There’s this intimate connection — a kind of “marriage” — between the practitioners of Yoga and those of Thai Massage.
It might be described as a delicate balance between push and pull, mutual admiration, ignorance and insight. I suppose it’s because Yoga and Thai Massage practitioners and therapists often come from “different worlds,” meet in the middle, and are “forced” to reflect each other’s “other side.”
Anyway — I would describe it something like that.
Now, Thai Massage is often also called Thai Yoga Massage or Passive Yoga because of the Yoga-poses (Asanas) being “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.
Apart from Reusi Dat Ton (Thai Yoga), 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 and their function, and I do study them. I need to know how and why they work and their benefits, but mainly from out a therapist’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 didn’t exercise Yoga himself or even disliked and discouraged it. I don’t really know about that, but I suppose it’s because he tended to say something like : “Doing Thai Massage, no do Yoga!”
I think what Master Pichest really meant 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 think I agree with this 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 end with an hour or so of Yoga. I tell you: after four or five days they’re like Zombies. No energy, dried-up. I really see no point in doing so … although it might work out just fine for very experienced bodyworkers.
Anyway, I’m not against practicing Yoga. Certainly not. But when you’re actively in a Thai Massage training course, or practice Thai Massage very intensively with many clients each day, you should surely think twice and balance things out carefully.