Therapist training Levels 1-4


Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Levels 1-4 is an intensive 67-hour course, which teaches you an extremely effective AYM sequence, and helps you develop your intuition as to how to adjust the method to suit client needs.

We will usually be completing the practical training over two 5-day periods (typically we work 10 am to 1 pm, and 2-5 pm on each day), with 2 days off for the students to rest in-between. The online introduction consists of approximately 7 hours of short videos, which can be accessed and completed in the two weeks before starting the practical element of the course at the students’ convenience.

On completion of the practical part of the training you will also receive videos of the whole training, which you will maintain access to at no additional cost for one year, as well as a one-year student membership of the Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Therapists Association.

In Level 1 students find out what Ayurvedic Yoga Massage is and what it can do. We understand what it is that we are trying to achieve, setting the foundations for students to become exceptional practitioners who will help transform people’s lives. The Level 1 training includes:

1. Body mechanics: how to position your body and adjust the techniques to make sure you are working with ease, using your body weight rather than your strength. This will feel a lot nicer to your clients and protect your own body in the long term. Offering AYM feels wonderful for the therapist’s body, you warm up, breathe, move, and even stretch a little, much like an easy yoga practice (videos, and practical training in classroom)

2. Indications and contra-indications (for AYM treatments generally and for each specific technique), and safe and comfortable prone and supine lying positions for the client. Learning when and how clients’ bodies need to be supported, and what positions are appropriate for which clients will help make your treatments safe, effective and enjoyable (videos and practical training).

3. Learning how to respond to the sensations that we get from our hands/feet/other body parts that we massage with. We need to understand what the quality of the tissues that we are massaging is like, how we adjust the surface area and amount of pressure appropriately depending on the aim of the session, and which body parts we can use to provide the pressure that the client needs with ease, without straining any part of our own bodies (practical training)

4. Similarly, we learn to interpret the feedback that we get from the soft tissues when we are stretching, and the client’s feedback, to understand when and how far is beneficial to stretch (practical).

5. Clear and effective communication with the client, including how to do an effective consultation, decide the objectives of the session, and what the session will include to work towards those objectives together with the client; how to read the client’s body language during the session to assess whether the treatment is safe, comfortable and effective; and building a trusting relationship that can help foster healing (videos and practical application in classroom)

6. The pace of the massage needs to be appropriate to client needs, and we also work on paying attention to our own and the client’s energy and breathing during the session (covered in the online introduction but we mostly work on this in the practical part of the training).

7. Massage ethics (1 hour in classroom)

8. Hygiene (videos and practical application)

9. Business skills (videos, if any questions arise during the classroom hours we answer them, plus ongoing support after your training).

Level 2 includes more techniques, and indications and contra-indications for each technique. The students’ pace of learning is faster by L2, as they already understand how the body needs to be touched/moved, and their own body mechanics. By combining L1&2 techninques you can offer a complete full body massage which will leave your clients feeling like they’re walking on clouds. We continue to work on the therapist’s body dynamics, our energy and pace during the treatment, the breath, appropriate levels and surface areas of pressure, and working out how much to stretch depending on client needs.

Level 3 includes many more techniques, as well as continuous work on the quality of touch, breath, pace, communication with the client, appropriate intensity of stretches. The pace of students’ learning is much faster by L3, so we are able to cover many more techniques, that give therapists the tools to deal with a wide range of client needs.

In Level 4 we practice doing consultations, and designing sessions aimed to address client needs. Students also offer some full sessions, so they get a lot of feedback on how to design sessions, prioritise what to work on and in what way, time management during the session, and communication with the client.

Check our YouTube channel to get an idea of what AYM treatments look like!


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What our clients say

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Marita, Level 5 Therapist

Despina is a very inspiring teacher, she has knowledge, experience, intuition, she makes you feel comfortable, she is caring and she knows how to deliver an effective training and massage. She has the patience to explain the simplest things, her teaching techniques makes you aware of your body, your posture… Read More
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Sarah Level 4 Therapist

Before COVID I was working in events and entertainment, mid lockdown I knew that I needed a change in work options for two reasons, less stress and more work potential. I have always wanted to complete a massage course and be able to feel confident with what I was doing. Read More
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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… Read More
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Joy Ng, Level 5 Therapist

Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Practitioner

If you wish to take Level 5, you’re committing to providing a level of service that goes beyond yourself and your ego. Levels 1-4 prepare you physically in your practice. Going through Level 5 for me is a journey of self-discovery, humility, and attunement to others. We sometimes forget we… Read More
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The trainer Despina is extremely knowledgeable and personable and I’d really say she goes the extra miles for her students. All the training I’ve done has been a huge learning experience and I feel I’ve gained so much from this experience. I love yoga massage, it’s definitely my favourite by… Read More
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Sajni Shah L3-5 L5 L1-4 Chios residential


I’ve really enjoyed every minute of my learning journey with Despina and feel that I have gained so much more than just being able to practice AYM! As well as being an amazing therapist, Despina is an approachable, supportive, attentive and collaborative teacher. Ever since the first workshop I did with her… Read More
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The course with Despina was life changing for me. I had studied other styles of massage for a couple of years before this course, but I was growing to feel quiet disheartened with it all, restricted by the small number of massage techniques available, and restricted by using a massage… Read More
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Oana Paunas, Level 4 Therapist

When I decided to start a massage course I had no idea where and what I wanted to do. Took me a while to find this amazing massage and a good friend to recommend me Despina as a teacher and a guide into my journey. She is a wonderful person… Read More
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Christina Bolt

“I was lucky enough to attend Levels 1-4 in Greece with Despina. Not only is she a fantastic teacher, creating easy to follow content and notes but also a fantastic host. I’ve rarely eaten such wonderful food, the beaches were beautiful, the villages we visited all unique and lovely and… Read More
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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… Read More
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I have just completed Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Therapist Training Levels 1-4 with Despina in London and I don’t really know how to put in words increadibly beautiful transformational experience I have just had, so I will mention just few things which make this training outstanding: 1. Despina is a real… Read More
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I loved my course with Despina at the Hideout in Bristol. I love the adaptability of her approach to massage and to teaching it. I feel really supported and guided by her after the course as well. She is dedicated to helping her clients find thier way both during and… Read More
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Alex Vuillot

I’ve had amazing experiences doing my L1-4 with Despina who brings such depth, warmth and nurture to the whole training. I always leave wanting to come back and learn more! Absolutely recommend. Read More
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Just an incredible experience all round! Really feel like I’ve learned so much from the course – I was too hard on myself at the start (and probably with the assessment too) but on reflection the techniques were so helpful and all the additional learning and knowledge has… Read More
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I can confidently say, this course is a true innovation in the fields of massage and alternative therapies. The quality of materials and skills I’ve acquired over the past two weeks have outpaced all of my previous training. As a therapist, this course really opened my eyes and… Read More