There’s this awkward connection between the practitioners of Yoga and those of Thai Massage.
It might be described as a delicate balance between a kind of push and pull, mutual admiration, ignorance and insight. I suppose it’s because practitioners often come from “different worlds,” meet in the middle and are “being forced” to reflect each other’s “other side.”
Anyhow—something like that.
Now, Thai Massage is often called “Thai Yoga Massage” or “Passive Yoga,” due to the Yoga-poses “executed” on the receiver. It’s exactly because of this that Thai Massage courses allure Yoga-practitioners and Yoga-teachers. And on the other hand—there are quite some Thai Massage practitioners doing Yoga for the same reasons.
I basically don’t do (Indian) Yoga myself. Well, I do some exercises on occasion, some basic poses derived from out Thai Massage. But then again, I’m fairly interested in the Yoga-Asanas (poses) and their workings and I do study them. I need to know their function and benefits and so on, but mainly from out a practitioner’s perspective, that is—I use the poses on my clients.
When it comes to doing Yoga and being a Thai Massage practitioner, it’s quite interesting what Pichest Boothumme has to say about Yoga. Practitioners often claim Pichest doesn’t exercise Yoga himself or even dislikes and discourages it. I don’t know really, but I suppose it’s because he tends to say something like : “Doing Thai Massage, no do Yoga!”
I think what Pichest really means is that while you are intensively practicing, studying and/or receiving Thai Massage, you preferably shouldn’t do Yoga. Or rather—be very careful and selective with doing Yoga exercises.
I tend to agree because doing Yoga and (getting, studying and/or giving) Thai Massage simultaneously, say at the same day, day after day, is just simply too much. It’s like doing double, triple intensive Yoga classes on one day and it clearly robs you from all your energy and over-manipulates your body. That’s my experience.
I’ve seen these 10-day Thai Massage courses where the students start and sometimes also end with an hour or so of Yoga. I tell you: after 4 or 5 days they’re almost—dead. Zombies. No energy, dried-up. I see no point in doing so really… although it might work out just fine for very experienced bodyworkers.
Anyway, I’m not against practicing Yoga. Certainly not. But when you’re studying Thai Massage, one should surely think twice and balance out carefully.