In a day and age where busyness is rewarded and calm is all but forgotten we have to make a conscious effort to practice self care. The act of yoga, deep breathing and connecting to the self is an amazing way to include self care in your life. Many see massage as an indulgence, but don’t be fooled by its feel good properties. Massage therapy can improve your game in more ways than one. The practice of combining self care modalities is common and massage and yoga are the perfect combo. Yoga is often known as the exercise that allows your body to massage its own inner organs, which is remarkable on its own. However massage therapy can add to yoga, enhancing your hard work leaving you with amplified gains. Both yoga and massage benefit the mind, body and soul. Whether you get a massage before or after yoga will depend on your goals, but both are equally beneficial. Here are some ways you can use these complementary modalities to enhance your yoga experience while strengthening your inner connection.
Benefits of massage before yoga:
- Deepen your stretches: Massage therapy can break down connective tissue (fascia) restrictions encouraging easier movement in the body which allows you to reach a deeper stretch and hold in your yoga positions.
- It can relieve muscle tension causing pain which may be holding you back in your yoga movements. A pain free body works better.
- Massage decreases knots and trigger points that restrict movements. It also increases your range of motion allowing for more movement in joints, smoother transitions with movements and an overall more effective yoga session.
- Allows you to gain awareness of muscle weaknesses or imbalances which allows you the understanding of where you need to work more consciously in your yoga practice to strengthen, push, or hold back. This also decreases your chance of overcompensating with those muscles, or injuring yourself during your poses.
- Massage helps balance out and align the muscle systems increasing your potential for more effective and consistent asanas.
- Massage increases circulation and warms up muscles making it the perfect precursor to your yoga session. You’ll be more than ready to begin your yoga practice the moment you reach your mat.
- Massage encourages deep breathing allowing you to get in tune with your body while bringing you into a mindful mental state. It can also increase clarity allowing you to leave all outside stressors and distractions behind. You’ll be mentally clear and prepared to begin your yoga session.
- Increases overall physical performance. Just as massage can improve an athlete’s game it too can encourage your body to work more efficiently.
Benefits Massage after yoga:
- Massage helps to flush out lactic acid in the muscles, helps increase lymphatic drainage in the body and increases circulation all which will help you recover from any soreness you may get from your yoga session. It will also encourage toxins to flush out of your system.
- A massage therapist can work on areas of tension that are hard to work out with yoga. An RMT can directly affect the muscles to release the tightness.
- Yoga can work as a “warm up” for the massage allowing your body to receive a deeper level of massage work along with a reduced pain response on tender areas.
- Prolongs the release of both feel good hormones while continuing to reduce the stress hormones. Often a deeper state of relaxation and release during this massage session is experienced.
- Improved Sleep quality. Massage is well known to positively impact sleep quality, however with the combination of massage after a yoga session sleep quality increases further.
- It allows continuum of the sacred calm space created in yoga, and prolongs the healing effects you just experienced in class.
- Because yoga and massage share so many positive effects to the body and mind the combining of the two will enhance the properties of each other. Essentially leaving you with a double benefit.
The power of touch is well known in both communities of science and spirituality. People have been experiencing the advantages of yoga and massage for thousands of years. The way in which yoga and massage therapy compliment each other is a beautiful dance between passive and manual therapies. The mind, body and spirit benefit from continued self care whether you chose massage before or after yoga. Whether you experience a heightened yoga session or just an overall increased feeling of well being then it has been worth it. Namaste.
We love to hear from you! If you have any questions please talk to one of our experienced Registered Massage Therapists. Email us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our yoga and massage studio is located in the Capilano area of Edmonton, Alberta. Our address is 6139 101 ave NW, Edmonton. We would love to see you for a massage and/or a yoga class.
Blog Author: Jessamie Zuurdeeg
Buddha Belly Registered Massage Therapists:
Jessamie Zuurdeeg RMT
Patrick Dobberthien RMT
Giovanna Husted RMT