Ayurvedic Yoga Massage (AYM) combines deep tissue massage, stretches, mobilisations, tractions, and breathwork. AYM was developed in the early 1980s by Master Kusum Modak from Pune, India. Kusum practiced yoga under the instruction of BKS Iyegar, and also studied Ayurvedic massage with Master Lamaye Maharaj, a respected Ayurvedic massage practitioner. Kusum combined the massage method that she learned, with her learning from her yoga practice, and developed AYM as we practice it today. AYM is given on a mattress or futon on the floor, which allows for the practitioner to use their bodyweight, rather than their strength, to work with the appropriate amount of pressure for the client. Most clients find this more comfortable than a table, having more space to move on a comparatively stable structure. This also allows the practitioner to use their legs and feet, again to give the appropriate amount of pressure, and to support the stretches, which are an incredibly beneficial part of the treatment. For an AYM treatment I would ask the client to change into comfortable underwear, and I provide draping, that allows for modesty and comfort during the massage.
The use of deep tissue massage, gentle mobilisations and tractions of the joints, and assisted (passive) stretches allow the client to fully relax, and also combine to give a powerful remedial massage. After their sessions clients usually feel more centered, and relaxed, happier - as many people put it "like myself again". We use massage oil (I tend to work with almond, and/or coconut oil, and use various resins and essential oils to best fit the client) and calamus powder.
Calamus powder, Acorus calamus, vacha, or vekhand is a wetland plant very popular in Ayurveda. We use the dried, ground root to help stimulate circulation. Calamus helps to warm up the muscles, and remove toxins. It is a very gentle exfoliant, and has a very pleasant, slightly sweet, spicy, earthy scent. The powder can also add friction, which can allow the massage strokes to go deeper, giving more relief to sore, tense muscles, without applying a stronger pressure.
AYM brings all the benefits from deep tissue/remedial massage, together with some of the benefits of yogic practices.
It's well documented that massage, and yoga boost the immune system, reducing stress, increasing the hormones (oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin) that give feelings of love and happiness. This not only promotes general health, and helps people with all kinds of health conditions, it also promotes feelings of trust and inclusivity, that can lead to improve a persons relationships, and their self esteem.
Massage helps to soften tight muscles, while the stretches, tractions, and mobilisations (also relaxing for tight muscle fibres, and other tissues ie. fascia, connective tissues) improve the quality of muscles and tendons (especially after injury), increase breathing capacity and range of movement, and improve bodily alignment. The massage is always adjusted to best meet your individual requirements for health.