Passive yoga: discover the benefits of stretching

Who hasn’t stopped looking longingly (and wishing they could do the same!) A slow, meticulous, and pleasant cat who stretches, twists and pulls?

These felines are true masters in the art of stretching, And this mastery allows them to maintain a state of perfect relaxation, flexibility, alertness, strength and agility. In Thailand, there is a therapy that has been used for millennia that allows us to experience and delve into this feeling: I mean Thai massage, also known as “passive yoga”.

This type of massage finds its roots in the confluence and fusion of different techniques, all from oriental medicine: meditation techniques and serene concentration typical of Buddhist philosophy, medicinal plants and yoga postures from medicine . Ayurvedic medicine from India, and acupuncture points practiced in traditional Chinese medicine.

The tradition of Thai massage

Thai massage is not only a preventive and relaxing technique, but it is really a medico-curative therapy, it could even be considered as a philosophy of life, because it encompasses all the vital areas of the human being: the physical, mental and emotional; worked by stretching, eating, meditation, full breathing …

This type of massage is called passive yoga because its origins are linked to a series of deeply rooted beliefs in Asia: it has traditionally been defined as a series of rhythmic sequences of pressures, twists and stretches that the therapist performs with his hands. , his feet. ., knees, elbows and arms; with the aim of harmonizing, restoring and unblocking the flow of energy (or Chi) which passes through 10 major energy channels or Sen meridians distributed throughout the body, balance the 4 basic elements that make up every living being, And a blockage or disharmony would cause pain and disease.

These elements are:

  • to land: It forms bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments … the solid part of the body.
  • the water: It agglutinates fluids, blood and secretions.
  • Fire: It regulates body temperature, regulates digestion and metabolism.
  • air: It balances breathing and blood circulation, and regulates the vitality of body and mind.

The practice and benefits of passive yoga

To perform this restorative work, the therapist takes the patient (who is comfortably dressed in a futon) to the limit of his joint mobility in each of the body structures, in order to relax the muscles., Recover the interarticular space, balance the nervous system, mobilize the viscera for proper functioning, promote blood to properly irrigate all structures and organs of the body and accelerate lymphatic circulation to purify the body, giving a deep feeling of relaxation and physical and mental well-being, strength, vitality, flexibility, immobility

After a session, which lasts between one and two hours, we feel that we are taller, that we breathe better and that we have improved in our body posture. The mind is emptied, the muscles relax and a smile appears on the face with a special glow in the eyes … in the same way that the cat, after waking up, is fully alert to any stimulus, able to enter in the race for a jump, retaining this innate elegance and this balance in your movements so typically feline!

Medium term, Passive yoga strengthens the immune system, tones the whole body and relaxes the nervous system, Balances emotions, increases respiratory capacity and blood oxygenation, strengthens ligaments, flexes joints, activates the lymphatic and circulatory system. Helps fight against insomnia, stress and chronic fatigue, muscle pain, low back pain, sciatica, headaches, constipation …

Bibliographical references:

  • Chia, Maneewan and Chia, Max (2008): Nuad Thai: Traditional Thai massage, Gaia.
  • Plasencia, JJ (2000): Traditional Thai Massage, RBA Books.
  • Avraham, B. (2006): Thai Massage: A Theoretical and Practical Handbook, Obelisk.

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