YOGA AND MASSAGE
Freeing the muscles of the body from tension through massage will bring greater flexibility in the yoga postures; the head, neck, shoulders, back, abdomen and feet are usually the most in need of massage. You can work deeply along the sides of the spine between the shoulder blades and around the buttocks.
Essentially the techniques involve: kneading, stroking, rubbing or squeezing the knotted muscles with your fingertips, palms, knuckles or the heels of the hands. Experiment with different speeds, strokes and pressures according to the feedback you receive from your partner. Feel through the hands for ‘lumps’ - knots of tension to unravel and release from the body.
In California I found a lovely yoga teacher wonderfully named Cherry Clampett, at the Santa Barbara yoga centre .She skilfully combined yoga posture work with something like therapeutic touch and massage. It reminded me of the pictures of medieval yogis shown giving and receiving massage. I was semi comatose and still recovering from flu as she loosened up some knots and manipulated my nadis – the subtle energy points. Afterwards my body felt loose , like honey .
Child’s Pose Massage
I got this idea from Cherry. In child pose you can completely relax into a healing massage.
Kneel beside your friend resting in the child pose. Make sure your spine is upright and you are feeling relaxed. Begin by kneading between the shoulders and then tapping lightly with the fingertips around the shoulder blades and upper back of your partner .
Massage deeply along the sides of the spine with your thumbs. You may also lightly ripple down either side of the spine with the sides of the hands making rapid and gentle karate-style chops but no board-breaking, please. Allow your fingers to be relaxed and snappy as you do this.
Make two fists and begin lightly drumming around your partners sacrum. Once more knead between the shoulders and neck and finish with soft long strokes along your friend’s spine as if your hands are cat's paws. Your friend’s body should now be glowing.