Sometimes misunderstood but often enjoyed, yoga massage is a very specific type of therapeutic full body massage that has its roots in ancient India. If you are wondering whether you need to be supple enough to perform a downward facing dog pose or haven’t even got a clue what to wear for your treatment, this page can help you land on your feet.
Ever looked enviously at that happy-go-lucky spirit who isn’t affected by stress? Many will tell you that yoga is one way to open the door to a calmer and happier life. But the reality is, us stressed city types not only work and worry all the time, we also eat and drink to excess. Which means most of us just don’t have the flexibility to book and attend a beginner’s yoga class. Neither the time nor the fitness.
A yoga massage is a great way to be introduced to many aspects of yoga in the privacy of your own home and at a time convenient to you. Your masseuse will effectively introduce your body and mind to this popular health and relaxation discipline by carrying out assisted yoga directly on you in an appropriately controlled environment.
During the treatment, a yoga masseuse gradually bends, twists and curls your body into a range of basic yoga postures, according to your suppleness. Controlled breathing and a meditative atmosphere are also integral to this type of massage therapy.
Thai Yoga Massage and Ayurvedic Yoga Massage are the two most popular forms of yoga based massage therapy. Both practices have their origins in the ancient Indian discipline of yoga and Ayurvedic natural medicine, and aim to release tension through focusing on the body's vital energy lines and improving blood circulation. However the two styles also have a number of key differences in how they are performed.
Ayurvedic yoga massage brings together oil based deep tissue massage with assisted yoga poses. Oil based massage techniques are designed to warm and relax muscles, so that they become more limber and the risk of injury is reduced, before the application of yoga stretches.
Traditional Thai yoga massage is performed without oil (known as a 'dry massage') and the stretches are often more intense that those applied in Ayurvedic yoga. The Thai version also incorporates sharper body twists and rotations, which can make your joints crack and may not be for you if you are faint hearted.
If you are looking for a warm deeply relaxing therapeutic treatment which is combined with assisted stretching, then Ayurvedic yoga massage is a good choice. This form of therapy is also good for people who feel they are not at their most flexible and prefer a soft introduction to yoga.
If however, you already feel quite supple and like the idea of your body receiving a series of assisted contortions, intense stretching and don't mind hearing a few joints crack, then Thai Yoga massage may be the more appropriate choice.
Most massage treatments require the recipient to be undressed to some level. However when it comes to yoga style massages, what to wear or not depends on the version you are receiving.
If you are wondering what to wear for your Thai yoga massage, bear in mind that the treatment is performed dry without oil so there is no need to undress at all. Although you can remain fully clothed, it is best to wear loose fitting clothes such as cotton sweatpants and a relaxed t-shirt. Your arms and legs will be stretched and bent to extremes throughout the therapy, so lighter fabrics which remain comfortable even when tightly creased are best.
On the other hand, Ayurvedic massages incorporate oil into the treatment and therefore this type of treatment is usually performed with the client undressed and draped with a large sheet.
So, if you are seeking to discover the zen within but haven't got a clue about about banarasana lunges, worry not. You can simply lay back and enjoy a therapeutic yoga massage at home in the hands of a skilled masseuse instead.