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Lessons from Thai Massage: Taking Space

To give, you need to take space, more space than you think you need.

This past weekend I taught a Thai Massage workshop, and I found myself saying things like “move farther away from the person you are working on,” or “take more space than you think you need.”

I am a person who hyper extends – physically, and of course, in my life, my work, everything. I over extend and then I break. Which is what I did this week! I did too much, and I injured myself. And this isn’t the first time it’s happened either.

One of the lessons that Thai massage teaches us through it’s technique is how to take care of ourselves first, how to work with good posture, and awareness of our own physical body, while we apply the technique.

During my first Thai massage immersion course, I found myself constantly hunched over the person I was working with, and I would be really sore by the end of each day.

But as I continued to practice, I learned to take the proper amount of distance from the physical body in front of me, to adjust my posture, just as we do in asana practice, and to observe my breath and the sensations in my body.

You have to do all of these things before you can really give the technique with grace, and in a way that’s fully healing to the other person, and for yourself. It takes time, practice, and patience to cultivate. This is something I am always working on.

And even as I am working on this physically, by practicing Thai massage, I am reminded to bring the lessons from this physical practice into my life.

To give, you need to take space, more space than you think you need.

What are ways that you translate your physical practice into your daily life?

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