Habit patterns create a compelling force that impacts your actions, shapes your self-image, distorts your perception, affects your health, and creates mental and emotional barriers. Habits adopted as compensation for stress can turn into addictions to food, alcohol, and work, and lead to serious health issues including obesity, heart attacks, anxiety, high blood pressure, arthritis, insomnia, diabetes, depression, and more. Stress-related illnesses may also be traced to traumatic, emotionally charged events that disrupt our innate biological balancing capabilities. Regardless of their origin, habits and stressed behavior impair your capacity to function efficiently and effectively in daily life. Because habits are built deep into your biological and psychological make-up, the health-related problems they cause cannot be eliminated simply by reading about or adapting relaxation techniques on a superficial level.
Amrit Yoga is the life-work of Gurudev Yogi Amrit Desai who is recognized as one of the pioneers of the authentic teachings of Yoga in the West. He arrived in and began teaching yoga in America in 1960. Spirituality is the heart and soul of yoga. Regardless of what system of yoga you practice, the core intention is to lead you to the union of consciousness and energy. Amrit yoga guides you to the direct experience of unity of body, mind, heart and soul.
In Amrit yoga, movement (Hatha Yoga) and meditation (Raja Yoga) occur simultaneously and complement one another, the physical postures being the vehicle to connect with the source within. By linking meditative awareness to the physical posture, it becomes the “posture of consciousness” which allows you to totally relax.
In Amrit Yoga, during a pause after performance of the posture, you will anchor your total attention to the sensations of the energy released from your emotional and physical blocks, and then focus on the area known as the “third eye” to cause the released energy to “integrate”. The first part of the posture is just active enough to create a “sensation” which is the release of energy, often blocked energy, and the second part is passive; you simply allow the sensation to be and somehow the blocks disappear. By use of inward focus, meditative awareness, and surrender to sensations, merging of the mental and energy bodies takes place. At that point, the mind is no longer “in charge” which allows the body to freely use its wisdom to carry out healing and regenerative processes.
For more information about Yogi Desai, Amrit Yoga or Amrit Yoga Institute in the Ocala National Forest, go to AmritYoga.org
Ru Sie Dutton ("RSD") is sometimes translated from the Thai language as Rue Si Datton or Reusi Dat Ton, but no matter how it spelled in English, the practice consists of the basic series of the Thai “Hermit’s Exercises” or "Hermit's Self-Massage" and are a little-known aspect of Thai culture that initiates self-healing and restoration of the body's balance and vitality.
"Reusi" in Thai means an Ascetic Yogi or a Hermit. The Reusis were custodians and practitioners of various ancient arts and sciences such as tantra, yoga, natural medicine, alchemy, music, mathematics, astrology and palmistry. They had counterparts in many ancient cultures such as the Siddhas of India, the Yogis of Nepal and Tibet, the Immortals of China, the Vijjadharas of Burma and the Cambodian Eyseys. "Dat" means to stretch, adjust or train. "Ton" basically means one's-self.
Like Thai Massage, this exercise series reaches and stimulates the ten major massage ("sen") energy lines of the body. It is intended to alleviate fifty-one symptoms of illness with a process that is "like a thousand gentle waves washing over the body." Thai Hermit's Self-Massage allows one -- even a hermit -- to receive the many benefits of the ancient practice of Thai Massage, the opening of bodily joints and the stretching of muscles and connective tissue, at any convenient time and for no cost. It is said to emulate the Northern-Thai culture which is slow-paced, gentle and humble; yet, strong and deeply connected to all.
Some resources state that, more than 2,500 years ago, Traditional Thai Massage (also known as Nuad Boran) was devised by a famous doctor, originally from India, Jivago Komaraphat. He is said to have perfected Thai Massage and learned to use plants as medicine so that both massage and plants could be used to heal many ailments. Then, while spending time in a monastery, he devised RSD so that the monks -- who really needed the massage due to meditation for many hours at a time -- could massage themselves, because they were often "hermits" who spent most of their hours alone while they meditated, either sitting or walking.
Other sources believe that the ancient Reusis developed their understanding of the various bodies -- physical, energetic and psychic -- and devised RSD to work with the "channels, points, winds and wind gates" within themselves. It was only after they created RSD for self-massage that they adapted the techniques for massaging others in Traditional Thai Massage. This is why many people still believe that, in order to truly understand and become a master at giving Thai Massage, one must practice RSD extensively. It is said that RSD "is not only the roots of Thai Massage but it also unlocks the method for treating oneself and maintaining one's own health."
After invaders destroyed the old Thai capital of Ayuthaya, a new capital was established in Bangkok in 1782 and the King initiated a project to revive Thai ancient culture, arts and sciences. As part of this, he collected Thai medical texts and installed statues at Wat Po in Bangkok depicting 80 RSD postures as a "library of stone." A book commissioned by King Rama III in 1838 describes RSD as a "system of posture exercises invented by experts to cure ailments and make them vanish away." Along with dynamic postures and poses, RSD incorporates breath-work and acupressure. The postures are a series of self-stretching, self-adjusting exercises that have bodily therapy as their primary purpose.
Practitioners of RSD recognize that the practice is highly energizing and that many of the exercises have a rejuvenating effect which is especially noticeable in the face after several weeks of practice. While BodyWisdomYoga makes no claim to medical benefits of the practice, ancient manuscripts describe more than 60 ailments that can be cured by the regular practice of RSD. We could list them here, but it’s easier to just state that that it was believed to cure everything that can ail the body. Many of the postures have rejuvenating the body -- and even facial beautification -- as their primary goal. We at BodyWisdomYoga have noticed clarity of mind and an increase in energy as highly noticeable results.