When I was exposed to Thai yoga bodywork, my eyes were opened to the amazement of how good my body could feel. I experienced it for the first time on a trip through Thailand. My brother had fallen in love with a lovely Thai woman and they decided that they would get married in Thailand near her family. Being a dedicated sister and also needing a nice break from the chaos of my own life, I happily went on a Thai vacation. While most of the trip was devoted to the wedding preparations and the ceremony, I also did get to experience some of the joy of Thai culture, including Thai yoga bodywork.
How it is practiced?
One of the biggest differences between Thai yoga bodywork and other forms of massage is that they do not use any oils or lotions. There is no reason to get all slippery. You actually do not even take your clothes off. So that was a perk for me considering I do not like to show my birthday suit to strangers, no matter how professional they may be. It really is not good for my self-esteem, regardless of whether they say anything about it.
If you are the personal receiving the bodywork, you should be wearing comfortable clothes, like something you would work out in. It does not work out well if you are wearing jeans or anything like that. The person getting the bodywork done gets to lay down on a mat on the floor. Then the receiver will be moved into a bunch of yoga positions during the massage. While that may sound painful, since you are pretty much being bent into the form of a pretzel, it is done with slow rhythmic breaths and performed slowly, so the person doing the work is not going to rip your body and muscles apart.
The bodywork and massage will follow what is called the sen of the body. The person performing the bodywork will often use their own body to move the recipient all around. Sometimes the person doing the massage will use even his or her legs and feet to get the recipient’s body to move the way that it is supposed to. There is a rhythm to the whole thing too, making it an awesome and amazing relaxing experience. And plus it helps your flexibility. You will be amazed at how your body can move.
What are the types?
There are actually two types of Thai yoga bodywork. They are both used for the purpose of healing and are a type of healing art. The first one is called the traditional form, which is found all over Thailand. The other one is called the ancient one and is found more in Nepal and India. They may look the same from the outside, but the way that they make you feel is completely different. The ancient method is based more in mediation and prayer. Before the bodywork even starts, there is a meditation between both the person receiving the massage and the person giving the massage. Then the person giving the massage will start to recite a mantra.
The reason that there are the two different forms has to do with the fact that Thailand lost a lot of its ancient history throughout the many wars that happened between Thailand and Burma. Since Nepal and India did not experience the same kind of loss of culture, they were not affected. But Thailand lost the religious aspect of the method and instead just maintained the bodywork.
Regardless of the kind that you wind up being able to experience, you will absolutely not regret it.