What is Ayurvedic Yoga Massage?
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage is a deep tissue oil massage followed by assisted yoga stretches. It is adjusted to suit clients – relaxing, energising, soothing, deep or remedial. The method was developed by Master Kusum Modak in Pune, India, after many years of studying traditional Ayurvedic massage and Iyengar yoga.
AYM is an amazing technique which works on many levels – physical, emotional, mental, energetic. So, each person seems to experience it differently. Check out the testimonials in our therapist directory to find out what people have to say about their treatments to give you an idea.
What to expect during a massage
In practical terms, treatments include working with the whole body, with emphasis on the areas that need more work. The therapist starts with an oil massage with their hands and feet, gradually warming up and softening muscle tissues, fascia and organs, facilitating breathing and improving circulation. We work with the breath, so that the nervous system can let go, and this process can be effective as well as pleasant and effortless. We use natural oils and a powder from the ground root of Acorus calamus, a wetland plant in the sweetflag family. The use of calamus creates a pleasant exfoliating feeling, but mainly it helps improve blood circulation and warm up the tissues quicker, intensifying the benefits of the massage, such as detoxing and inducing a feeling of wellbeing.
The oil massage is complemented with gentle mobilisations, tractions and assisted (passive) yoga stretches, which help lengthen the tissues and can help bring a deep sense of relaxation and renewed energy. Through these gentle movements we also help relax tendons and ligaments, and renew the synovial fluid in joints.
By working with both oil massage and movement, we usually work close to the client’s limits on the day, depending on what the body and mind are ready to receive. We combine working close to the limits with using the breathing to help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and release tension. Massaging, moving or stretching tense muscles can cause pain, resistance or agitation. Mindful touch and deep, relaxed breathing, can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which not only helps release, but it helps retrain the nervous system to release quicker when agitating circumstances occur in our lives. This brings a lasting feeling of being centred, where we are less likely to feel agitated or restless, and experience increased clarity of thought.
On a conscious level we are also developing body awareness, and learning to listen to our bodies more.
AYM is also wonderful to offer. Initially we move through working with different parts of the body in a sequence, which allows the session to become a moving meditation. Even new practitioners can experience this, by working to a set sequence that they plan at the beginning of their session. Read what people have to say about their AYM training.
Want to learn AYM?
Book one of our popular 4-hour workshops or sign up for our Certified Therapist Training courses
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Watch AYM in action
To get more of an idea of what's involved in Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, watch examples of AYM sessions on our Videos page