You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher, and what do they teach you?
More than 2,500 years ago, an Indian doctor named Shivago Komarpaj, was said to have been the physician to the Buddha and his sangha, or community. He believed everything had healing properties, whether weeds, the soil or rocks that don’t seem to have any medicinal properties at all. He is also considered as the Father of traditional Thai medicine.
So if there is any person in history I would like to have as my teacher, to teach me any topic I want, it’s him. I’d like him to teach me how to bring about the union of mind, body and spirit whether through bodywork or in combination with herbal medicine, nutrition, meditation, exercise and always, incorporating the world around us.
Many Thai massage practitioners honor Father Shivago, or the Father Doctor, as he is called, with a prayer or mantra, like this one recited by one of my teachers, Jack Chaiya.
I took this picture so many years ago when I first learned Thai Massage. The women in the photograph are my teacher, Janice (right) and fellow student and yoga instructor, Tanya.
The two weeks I spent with them and other therapists ranks as one of the best times of my life, a time when my life changed completely. The time was September 2001, to be exact, two weeks after the World Trade Center came down.
This was taken on the second to the last day of my stay. I had this brand spanking new Olympus digital camera that my client loaned me, and it was capable of such high resolution – at that time. We decided that it would be a great idea to do a photo shoot of sorts of the routine, especially the tricky moves, so we could all use it for whatever marketing brochures we needed to print out.
For the uninitiated, Thai Yoga therapy is a combination of acupressure, yoga stretches and breath-work, with some reflexology thrown in. It’s been around for about 2,500 years and not at all like the “Thai massage” some people associate with a lot of oil and an air mattress. Nope, this is done fully clothed, it’s meditative and it’s just amazing for both the giver and the receiver.
As one of my teachers, Mama Lek, used to say, “Good for you. Good for me.”
Weekly Photo Challenge