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Author Topic: Letha/Dhanda Yoga  (Read 2844 times)
dredleviathan
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« on: January 16, 2004, 11:20:17 AM »

Dear All,

Just making a trip to the DB forum in search of information on Letha or Dhanda Yoga as I have seen more information here than anywhere else in the past.

I also got side tracked by the excellent post on Filipino vs English boxing and especially the article written by Krishna Godhania who I have heard so very much about...

Anyway several years ago I think I made contact with somebody via this board (or maybe the ED) that taught letha and dhanda yoga. They were heading to India for some other yoga training when I contacted them but mentioned that they might be in the UK at some point. Unfortunately several job changes in the interim period mean that I have lost this information. Currently I have a very sketchy idea of what these involve but as I am currently recuperating from injury it is yoga, pilates and such like that are of current interest.

All I really know is that these are Burmese forms of Yoga that were designed to keep soldiers on the move and figting fit. As I understand it Letha is partnered practice (and  therefore possibly similar in nature to Thai Yoga massage)? And Dhanda is done using a staff to assist the various poses?

I also remember reading various rumours somewhere that Dr. Gyi was writing a book on this subject. Any ideas?

As you can see my information is piecemeal mostly gathered from here and other forums, the ED and Stickgrapplers archives. Any clarification or further information would be most gratefully received. Also if anyone teaches Letha or Dhanda (or knows anyone that does) I would really be grateful to hear from you.

Warmest wishes,

Dred
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2004, 01:02:26 PM »

Woof Dred:

I meant to answer this when first posted, but somehow it slipped off my radar screen and I only spotted it just now when I went back to Page Two in search of the gun thread.

Letha and Dhanda, which we receive from GM Gyi, are indeed cool stuff and we absorb them into our system as best we can.  Recently I was teaching US military and the Letha two man stick stretches were very well received.  When our men are on the trail keeping tuned up is vital and a rifle serves nicely in lieu of a stick.

That said, I'm not sure if I have any specific answers to your question.  We do have a vid-lesson of Letha Yoga featuring GM Gyi, but that is only for members of the DBMA Association (he says cleverly seeking to set a hook wink  )

I've been playing phone tag with GM recently but when next we speak will ask him about this.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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moebius
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2006, 03:13:06 PM »

To date there are very few resources available on these arts, the Bando camp tends to keep things relatively private with regards to their publications.  

Currently I know of a small, paperback book on Dhanda Yoga and a DVD slideshow on the same topic, with some extra shots of a Letha Yoga Session and some solo exercises found in Dhanda Yoga.  These are currently only offered at Dr. Gyi's seminars, and rarely at that - limited run, private publications.  These were put together by students of his from Atlanta and the University of Ohio where he taught.  


Dhanda Yoga and Letha Yoga are two of several systems in the Burmese Healing Arts, which are part of the Bando Monk training.  

Letha Yoga - Solo and Partner-based exercises, stretches and manipulations designed to maintain and improve the flexibility and functionality of the 9 major joints and the alignment of the body.

Dhanda Yoga - A solo system of Yoga that involves the use of a staff (typically from 4-6 ft in length) to assist with postures and stretches that are otherwise difficult to duplicate.  This system is perhaps the closest to what is commonly thought of when we envision Yoga.  There are also partner-based stretches that involve the staff as well.

Longi Yoga - Another solo form of Yoga that involves the use of a belt or rope that is between 9 and 14 ft. in length.  The rope is coiled about the hands and used in different ways to support the stretch,  some of these postures are very complex, but very unique in their effect.

Dhot Ta - A system of massage that makes use of a short, thin bamboo rod (more likely one of your Kali sticks) to work through the muscles of the body, improving functionality, circulation and speeding recovery time (especially after footwork sessions).  There are solo and partner-based sequences for this method.

Nate Ta - This is a catch all term for the massage elements in the Letha Yoga system.  In addition to the natural tools of the body, this system makes occassional use of River Stones (mexican pebbles, typically), smooth palm-sized stones in what has been referred to as Healing Stone Massage

Min Zin - This is the internal aspect of these traditions, and it is used in each.  This includes the psychology and concepts involved, but more pragmatically, the Pranayama methods for controlling one's breath and directing one's intentions.  In Burmese, Min Zin translates to Disciplined Breath.  In effect, this is similar to most Pranayama and Chi Gung.


