Despina Psarra

Despina Psarra

Qualification

AYM Teacher

Treatment Price
60 Minute £80
90 Minute £120
I Work From

Treatment Room

Availability

Weekday daytimes, Evenings

Location

Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Leeds, North Hill Road, Headingley, Leeds, UK

Telephone

07403 262496

Enquire Now

My teaching schedule is quite intense in the coming months, until some of my students complete their teacher training, so my availability in Leeds will be very limited for a while. In London I am not taking on new clients.

If you are flexible with your times and dates, feel free to have a look, I have some availability on 25th, 26th July and the 1st and 2nd of August in Leeds. You can see my availability here: https://ayurvedicyogamassage.book.app
And you can use code NEW20 to get a discount as new clients
.

If you’d like to work with someone with more availability, I totally understand! My students are excellent, and can usually take bookings at fairly short notice. You can see the Headingley therapists’ availability on the same booking system as me (link above). If you would be interested to have treatments elsewhere let me know, and I’ll put you in touch with the right therapist for you.

I hope that helps, and again apologies for the delay! In the future if I am not getting back to you in a timely manner, then my admin assistant can also take bookings for me, text Roxy during business hours on 07399458042.

Despina’s motivation and approach to treatments

I was introduced to sports massage when I was 14, as I was a competitive swimmer at the time. Ever since then, whenever someone I care about was in pain, I’d offer to massage them. I quickly realised that massage was about more than releasing pains and stiffness, but also a wonderful way to connect, express care, and help people feel better emotionally and mentally, as well as physically. My first clients were my mum, and some of my friends, who would line up and sit with their backs to me whenever we met up!

I started training in Ayurvedic Yoga Massage in 2011, after 5 years of experiencing first hand the benefits of a yoga practice for the body and mind. I fell in love with AYM straight away. It combined everything I ever loved about massage with everything I love about yoga. Ever since I discovered AYM, my AYM and yoga practices have been inseparable for me, as when I practise one I also understand the other better. They both help my body and mind in the same way through finding softness, centerdness, a connection with the breath, energy flow, a deeper connection and awareness of the body, being in the present moment, practising equanimity.

I have ADHD, so I can only do something if I am completely and utterly excited about it, and I absolutely believe it’s worthwhile. AYM for me is all that, and more, and as such my AYM and yoga practices have had my almost undivided attention since I first trained. Offering treatments for me is a practice of loving kindness meditation, where I can be present in the moment and deeply focused on caring for my clients. I like the connection with the clients, the deeper level of communication that this trusting relationship allows for, not only verbally but also by observing how the client’s energy changes, how the body responds to the treatment. And I still can’t get over how effective this method is. Witnessing how much better people feel after they’ve had a treatment just makes my day, every time. It’s amazing when someone gets rid of a niggle, or their pain is reduced or gone altogether, when people feel more centred and in tune with themselves, when they tell me afterwards that they slept better.. And equally, when I have clients who don’t come with pains or when they are going through a challenging time in life, but who come when they are already feeling well, in order to keep working towards optimal wellness.. There is nothing like watching people leave the treatment room feeling like they are walking on clouds!

Training

All the above is why I never stopped training and practising since my first training in AYM. Outside of completing all the training available in AYM, I have also trained through formal trainings and continuous personal study. I am ever thankful for my previous academic training, which has prepared me well for a lifetime of continuous learning. Formal trainings I have attended include yoga anatomy, physiology and pathology (how we can help clients with pains, injuries and health conditions through yoga) and thai massage.

As many of my clients became pregnant and wanted to continue their AYM treatments, in 2017 I trained in pregnancy massage with Suzanne Yates. There was no pregnancy AYM training available at the time, so Suzanne’s course was as close as I could get. Her approached is based on Shiatsu, so she works on a futon (it’s important for me to be able to use my body weight during treatments, as that’s better for my own body, and when I am at ease while giving a treatment it always feels better to the client too), and she covers oil massage, tractions, mobilisations, stretches, pressure.. Everything that we use in AYM too. I loved Suzanne’s training, and I combined what I learned from her with my own experience with clients, studying the anatomy, physiology and pathology of pregnancy, and consulting with other experienced AYM therapists and teachers to develop the AYM for pregnancy method that I now practise and teach.

Some of the best teachers I have had have been my clients. By developing our awareness of our body through yoga and massage, we can give precise feedback to our therapists about what we need, and I try my best to really listen to my clients, and to help them develop the skill of listening to their own bodies.

