Awakening the Body with Ayurvedic Yoga Massage
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage is a dynamic and deeply therapeutic massage. It fuses the sister sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga creating a strong deep tissue massage with assisted yoga stretches.
The massage combines deep tissue massage with sesame oil and ayurvedic herbal powders which gently exfoliate the body and on a deeper level they sink in to detoxify the body.
Then comes the yoga. Our body is warmed up, energy is moving and then through assisted yoga stretches inspired by Iyengar, we can really explore our range of movement, flexibility and breath with the stretches. Create space for ourselves.
The yoga stretches range from an assisted cobra stretch to a combination of spinal twists. We might also receive a range of assisted padangustasana (hip and leg stretches) and a spin on badakonasana (bound angle pose). There are also many shoulder girdle stretches. All the stretches work to open up the body three dimensionally, get breath moving fully and naturally increase our stamina and awareness of the body.
“Through synchronised breathwork, the receiver is led progressively deeper into assisted yoga postures that help correct postural imbalances and restore harmony to the body,” says James Winstanley, founder of the Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Institute.
The massage was developed over twenty years ago by Master Kusum Modak. She learned yoga directly with BKS Iyengar in Pune and brought this into her knowledge and understanding of the body through ayurvedic massage.
“Someone else is doing all the work for you – the lazy man’s yoga, the ultimate! If I could get that every day I would be very happy,” says Master Kusum. “Actually as the receiver you cannot just relax, lie down; and I start working on you. It is not like that. You should be aware and only then will you feel that something is changing in your body. Then after the first one or two sessions, which is our learning process – to see where you are holding the problem, the tightness, the tension. Then we know how to go forward little by little, the body opening like a flower petal by petal.”
An ayurvedic yoga massage session is a dialogue – both the giver and the receiver learn to listen to the body. Listening is the most important part of any dialogue.
When we realign the body, release stress and tension, we can also unlock trapped emotions that we hold in the body. We can see ourselves for who we really are.
We detox our mind, body and spirit with this massage.The oil and herb combination balances the body elements (doshas in ayurveda), improves circulation, releases toxins and aligns the musculoskeletal system which is vital for posture and energy flow. The calamus powder which is an ayurvedic herb from the ginger root family stimulates blood flow, calms the mind and directly revitalizes prana (vital energy of the body).
Ayurveda and Yoga are healing modalities which have been evolving for 5000 years. These sister sciences work together to give you an insight into how we tick. Their principles are deeply rooted in nature’s intelligence and therefore in the integration of body, mind and spirit.
“Not only is Ayurvedic Yoga Massage a deeply therapeutic massage, but it is insightful into our body’s holding patterns and how we hold onto stress,” says Adam. “It is a great integrative practice that helps us tune in on a new level. With three dimensional stretches and deep tissue massage techniques, we encourage the receiver to wake up to their body and their core alignment.”
Adam Divine trained in AYM and immersed himself in an ayurveda diploma in 2005. He has studied other traditions of massage and is also a Structural Bodyworker and Yoga Teacher. With his passion for aanatonmy, both physical and emotional, he shares his knowledge as an anatomy lecturer for yoga teacher trainees on Himalaya Yoga Valley’s International training programme. He has been teaching AYM around the world for 10 years and regularly hosts these trainings in Ireland.
UPCOMING TRAINING: September 1 – 8th Dragon Orchard, Herefordshire
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage Training – with conscious food, daily yoga and meditation, under the stars