Asokananda (Harald Brust), a native German, was arguably the leading Western teacher of Traditional Thai Yoga Massage. He personally trained and authorized some of the most established teachers of Thai massage in the West, including Vera Lier from Germany, Prabhat Menon from Mumbai/India, Kira Balaskas from London, Andrea Baglioni and Laurino Bertelli from Bologna/Italy, Soul D. Raye from California and Chow Kam Thye from Montreal/Canada.
His book The Art of Traditional Thai Massage, published in Bangkok in 1990, was the first publication ever in any language other than Thai. "This book is an excellent introduction to Thai massage, and with its companion Part II (Thai Massage for Advanced Practitioners) includes clear instructions and excellent BW photographs of various techniques. East meets West in methodical thinking and presentation." firstname.lastname@example.org in amazon.com readers' review. "Asokananda...is internationally known and respected for his teaching and his book, The Art of Traditional Thai Massage ... is the best that I have read on the subject." Clare Maxwell-Hudson in MASSAGE and HEALTH REVIEW, Summer 1998.
Asokananda studied community development in Germany. Since 1978 he has spent most of his time in Asia. He studied Vipassana meditation with Sayadaw U Janaka in Burma, yoga with Yogavacara Rahula in Sri Lanka and Thai massage with Piched Boonthumme and Chaiyuth Priyasith in Thailand. He was temporarily ordained as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka.