We’re not talking about Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage courses and workshops here, but about Traditional Thai Yoga — that is, about Reusi Dat Ton (or Ruesi Datton), also known as the Thai Ascetic or Thai Hermit Self-Stretching exercises.
I can remember that about ten years ago, around 2009, there were only a handful of teachers and schools in Thailand offering a serious program of Reusi Dat Ton training. Today, that has certainly changed, although compared to Thai Massage training offered, it’s still a marginal modality within the Thai Healing bodywork spectrum.
But, practicing and/or teaching Reusi Dat Ton is on the rise, no doubt about it! Let’s take a look at some schools and teachers in Thailand (which are accessible for foreigners) and what they offer when it comes to Reusi Dat Ton.
Wat Po Massage School
The famous Wat Po Medical Massage School in Bangkok since long offers a 5-hour Reusi Datton course, which they call Ascetic Self-Stretching (Rue-si Datton). According to Wat Po, Rue-si Datton promotes health, giving active remedies for various body discomforts and disorders. The course is a general exercise series of 18 postures suitable for every one of all ages. The full Watpo series consists of 80 postures which includes lying, sitting and standing poses.
Apart from the official course, Watpo also offers a daily free introduction to Reusi Dat Ton at the Watpo temple grounds which takes about 45 minutes and starts at 08:00 AM in the morning.
Yoga Massage School Thailand Metta
Master Kong from the Yoga Massage School Thailand (Metta) is one of the few in Thailand offering an extensive Ruesi Datton program in English for foreigners. He offers a basic and professional Thai Yoga training program and a teacher training program. The whole set, including the teacher training, would take you 3 weeks (3 x 5 days) and consists of two hours per day training teaching you a total of 200 poses.
In Chiang Mai, there are significantly more schools offering Reusi Datton training. As mentioned in one of our other articles, it’s not that easy to find Reusi Datton courses on/via the Internet, because the name is spelled so differently. It can be spelled as for instance Luesi Dutton, Lucy Datton, Reusi Datton, Rue-Si Dat Ton, Reusri Daton, and so on. Or even have names like Hermit Exercises, Temple Stretching, Ascetic Self-Stretching, among others.
Loi Kroh Massage School
Perhaps the school with the longest history of offering Reusi Dat Ton training in Chiang Mai is the Loikroh Massage & Yoga School from teacher “Coocky” Tassanee Boonsom. A total of 200 poses is offered divided in 4 levels of 50 poses. The school wants students to practice each level a minimum of 6 months before taking a next level.
Baan Hom School
The Baan Hom Samunphrai school (in the Chiang Mai region) offers Reusi Datton integrated in their Thai Massage courses, basically starting each Thai Massage course with a Reusi Datton session, which is based on the national curriculum of 15 poses as defined by the Institute of Traditional Thai Medicine (Thai Ministry of Health). The school uses the very original name Rasidaton to designate Thai Yoga.
Chiangmai Classic Art Thai Massage
The Chiangmai Classic Art Thai Massage School offers a one-day course of 8 hours consisting of 108 poses.
Jongrak Massage School
The Jongrak Massage School in Chiang Mai offers a combined Thai Massage & Russie Dutton (Thai Yoga) 80 hours course.
Lanna Thai Massage
The Lanna Thai Massage Traditional Medical School has a Reusi Dat Ton (they call it Rusie Dotton) Thai Yoga Exercise workshop of one day (6 hours).
Ong’s Thai Massage
The well-known Ong’s Thai Massage School, also in Chiang Mai, offers two Ruesi Dat Ton courses: a Thai Yoga Rusie Dutton course of 2 days and a Thai Yoga Rusie Dutton Advanced 90 Positions course which takes 5 days to complete.
Another renowned Thai Massage school is the Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai (TMC). They offer a Yogi Stretching Exercise “Lue Sri Dadton” set of 17 postures which can be done separately, but which is also included in their Thai Massage training courses and workshops.
Timmy’s Thai Massage
Timmy’s Thai Massage Training Center offers Thai Yoga (Reusri Dat Ton) courses from 1 to 5 days on request.
The list of Reusi Datton schools and teachers in Thailand is perhaps not complete, but it certainly comes close. Of course, there are programs for the Thai people, but even those are often only offered as an extra “service” or as part of other Thai Healing or Thai Medicine programs and courses.
It’s clear that Reusi Dat Ton is a “threatened, endangered species,” but luckily it seems that in past years there is growing attention from Thai bodywork schools in Thailand (and increasingly also from Spa resorts and retreats) to offering Thai Yoga Self-Stretching education in a more serious way.