This week I was invited to try something new. I have always loved massages and as runners many of us indulge in one after a big race. It’s a great way to relieve tight muscles and relax. So when I was invited to try a Thai Yoga massage I was definitely both interested and intrigued.
I visited the Toro Holistic Health Center in Old Montreal for my very first Thai Yoga massage experience. At Toro Holistic Health they offer alternative holistic health services and guide their clients through traditional and natural healing. They use a holistic approach that considers the well-being of the mind, body and soul as crucial in achieving an ideal state of health.
The center was easy to locate and for this suburban mama who does not enjoy city street parking, I was happy to find a parking lot just one block away! At first, I was overcome with a sense of calmness upon entering a beautiful old building. The stone walls and loft like ceilings lend themselves to an atmosphere of deep character and stillness.
After waiting just a couple of minutes in the reception area, I was greeted by the owner and founder Tatiana Toro. Her warm and inviting personality filled the room as she greeted me. The room she showed me to was a beautiful space that resonated with peace and serenity. Candles, incense, low lighting and soft music set the tone for the moment. We spent a few minutes discussing what exactly a Thai Yoga massage was and how it differed from the traditional spa massages that I was familiar with. I learned that a Thai Yoga massage is an ancient Ayurvedic massage technique. This dynamic form of massage is practiced on the floor, on a mat, wearing loose comfortable clothes. By combining yoga postures, stretching, breath work, palming and thumbing along the body’s energy lines “sen” and Ayurveda principles (old Indian medicine), this massage can be either energizing or relaxing depending on the pace and selected postures. Adapting to all body types, this massage liberates muscular tension, increases flexibility, improves circulation, strengthens the immune system and re-establishes the energy balance.
After a few minutes of discussion, I was invited to sit on the mat. After working the stress and tension out of my neck, shoulders, arms and back I was instructed to lie down and was covered with warm blankets. This next part is especially practical for anyone who does physical fitness. As a runner, I find it common to have tight or sore muscles in the hips, thighs or hamstring areas. This very slow form of stretching the legs was comfortable and relaxing at the same time as it was stretching out some very tight muscles, which felt great. The Thai Yoga massage was in part a traditional massage and in part yoga type stretching that really worked on the hip flexors and upper thighs. It ended with a short reiki session that left me feeling relaxed and peaceful to the point that I believe I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes!
After the session was finished, I was served a delicious apple cinnamon tea and spent some time discussing the Thai Yoga massage session and learning more about it’s benefits. It was a lovely personal touch that really enhanced the experience.
Finally, I was shown a wall of beautiful quotes and asked to choose one that spoke to me and take a picture with it. Each client is asked to do this at the end of their session and I thought it was a lovely final touch.
It was a more peaceful experience than I had imagined. As compared to a traditional spa massage which gives you a feeling a physical relaxation, I found the Thai Yoga massage left me with much more. It was a feeling of physical but also mental relaxation. A sense of emotional well-being and wholeness as well as a release from the tightness of overworked muscles. I truly enjoyed my experience at Toro Holistic Health Center and would highly recommend it to anyone.
In exchange for an honest review, I was treated to a complimentary Thai Yoga Massage at Toro Holistic Health Center. All views and opinions are my own.