‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’- Maya Angelou
My first interest in massage was when I was a child; my mother had debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and depression and I used to rub her hands and she would say it felt nice and that I had soothing hands.
I was 17 when I discovered Thai yoga massage whilst visiting a hill tribe village in the north of Thailand. I fell in love with the practice which combines applied hatha yoga poses and mindfulness techniques.
As part of my training I went off into the jungle for my first intensive meditation retreat – a month long silent retreat in the jungle of Thailand where a banana leaf was my home! The first two weeks were very challenging but then came the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri where we stayed up all night chanting, drinking soy milk and eating jaggeree and I experienced a complete shift in my perspective.
The roots of Thai yoga massage are in yoga philosophy and Vipassana (observation or insight) meditation and MettÄ (MettÄ is a Pali word for ‘loving kindness’) meditation. The practitioner’s job is to deliver a physical application of loving kindness – of ‘MettÄ mediation’ and this combination of mindfulness in motion creates an atmosphere of healing for both the giver, as well as the receiver and teaches us about taking mindfulness into our actions. The effects of this presence are very profound and healing.
A workshop offers you a wonderful opportunity to get an understanding of this ancient art. In my upcoming ‘introduction to mindfulness + Thai yoga massage’ workshop you will learn some simple but effective techniques for use with family and friends and get a taste for the benefits of traditional Thai yoga massage.
We will start our afternoon with an introduction to mindfulness and a MettÄ meditation – and we will explore a powerful mantra called Om Mani Padmi Hum. This is a Tibetan mantra for developing understanding and compassion. Much has been written on it, but a very simple translation is:
Om – the sound of vibration of the universe.
Mani – a jewel or a diamond that is a symbol of beauty and light and has the sharpness to cut through ignorance.
Padme – a lotus flower symbolising beauty that can rise up out of the mud and blossom. The mud is our ignorance and the Lotus is compassion and wisdom.
Hum – to bring together to unify.
A brief talk about the history of Thai yoga massage will then be given and you will learn a mini sequence of hatha based yoga stretches that you can practice on your family and friends, or use directly in your work if you are a teacher or therapist. This is an opportunity to experience this amazing ancient healing art, and the benefits of both giving and receiving it. You will also have an opportunity to find out more about the diploma training if you are interested in training.
Join Amy Ku Redler in Chelsea on Sunday 8th February, from 4.30pm – 6.30pm, for an insightful and practical introduction to mindfulness + thai yoga massage. Click here for full details and to book your place. Alternatively call our team on 020 3362 3366.
Amy Ku Redler has over 25 years experience in this field. She has been practising and teaching mindful meditation, yoga and Thai yoga massage since the early 90s. She trained as a Pilates teacher and as a counsellor in 2007, and is currently on an MA programme studying Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS University, as well as continuing her Mindfulness training with Breathworks.
Amy’s passion lies in looking at lifestyle patterns that cause dysfunction and dis-ease, physically, emotionally and psychologically and helping to develop re-education programmes that support this process. Over the years her work has been featured in The Times, Vogue, Tatler, Sunday Times and The Evening Standard, amongst others. For more info please visit: http://www.yogamassage.co.uk/