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Thai Yoga Massage: Day 1

May 6, 2009

“The entire massage is carried out with mindfulness and metta (loving-kindness) to create a deep, lovingly meditative, and spiritual experience”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -Kam Thye Chow

I had my first day of Thai Yoga Massage training today and it was awesome.  I’ve actually never received a Thai Yoga Massage so I was really trying to take it all in.  My teacher is an amazing, joy-filled woman named Jyothi K. Wanatabe who was trained by Kam Thye Chow, through his school, the Lotus Palm.  The course is at the Integral Yoga Institute, which is an awesome non-profit yoga hall, amazing natural market and healthfood store, and community center for yogi-types.  They offer Hatha yoga classes (Jyothi is one of the teachers) and workshops as well as special events, like kirtan and teacher training opportunities like what I’m doing.  

So, what did I learn today?  I learned that Thai Yoga Massage isn’t really a massage in the traditional sense, but rather a healing practice of using your body to stretch and relieve someone else’s.  During a session the therapist moves rhythmically around the client, using their entire body to apply pressure.  The massage should be thought of as a dance by the practioner, where rhythm is everything.  Maintaining an even flow promotes the relaxation of the client.  From Kam Thye Chow’s book, Thai Yoga Massage, he writes, “The practitioner embodies the smoothness of a cat as it walks, the motion gently rocking the recipients body, as if cradling a baby to sleep.”  

We went through the first third of a Thai Yoga Massage and practiced on each other.  Having the sen lines (lines of energy that run through the body) of my legs palmed and thumbed by the other girls was so relaxing I almost feel asleep in class. I am really excited because I know my students are going to love this!  To get a better picture of what I’m talking about, watch this short clip and see what I mean.

I’ll be practicing on anyone who I can get my hands on, any volunteers??? I”ll let you know how tomorrow goes, until then, peace and love.

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