL.B.,
M.S., Ph.D. and Chief Instructor of the American Bando Association).
In our weekly classes, Anthony, Kari, Adam and Regi demonstrate
a wide range of skills that can help to improve performance and
maintain the proper functionality and range of motion of the body.
from Shiatsu, Tui Na, Thai Massage and Applied Kinesiology, this
class also covers different Eastern traditions of solo and partner-based
stretching, various forms of massage, pain release, and identification
of possible causes of injury and referred pain, as well as exercises
for improving overall health and well-being. Students are also given
a rudimentary understanding of anatomy and physiology, postural
indicators, strength & conditioning methods, highlighting the
relationships between breathing, posture, psychology, muscular balance
and structural alignment.
of the focus of this method of Yoga, the exercises, stretches and
routines practiced are ideally suited for Martial Artists and those
interested in other forms of Healing or bodywork. Continued practice
can extend the life of heavily used (and sometimes abused) joints
and limbs, allowing us to continue practicing well into old age.
Letha Yoga is also excellent for reducing stress levels and muscular
tension (such as developed during a prize fight or competition).
addition to the Letha Yoga, we practice several other related forms
of Yoga, all of which are part of the Bando Monk Healing Systems.
This includes Dhanda Yoga (practiced with a 3'-6' staff), Dhota
Stick Massage (practiced with thin bamboo rods), Longi Yoga (practiced
with a 9' long cord), Healing Stone Massage (practiced with a natural
Brook Stone), and Min Zin (which is a very specific form of Pranayama).
Each of these practices compliment the other, and offer different
challenges, both physically and mentally.
following description of Letha Yoga is excerpted from the upcoming
text written by Dr. Maung Gyi and James Muntean (B.S., D.O. Osteopathic
Manipulative Medicine at the Athens Medical Center), Letha Yoga,
An Ancient Burmese System of Body Manipulation, Adjustment and Alignment,
1st Edition, 2001. [Plans are presently being made to release this
text to the public along with illustrative photographs describing
the practice of Letha Yoga.]
to His Holiness Halin Sayadaw, for many centuries, the Hpyu people
[ancient inhabitants of northern Burma] were repeatedly conquered
and subjugated by invaders moving down from northwestern China,
northeastern India and southern Tibet. Thousands of Hpyu people
were forced to work as laborers and servants. They were socially
considered as underclass, lower cast and often treated as outcasts
lived a life of hard labor serving the conquers. Many of them
worked as menial and manual laborers such as farmers, lumbermen,
carpenters, stone and brick layers, weavers, boatmen, herdsmen,
etc. Thier work consisted of cutting, digging, lifting, pushing,
pulling and carrying heavy loads.
injury to their bodies and joints could seriously affect their
daily routine and jeaopardize thier subsistence living from the
land. Maintaining the health of their joints was one of their
monks and elders taught different systems of yoga to maintain
the health of their people. One of the systems practiced was Letha
to His Holiness, Letha Yoga means, "partner-assisted yoga,"
or "yoga assisted by the limbs of a concerned partner."
It was a lowly system known also as "slave yoga,""servant
yoga," "yoga for laborers," etc.
Yoga is different from many other yoga systems. It focusses on
major human joints:
- Head and Jaw
- Wrists and Fingers
- Ankles and Toes
Yoga did not have the prestige and wide acceptance of the yoga
systems taught and practiced by members of the upper Brahmin caste.
Indian yoga systems widely practiced in the United States include
Hata Yoga, Astanga Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Bhakti Yoga,
Raja Yoga, and many others. On the other hand, from ancient times
to the present day, Letha Yoga has been practiced by many menial
and manual laborers in villages, towns, and monasteries in the
border region between northwestern Burma and India.
of its humble and lowly origin, Letha Yoga can provide a small
piece of the puzzle in our constant search for a healthier and
A Short Animated Clip Demonstrating a series
of stretches from the Art of Thai Massage:
Our current practice includes the
- Letha Yoga
- Dhanda Yoga
- Dhota Stick Massage
- Longi Yoga
- Healing Stone Massage
- Shiatsu/Tui-Na &
Related Massage Therapy
- Applied Kinesiology
Muscle Testing & Clinical Diagnostics
- Min Zin Breathing
& Mudra Practices, Pranayama
- Amaka-Ho, Ampuku,
Gyoki & Various Chi Gung Methods