The highlight for me as a student of therapeutic bodywork is having watched Kusum Modak, the founder of this method, treat clients, and having her offer me her advice on treatments and teaching. She is extremely talented, her incredible intuition developed through four decades of experience, as well as generous and loving. I met Kusum in January 2020 and we have been in contact since. I will continue to learn with her via videocalls, and in real life at every possible opportunity.

Practical information about booking treatments

I usually offer 60, 90 or 120 min sessions, but the length of AYM sessions that I can offer is unlimited, anything from 15 mins upwards. Some of my clients really benefit from longer sessions, 3-3.5 hours, but these are not available to new clients. After we see how your body and mind respond to treatment we can discuss what would work best for you. I also sometimes offer short follow-up sessions, taster sessions, or just highly specific to releasing a particular part of the body for clients whose body responds really well to treatment.

For most clients, I generally recommend starting off with a 90-minute or 2-hour session so we can have an effective treatment, and a little time to explore what is happening in the body, and how the body responds to the treatment. We can then discuss what frequency and length of treatments would serve you best in the future, depending on your body and lifestyle.

After an initial session we can discuss the timings that suit you, and I can recommend a course of sessions that would be of the most appropriate length and frequency for you. I also offer discounts for regular treatments to facilitate clients being able to come as frequently as they need to.

I work as a therapist in Leeds from our Headingley treatment room, and occasionally in London, Bristol and Glasgow areas, around delivering our AYM therapist training courses and workshops.

If you would like to find out more about my journey into Ayurvedic Yoga Massage and my experience please visit our About Us pages.

I charge £80 per hour for one-off treatments. Discounted rates are available for treatments of 2 hours or longer, and for regular treatments. Discounts are also available for clients who have not experienced AYM before, and to prospective students and AYM therapists. If you are on a low income, please read our Frequently Asked Questions regarding access to low cost treatments.

What our clients say

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Armineh Soorenian

Sociologist, University of Leeds

I have a number of longstanding impairments and often experience pain. For this reason I have found Despina’s treatments extremely beneficial. Despina has an amazing touch and each session she knows exactly which part needs the most attention, as if by intuition. After my appointments with her, I not only feel very relaxed and refreshed, but also acquire flexibility and lightness devoid of any pain. Despina’s kind, friendly and gentle nature always brings joy to the treatment room and it is always a delight to see her! Thank you Despina x

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Cherie Lathey

Director, The Putney clinic of physical therapy Ltd, London, UK

As a yoga teacher and a director of a physical therapy practice, I understand the importance of massage. On my recent trip to Mysore I had twice weekly massage sessions with Despina. She has a strong intuitive massage technique and I would highly recommend her as a body worker.

 

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Aditya Manjunath

Ayurvedic massage therapist, Mysore, India

I highly recommend Despina’s technique.
Despina’s massage is very beautifully tailored to bring out what is unwanted, like stress, discomfort (physical and mental).
She has a very profound understanding of the human body, is very well experienced as far as the touch and the feeling is concerned, which allows her to know where the body needs more attention. It was very lovely to meet you and work with you. Looking forward to having another appointment end of this week!

 

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Joey Miles

Authorised Level 2 ashtanga teacher, Leeds, UK

Despina is a really talented bodyworker – last year I had regular sessions for several months and during this time my body and mind felt great. Despina has a caring quality, you feel looked after and nurtured during and after her treatments and they complement a regular asana practice.

 

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Sue Mannock

Cabin crew manager, British Airways

Despina THANK YOU you truly are amazing. Beyond massage. It feels like a holistic treatment, really fixing me from every perspective. Like no other massage, by far the best!

 

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Imran Khan

Lawyer and taxi driver, Bradford, UK

I would recommend Despina to everyone. She is a miracle worker. I have tried so many different types of therapy, nothing really worked until Despina worked her magic. I have taken my mother and wife who have all enjoyed the benefits. It’s been almost two years having treatments now and I can honestly say I have never felt better.

 

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Bea Luypaert

Head of Local Business Support, Statoil, Aberdeen

Well, I can tell you: I miss you! I have had other massages since you’ve been away. I can tell you that you are 100x better, what I am saying: even 200x! So please please, believe in yourself, and go for it, cause you are amazing! I have never been on another planet before, but when I got a massage from you, I was there…

 

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Mira Rattley

Naturopath and General Health Practitioner, Light Centre at Belgravia.

