The Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage

It's important to take the time to rest and recovery. One way to recharge your body is with Thai yoga massage, a method that combines massage with deep stretching and yoga. Annie Foster, a Thai massage practitioner, explains more about the benefits of this unique massage.

Thai yoga massage is a more active type of massage where clients are put through a series of modified yoga poses while the practitioner performs a full-body massage. The different yoga poses allow for a deeper stretch that can be especially beneficial for people whose sport has a specific, repetitive range of motion, like running or biking. There is a full-body flow, but Foster says she adapts to the needs of the client, the activity they are training for and the tension she feels. The shoulders are usually a good starting point to gauge what needs to be massaged and what pressure should be applied.

During the massage, clients stay dressed and usually lie on a harder but protected surface--like yoga mats spread across the floor. The practitioner can use other body parts, like the feet, knees and even head, to gently massage muscles. Going beyond hands allows for additional angles and leverage points to work out even the toughest knots. Foster says, "Thai yoga massage is not about pain or being a yogi, but about using the combination of massage and stretching to help the mind and body recover and relax."

Thai yoga massage can be extremely beneficial for athletes who have plateau or feel burnt out. Foster says a recovery cross training is vital to any athletic regimen because it allows the muscles to rest and recover more efficiently. Feeling good and strong enables you to push through to new athletic levels.

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Arlen Zamula currently works as the fitness department for a school-based health program where she teaches exercises to about 4,500 students.

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