Re: Sitting 1
Although I haven't been using seated positions much in my regular sessions, I have found them to be really useful for older clients who find it uncomfortable to lie on the floor and also for some of my autistic clients who only like to be worked on seated. It has also been very versatile in terms of being able to administer quick, easy sessions in the office environment as all I need is a cushion. Although some of the techniques can be done in a chair, these clients have reported feeling 'grounded' when supported with my knees and hands on the floor and also have the extra benefit of stretching their hips in a cross legged seated position.
Leaning in, slightly from above seems to give more depth to the massage and also enables me to work more rhythmically. One client actually really enjoyed the pressure of leaning into my knee so I incorporated this more into the session by placing my knee in different positions up and down the back while working on the neck and trapezius. Using my feet on the back is one of my favorite techniques and always gets a great response. I have been experimenting with walking up and down either side of the spine; a little like elephant walking with the feet-hope this is ok! I sometimes also just walk on one spot for some time when the client expresses relief in a particular area.
I found my coordination a bit rubbish for a while when trying to twist my client in the seated position but I seem to have got the hang of it with some practice. The added leverage/assistance while firstly mobilising the spine from side to side enables me to take the client more safely and deeper into the twist as it helps to warm up the back. It is quite a hypnotic technique when applyed rhythmically for sometime. In terms of the yogic aspect-it is a fabulous way of wringing out emotions from their seat in the spinal column-a whole therapy in itself.
Re: Sitting 2 & Client Communication
I struggled with the first few techniques on bigger clients due to their weight coming back on my knees and also balancing on my toes but am gradually making progress on this front as I develop more stability. With small clients these techniques are very deep, nurturing and powerful relaxants as the whole body feels tractioned. Again the seated work straddled to the side where my knee is used like almost a table is a fantastic technique to my repetoire as it is very portable and convenient as well as allowing me to work more deeply. Very good for ayurvedic 'Vata' types who benefit greatly from being connected with and working on the ground. The client communication section I found to be extremely thorough and I have already added some things into the way I do my consultation. The explanation of cellular memory and inhibited chi was great and is very similar in principle to how the physical practice of Yoga unlocks and unblocks prana in the body-mind. I have taken this so much for granted but having watched this session I am going to explain this also to my Yoga clients in very first session. I like your phrase 'tight muscles, tight mind' and it reminds one that although we are not councelours or psychologists, there is so much we can do at mind level by working on the body (through Yoga, massage etc) and addressing the body or outer kosha first.
Sure you can improvise and add foot work on the back. If it feels good to the client, then it is ok to do. Nothing wrong with improvising and creating new ways of doing things.
There are plenty of similarities between yoga and Thai Massage. Here in Thailand the yogic origin has been largely forgotten, and that's why I like to emphasize some of those principles in my courses. I go even much deeper into this in my "Magic Touch Secrets" course.