Genuinely the most wonderful massage I have ever had. I can’t recommend Despina highly enough. Her touch is both gentle and firm and amazingly relaxing! A truly nurturing experience.

 

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Chiara Castellan

Authorised Level 2 Ashtanga teacher, Zurich, Switzerland

Despina’s massages make body and mind happy. They feel so good you can easily get addicted.

 

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Russell Davison

Property consultant and ashtanga practitioner

I am 45 and had more massages off more masseurs than I could remember. Having had on-going issues with my neck and lower back I have had loads of pain relieving massages but also I have had countless massages just for the pleasure of it. Despina offers a fantastic combination of both deep tissue firm remedial type body work (which can be quite challenging) as well as extremely relaxing blissful massage. Despina is very tuned in to her work, her strong hands are also sensitive and getting an hour and a half makes all the difference to the usual hour or less that others offer. She consistently performs the best all-round massages I have ever had.

 

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Angelika Anagnostou

Healer, Intuitive & Channel, Ashtanga Teacher, Mysore, India

I really loved Despina’s massages. I had the pleasure of a session twice now and I really enjoyed it both times. Despina is very thorough and attentive and I think she really has the magic touch!
My body feels much looser and more relaxed and I look forward to our next session. Thank you Despina!

 

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Anna Laurin

 Yoga teacher, Helsinki, Finland

When I contacted Despina for a massage I was planning on just getting a massage for tight shoulders. But her massage was about so much more: with the oils I could feel how her massage went deep and softening every part of my body and afterwards I felt reborn… My mind was clear and happy and I felt so alive. Thank you Despina for a super massage!!

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Annette Thygesen

Norway

I received massages from Despina during my visit to Mysore 2013. In my experience, she’s very professional in her work; she’s intuitive, and has a unique ability to sense and understand the body of each individual. I would highly recommend her as a massage therapist.

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Cecelia Baum Raborn

Ashtanga practitioner, Denmark

When I was asking for massage suggestions in Mysore, Despina’s name came up several times. After having a wonderful massage, I can also highly recommend her.
Despina’s touch is wonderful and knowing which made the massage equal parts soothing, therapeutic, relaxing, and rejuvenating. My body and mind felt amazing directly afterwards and the following days. Looking forward to my next appointment!

 

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Chris Conn

Authorised Ashtanga teacher, Edinburgh, UK

I received a massage from Despina and I have to say it was one of the best massages I have ever had. Despina really listens to the body and she cares about her clients.. I’ve had strong massage that felt like being beaten up and I’ve had soft massage that felt as if I was having a feather stroked across me. Despina is neither of these extremes but is capable of being firm and subtle because she can hear how the body needs to be touched. I unhesitatingly recommend Despina’s treatments.

 

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David Newton

Nurse and Ashtanga practitioner

During my time practicing Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore I received two massages from Despina. I can honestly say this was the best body work I have ever experienced! It was clear to me that Despina truly cares about the standard of massage she provides. Prepare to be amazed!

 

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Maija Kansanajo

Anaesthetist, reflexologist and Ashtanga practitioner, Helsinki, Finland

I have had several kinds of body treatments including ayurvedic massage before Despina’s. I am a reflexologist and find it very “educational” to have a treatment myself, I always learn a lot. Some people just have good hands and the ability to listen to the body and the mind they are working with, and the ability to create a relaxing atmosphere. Somehow I felt that Despina’s treatment went beyond the physical body. Of course my tight muscles were more relaxed, but also a great amount of stress and tiredness was released during the treatment. So, after a treatment allow yourself time to rest or sleep, I slept 12 hours like a baby after my first treatment.

 

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Gerry Turvey, Yoga Teacher and Choreographer

I recently attended one of Despina’s 4 hour massage workshops. She created a warm welcoming atmosphere and made everyone feel comfortable as soon as we arrived. Her explanations, insights and demonstrations were all clearly put across and everyone had enough time to practice. She was encouraging and helped everyone to get the most out of the afternoon.

I gained some useful techniques, in a short space of time. I would however suggest you have time to put some of these techniques into practice after the workshop….a bonus for friends and family!

Highly recommended, I felt wonderful afterwards, and enjoyed meeting new people. Well worth it! Thanks Despina”

Gerry Turvey, Yoga teacher and choreographer

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Emma Charlton

Aromatherapist & massage therapist, mental health project worker, London, UK

An Ayurvedic massage with Despina is a wonderful way to stretch and release the body whilst letting the mind gently unwind. Using a combination of oil work, mobilisations and passive stretches Despina encourages the body to let go of tension. I felt jelly-like, calm and wonderful after my treatment. I highly recommend her – give it a go!

