I would like to share with you a new kind of yoga that I “discovered.” Devoted blog readers already know I like hot yoga. A book sale event was the setting for this particular yogic discovery.
I was sitting at my table trying to convince holiday shoppers to add some eco-mystic romance to their lives when Gary Anderson stopped by. He was at the sale with his partner, who was trying to convince shoppers they needed some poetry in their lives.
Gary asked me if I’d ever had any bodywork done. Automotive-savvy Minnesotan that I am, my thoughts immediately jumped to car bodywork. But no, that’s not what he meant. He was talking about work on my physical body. You know, the one that lugs my meandering brain around all day.
I divulged that I get massages every once in a while but had none recently. At his Bodywise Studio in Duluth, Gary practices Thai Yoga, as in yoga from Thailand. It’s a combination of yoga and massage, which sounded heavenly to me. So Gary and I bartered an introductory session at his studio in exchange for two of my novels.
I had my session today. I arrived at his studio wearing yoga clothes. After introductions and taking a short history of my health, Gary had me lie down on a heated mat. Over the next hour-and-a-half, he worked from my toes to my head.
If you can lie down and breathe, you can do Thai Yoga. The most challenging aspect was allowing myself to be passive as Gary manipulated by arms and legs. I must comment that the man cuts an impressive figure. Well over six feet tall and fit, Gary nevertheless knows how to manage his strength and use his stature to best advantage in his work.
Gary combined rhythmic motions, palming and thumbing along my body’s energy lines with gentle stretching and breathwork. In addition to his hands, Gary used his legs and feet sometimes for massages and to guide me into yoga postures.
The work reminded me of the problem areas where my muscle knots collect, and Gary worked out some of those kinks. Afterwards, he asked me how I felt. I told him I felt great, like there was this circle – this egg of energy pulsing around me. “And how is that?” he asked. “Eggs are good,” I said.
Of course, the experience affects everyone differently, but if you’d like the opportunity to feel like an egg — a relaxed egg at that — I recommend Thai Yoga.