Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, also called Ayurveda Yoga Massage or AYM, is actually not a traditional Indian bodywork modality. It’s a modern hybrid, a combination of two other traditional healing methods from India: Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine.
In fact, it combines coordinated Breathwork, traditional Indian Deep Tissue Ayurvedic Oil Massage, and Yoga-Based Assisted Stretching Therapies integrating the health benefits of both Yoga and Ayurveda. AYM was developed by Master Kusum Modak from Pune, India, in the early 1980s.
Seeing the work, one cannot avoid noticing the resemblance with Traditional Thai Massage (Thai Yoga Massage). Both are done on the floor on a mat, both use Yogic stretches, yet, one of the important differences is that an AYM practitioner also uses Ayurvedic medicinal herbal oils and powders. The most important medicinal powder used is Calamus, which is mixed with a little bit of oil to bring out the toxins from the body.
According to Master Kusum, the assisted stretching techniques mainly come from her classes with the famous Yoga Master BKS Iyengar. As for Ayurveda Massage techniques, she’s influenced heavily by the work of Master Vasudev Limaye, a well-known traditional Ayurvedic Massage therapist.
Today, some AYM practitioners use a variety of techniques and methods from other bodywork modalities also, such as Thai Massage, Physiotherapy, and Osteopathy. In any case, although there are certainly some AYM training providers giving courses and classes in India, the modality is much bigger outside of India.