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Thai Yoga Massage Versus Yoga – Which One Is Better?

thai massage shoulder stretch

Thai Massage versus Thai Yoga Massage – what’s in a name?

Thai Yoga Massage is basically another name for Thai Massage. There are variations and adaptations and different styles of therapists, but we are talking about the same family of bodywork.

The term ‘Thai Yoga Massage‘ has been coined by western practitioners. It is quite an appropriate name since it does reflect the fact that Thai Massage has its roots in the yoga tradition of India.

Continue reading…Thai Yoga Massage Versus Yoga – Which One Is Better?

Thai Massage, Yoga and Flying Therapeutics

Thai Yoga Massage shares quite a few common elements with yoga and acro yoga. This is sometimes called “flying yoga” since the passive partner is being moved  around while “flying” on the feet and hands of the active partner who is lying on the back.

Many practitioners came up with very creative and sometimes amazing adaptations. “Flying yoga” is beautiful to watch and a powerful experience when you receive it.

Recently one of those talented therapists, Lorenzo Becchi, visited us at the studio of Thai Healing Massage Academy. We shot a video of him performing his graceful and mindful “flying massage” system.

Many of his moves are similar to Thai Massage techniques, but they are all done in flying mode with the receiver in the air instead of lying on a mat. 

Lorenzo’s style looks like a combination of Thai Massage and yoga, but done in the air so that the client experiences a feeling of weightlessness. It is similar to Acro yoga, but with Lorenzo’s very special and unique touch. You really need to see it to appreciate it.

If you would like to find out more about Flying Therapeutics, you can visit Lorenzo’s site at

What is the Difference Between Thai Massage and Partner Yoga?

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Thai Massage and related styles

Thai Massage calf stretch
Thai Massage calf stretch

Thai Massage has its roots in India’s yoga tradition.

According to legend, about 2,500 years ago, during the time of Buddha, an Indian physician came to Thailand and brought what is now known as Thai Massage with him.

The similarities  between the two systems are quite obvious. Thai Massage is often called “Thai yoga massage” or “lazy man’s yoga” since it is somewhat like yoga being done to you. The therapist is applying a series of yoga-like stretches to the client.

Normally yoga is done by individual practitioners who perform stretching techniques on themselves. But there are also styles where two yoga practitioners work together.

Continue reading…What is the Difference Between Thai Massage and Partner Yoga?

Combining Thai Massage With Yoga Wisdom

Origins of Thai Massage

Thai Massage and yoga are part of the same family. Thai Massage originated in India’s yoga system and made its way to Thailand in a modified version. That’s why western therapists often refer to it as Thai yoga massage. The similarity between yoga stretches and Thai Massage stretches is quite obvious.

The relationship between Thai Massage and Yoga

However there is more that connects yoga and Thai Massage. It’s not just the actual stretches, but also more subtle elements like breathing, energy awareness, correct body mechanics, and the development of higher awareness.

Some of these elements have been neglected by many Thai practitioners and have been revived by western therapists who are much more familiar with the yoga system than their Thai colleagues.

Yoga is not as popular in Thailand as in the western world. It has just recently started to gain limited traction in the larger cities in Thailand.

In contrast, in the western world yoga is very popular, and it is quite common that yoga teachers also learn Thai Massage and combine the two in their practice and their teaching.

Thai Massage and yoga teachers

Yoga and Thai Massage are a natural combination since they are not only using similar techniques, but also similar principles. Yoga practitioners find Thai Massage a good match, and yoga teachers find the touching elements of the ‘yoga massage’ helpful in their teaching.

Many yoga teachers have added Thai Massage as a compatible second career and income stream. At the same time, western Thai Massage practitioners often find that the yoga exercises help them with the positions of the massage. 

Similarities and differences

Both of these systems have a lot in common and can be easily combined. They support each other, work with similar principles, and share techniques. The main difference is that Thai Massage is a totally passive experience for the receiver, whereas yoga is a totally active system for the practitioner.

It needs to be mentioned that Thai Massage is not just a system of passive yoga stretches, but an entire healing art method which works on many levels – stretches, range of motion, massage, energy work, and acupressure. So there are many similarities, but also significant differences.

Conclusion and study options

Thai Massage in its traditional form can be made even better by including yoga principles, and yoga can benefit from the Thai Yoga Massage elements. Here at Thai Healing Massage Academy about half of our online students are either yoga practitioners or yoga teachers.

If you want to learn Thai Massage, check out our extensive online course library here:


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The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the author of 20 Thai Massage online training courses. You can reach him at

The Thai Massage and Yoga Connection

Origins of Thai Massage

The Thai Massage version of the yoga bridge
The Thai Massage version of the yoga bridge

Thai Massage and yoga are part of the same family. According to legend, Thai Massage was introduced in Thailand about 2500 years ago by an Indian physician, a contemporary of Buddha, and he brought with him his knowledge of yoga and yoga therapy.

Therefore the term Thai Yoga Massage is quite appropriate, although this term is not used at all in Thailand, but only by western practitioners.

Continue reading…The Thai Massage and Yoga Connection