What is Thai Yoga Massage?

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A few weeks ago, my fiancé and I attended a Thai Yoga Massage Workshop at Ignite Yoga Studios in Goodyear, Arizona for Valentine’s Day weekend. I had no idea what Thai yoga massage was when I signed us up, but have been wanting to take a massage class for years and thought this would be the perfect place to start! My fiancé was skeptical, but he was a good sport to go along with it!

After signing us up, I did a Google image search for Thai yoga massage. It was pretty much what I expected: cool looking yoga-like poses of couples of people stretching together.

The class was packed when we arrived! Having no idea what to expect, we brought two yoga mats. Turns out, you only need one. Our instructor gave us a blanket to cover the yoga mat to make it more comfortable.

The Evolution of Thai Yoga Massage

Thai yoga massage is a healing technique that was developed in Thailand over 2500 years ago, based on Ayurvedic medicine and yoga native to India. The practice was founded by  Shivagakomarapaj, who apparently was the Buddha’s physician, and has been passed down over the centuries.

Thai massage uses leaning pressure, reflexology, and yoga to compress and stretch the body to improve balance and wellness. Together these actions result in a comprehensive full body treatment with the aims of relieving muscle tension, improving circulation, boosting the immune system, and balancing the body’s energy.

Thai massage is a branch of Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM) and is considered a medical discipline in Thailand. Practitioners can be found in North America and Europe as well.

My Thai Yoga Massage Experience

Thai yoga massage can be thought of loosely as a combination of massage and assisted yoga poses. During our class, our instructor taught the class of pairs how to practice Thai yoga massage on each other. I really enjoyed the exercises that involved assisted stretching, although I was probably too gentle for my partner as I was afraid of hurting him!

Our instructor, Sarah Leech, was great and I would love to attend another workshop led by her!

I would probably be more inclined to go to YouTube first to learn more about the practice of Thai yoga massage and practice at home more. I am glad to now know that Thai yoga massage exists, and may consider it as a healing option in the future.

Have you ever tried Thai yoga massage, or taken a massage class in general? It’s great to learn about massage techniques, and I especially enjoyed learning about Thai yoga massage because I am more familiar with the yoga aspect. Sometimes looking at crazy yoga pictures online can be intimidating, but with the right instruction you might be surprised what your body is capable of.

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