Thai Yoga: The Ancient Healing Art to Bliss


Have you heard of Thai Yoga? It often gets confused with Tai Chi, but Thai Yoga is a modality of healing that is an Ayurvedic (Ancient Indian Medicine) tradition. During the time of Buddha, monks went to Thailand to set up temples and practiced healing arts which consisted of a variety of techniques. One was called nuad boran, the foundation of Thai Yoga bodywork.

Thai Yoga bodywork is a comprehensive, full-body, fully clothed technique that is pretty amazing. The practitioner uses their entire body including the thumbs, palms, elbows, knees, etc. to stretch and move the client’s body into positions that are similar to yoga poses. The technique works on soft tissues such as muscles, fascia, ligaments, and tendons while helping provide mobility to the joints. Sessions are performed on a soft, padded mat on the floor and can last 60 minutes to 2 hours.

This type of bodywork is relaxing, revitalizing and therapeutic. What I like about this practice is that it flows well. I am very routine and systematic, and you know what you’re getting with Thai Yoga. It’s basically a series of flowing stretches that provide pressure along the body’s energy meridians. If done on a routine basis, it will increase and improve energy balance in the body while also providing mobility, flexibility and it can reduce stress and anxious thoughts. It’s uplifting while also being meditative.

Who is it good for? Anyone! It can assist individuals who have sore muscles from exercise, and it can assist those who sit a lot during the day. It helps with chronic stiffness and tension and is beneficial for those who have physical jobs or are athletes. It can be done on any body type with any level of flexibility, so you don’t have to be like a pretzel to get the benefit.

By working on the meridian lines, a session can help release blocked energy which assists in restoring balance and harmony to the body. To learn more about the meridians, check out the article – A River Runs Through Us.

In addition to opening the channels of energy in the body, there are also additional benefits which include the following:

  • Calming the central nervous system which creates deep relaxation
  • Removing muscle tension and releasing soreness
  • Improving alignment of the spine, posture, and balance
  • Increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • Increased mind/body awareness
  • Improved circulation and immunity
  • Improved athletic performance and reduced injury risk
  • Improved lymphatic flow and increased body detoxification
  • Increased connect to the breath

Like taking a yoga class, Thai Yoga bodywork can be extremely therapeutic to the body, mind, and spirit.  You don't have to lift a finger or toe!  Maybe that's why it's called The Lazy (Wo)Man's Yoga.  The practitioner does all the work and you gain all the benefits.  To summarize, this modality is a wonderful combination of acupressure, rhythmic massage, gently opening the energy lines of the body while safely and softly stretching the whole body.  It works on the muscular, skeletal, lymphatic, endocrine, and nervous systems.  The end result can feel like bliss, allowing a flow of harmonic energy to flow within the body while creating flexibility, connecting with breath, and cultivating health and well-being.  If you haven't tried this yet, what are you waiting for?  You won't be disappointed.  


About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).

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