 

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Ida Kielmansegg

Human rights worker, artist and ashtanga practitioner Vienna, Austria

Despina is a truly gifted woman. After her massage I could not tell where my body ends and where it begins. I felt absolutely great.

 

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Irena Bartolec

Yoga teacher, Zagreb, Croatia

Despina is magical. Not only is she a gifted body worker, sensitive and aware with her touch, but she is lovely to spend time with. She makes people feel easily comfortable and relaxed in her company. Her treatments are good for the body and soul! I would recommend her regularly for people looking to relax as well as for anyone struggling with discomfort or imbalance in the body.

 

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Zoe Ward

Authorised ashtanga teacher and Thai massage therapist

Despina is magical. Not only is she a gifted body worker, sensitive and aware with her touch, but she is lovely to spend time with. She makes people feel easily comfortable and relaxed in her company. Her treatments are good for the body and soul! I would recommend her regularly for people looking to relax as well as for anyone struggling with discomfort or imbalance in the body.

 

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Ali Henry

Massage therapist and trainer, London, UK

I don’t say that lightly as I am a massage therapist myself, constantly on the mission to find THE massage that hits all the tight niggly spots, relaxes and revives, stretches my bones, soothes the soul and sends me floating off on my own little blissed out journey. Despina’s strong talented hands deliver all and more. Very, very highly recommended!

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Eleonora Usseglio Prinsi, Level 5 Therapist

“Training with Despina has been a blessing. She is knowledgeable and created an amazing community of therapists always ready to support each other. The Ayurvedic Yoga Massage technique is truly appreciated by clients and incredibly adaptable to each body and different needs. I couldn’t be more proud of being part of the AYM family.”

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Anon – Despina

I have just received the most amazing massage from Despina. My life is quite challenging at the moment and my body and mind are most definitely feeling it. For the full 90 minutes with Despina I felt nurtured and supported. This time was all about me and I felt that 100%. The massage was tailored to me and intuitively Despina knew exactly what was needed and still checked in with me throughout. After the session I felt totally relaxed and calm . My body feels amazing and I am moving more freely and with no pain. I would wholeheartedly recommend Despina and her massage. It was a magical experience. Thankyou.

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Jaqueline Lawrence

Despina,
Just wanted to let you know I’ve been getting some amazing feedback from people saying it’s the best they’ve ever felt in their body and that they never experienced anything like it before! I haven’t properly been charging yet, though people have been giving me money even when I haven’t asked for it, but I do feel ready to begin charging now. Anyway I was massaging a pal from my reflexology course last night and she said she wants to rebook in 2 weeks as a paying client and to have regular treatments with me, I’m over the moon, this is such a big milestone for me. Thank you so so much for everything, you have changed my life

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Jill Blandford

‘I have just returned from completing my level 5 AYM with Despina on Chios. It hard to put into words how wonderful the experience was for me. Firstly, it was so nourishing to be by the sea and enjoy the Greek sunshine. Every day started with some wonderfully energising yoga sessions:
6.-7.30am – Ashtanga, 7.30-9 yoga flow outside. These are not compulsory & I tended to do the yoga flow most days as I felt it really benefitted the massage positions we take up when giving treatments.
All meals are prepared & eaten together outside. This is a learning experience in itself as Despina shares her know-how about how to produce such tasty vegan food with local produce. Despina goes out of her way to accommodate all preferences. The olive oil, lemons, tomatoes & olives are wonderful! The course is vegan & I feel it is important to respect this when on the course. You will certainly return feeling healthy!
The massage course itself is very thorough, enjoyable & experiential. I was repeating techniques from levels 1-4 which was so beneficial for me to deepen my knowledge of how & where tension & stress can build in the body and how these AYM techniques are so effective to release. It really is the most wonderfully relaxing & therapeutic treatment on all levels. We also had the opportunity to watch some case studies, prepare bespoke plans for treatments & practise on some locals!
In the middle of the 10 day course, we had two days off to go sight-seeing, spend time on stunning beaches, swim in the turquoise sea and eat in tavernas whilst watching the sun set. I though I had died & gone to heaven!
I have returned completely refreshed and committed to developing my skills as AYM therapist. Despina not only teaches us practical skills & techniques but also inspires us to become conscious healers. I feel truly blessed that AYM is on my path.
I cannot recommend this course highly enough’

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