I get asked a lot lately to clarify the difference between Thai Yoga Massage and Thai Yoga Therapy. in our training program, we offer a certification track for Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner and an advanced track for Thai Yoga Therapist. So, what makes our approach so unique?
Thai Yoga Massage originated in Thailand as a form of physical therapy. Unlike Western approaches, it works the whole body with gentle stretching, rocking, massaging and acupressure. It is gentle and dance like, elegant and simple all at once.
When I became a Yoga Therapist, I began integrating aspects of Thai Massage with my yoga therapy practices and overtime it became something beautiful in its own right. Yoga Therapy addresses all 5 layers of the person - Physical, Emotional, Mental, Energetic and Purpose. We use breath work to regulate the mind and intelligent asana hacks to regulate the body to either release myofascia or repattern muscles. It is slow and mindful and integrates meditation, energy work in the form of marma therapy and craniosacral techniques for restoring the nervous system.
My passion for sometime now has been two fold - both physiological and emotional.
With physiological challenges in my own body that include my knees, pelvis, spine and even my jaw, the most interesting aspect of the Thai Yoga Therapy program is the modules that focus on the lower and upper regions of the body. This is where we look at each myofascial line of the body and explore unique and empowering movements for releasing and repatterning the entire body. It is something that I have worked on for over 10 years and it has become a pretty efficient system. We explore anatomy and play with clay so that the learning is 3 dimensional.
On the emotional side, I struggled with strong emotions through out my later childhood and into my early 20's. Anxiety, depression and stress, the Ayurvedic trifecta of the human condition is the focus in the three modules focused on these emotions. This is where the breathwork, marma therapy, meditation and energy work comes in, but also the knowledge for knowing when to move and when to be still.
In the video, above, I am working with Jess through a more physical practice for releasing the front body. It gives you a glimpse into what a session can look like, but just a glimpse. With so many tools and areas to focus, each and every session is uniquely moving in its own way.
Stefani Wilton and Contributors
Finding beauty in the midst of joyous imperfection