Personally, I think the major contribution that Dr. Gyi has made to the Arts is an emphasis on perspective in one's training, that we should avoid the "Overuse, Abuse and Misuse" of our bodies and respect our health.  This is an underlying concept in each of these traditions.  


As far as learning resources, I can offer a few things, and encourage everyone who is able, to spend time with Dr. Gyi learning the healing arts.  

Some articles that I've written on the subject:

http://www.sageartsstudio.com/student_section/articles/HEAL/MinZin_Salutation.html

http://www.sageartsstudio.com/student_section/articles/STAFF/MYM_Letha_Oct2004.html


A few pictures illustrating a basic lower body routine in Letha Yoga:

http://www.sageartsstudio.com/student_section/uwm/index.html


One of my staff members performing a Longi Yoga posture:

http://www.sageartsstudio.com/about/imgs/Regi_Longi.jpg


I also have some related articles and resources that can be found here:

http://www.sageartsstudio.com/student_section/articles/HEAL/index.html


We recently held a small workshop on Thai Massage, which is similar in origin and in practice, to Letha Yoga.  I have a brief slideshow of one of the shorter forms in Thai Massage available here:

http://www.sageartsstudio.com/student_section/Thai_Massage.html

In general, Thai Massage can offer greater insight into this type of practice, as there are many more books and videos published on the topic, and they are technically very similar.


If you have questions, let me know, I would be happy to answer what I can.

- Moebius
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Stickgrappler
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2006, 05:12:40 PM »

Moebius,

not sure if you remember me, but it's been a loooong time since the days of Sean M's forum, and Dave G's, with Kev, Vedo and a few others.

thank you for the info!! my first letha yoga seminar with Dr. Gyi was in 1999 and since then, there's always have been talk of him doing a book. hope he finishes it soon smiley
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"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be quite effective." - Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
moebius
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2006, 10:03:18 PM »

I do indeed remember, in fact I've been to your archives many times over the years.   It has been a long time.

I am glad you got to train with Saya Gyi.  Given that he retired officially from the MA aspect of training last year, it may not be long until he phases out his seminars.  Most unfortunate.

The last time he was at my place I was able to spend around 11 hours with him talking, outside of the seminar.  That was an amazing experience.  

I have been bugging him about promoting the book & DVD,  I think they did a one-shot print, with a limited number of copies.  We just wrapped up shooting for the Longi project late last year.  I'm in the process of cleaning up the photography for that book.  Cross your fingers.

- Moe
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2006, 10:34:54 PM »

Thank you Moebius for your informative posts.

Please consider our forum here available to you for posting any information about these works.
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Stickgrappler
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"...grappling happens. It just does." - Top Dog


« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2006, 09:19:55 AM »

Quote from: moebius
I do indeed remember, in fact I've been to your archives many times over the years.   It has been a long time.


changed jobs/industries 3x since i started my site, married with 3 kids, lately i've been busy with work to update my site sad haven't been to you site in ages, nice look to it!

Quote

I am glad you got to train with Saya Gyi.  Given that he retired officially from the MA aspect of training last year, it may not be long until he phases out his seminars.  Most unfortunate.


yes, i consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to train with a living legend of the MA. i was more lucky to have been given the "day off" from my family to be able to go LOL. i have not had the chance to attend many seminars, probably 10 so far since 1999, and 3 of them were Dr. Gyi's. i treasure my memories of training with him and of the material he shared.

Quote
The last time he was at my place I was able to spend around 11 hours with him talking, outside of the seminar.  That was an amazing experience.  


you are lucky! after the seminars were over, we would all sit and listen, ask about anything and he was very sharing of his time, knowledge and experiences.

Quote

I have been bugging him about promoting the book & DVD,  I think they did a one-shot print, with a limited number of copies.  We just wrapped up shooting for the Longi project late last year.  I'm in the process of cleaning up the photography for that book.  Cross your fingers.

- Moe


*crosses fingers, toes, hands, arms, and legs*

smiley
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"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be quite effective." - Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
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