Lazy Man’s Yoga?

By Sharon Turelove

If you are looking for a very different, yet energetic massage experience; Thai massage just may be for you! It is like yoga being done to you instead of by you.

Thai massage is thought to have been created by Buddha’s own physician, Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, over 2500 years ago. Thai massage was practiced for centuries by monks as Thai medicine and it developed to its present form from Ayurvedic  and Chinese influences. It appears to be a good mix of Ayurveda, Acupressure and Yoga.

 Cobra Pose

The therapist and client are interactive.  Thai uses gentle stretching and pressure on a mat on the floor. Thumbs, hands, knees, and feet are used to move and stimulate the energy lines or meridians located on the body.  Many who’ve received Thai massage report it to be both relaxing and stimulating and it is often referred to as “Lazy Man’s Yoga” because it uses yoga-like positions. A typical session may last two hours.

If you prefer a more relaxing, yet different massage, Swe-Thai massage may be more to your liking. Swe-Thai blends relaxing Swedish with Thai’s awesome stretches and may be done on a lowered massage table instead of on the floor. A typical Swe-Thai massage session may only be one and a half hours versus the two-hour sessions of Thai.

The goal of Thai massage is to free up muscle and joint tension which in turn reduces body stresses and enhances flexibility. It also stimulates the internal organs and helps balance body energy. Many clients of Thai massage report it to be a very enjoyable way to stay in shape.


Watch the videos and tell me which you would prefer to experience: Thai Massage or Swe-Thai massage.

If you have had a Thai massage, please report you experience.

Try all three of the poses below on someone and ask for feedback about what they liked and report.

 Spinal Twist

1. The spinal twist is a Thai massage pose that stretches the back on each side of the body. Plough pose

2. The plough pose is a Thai massage pose that stretches the neck and hamstrings.

Spinal Twist in Lying Position

3. The spinal twist in lying position is a Thai massage pose that stretches the back and iliotibial band.

A couple of spas that have Thai Massage available in Tulsa are Tulsa Southern Hills Marriott and Spa Lux.

The link directly below is for Thai Massage.

The following link is for Swe-Thai


87 thoughts on “Lazy Man’s Yoga?”

  1. The spinal twist lying down is my favorite position of the three. I now ask my boys to take turns to stretch me this way. My tummy is a bit large and it is difficult for me to get in that position without help. This stretch truly helps my back and I have noticed a difference over the weekend. I have had a million Swedish massages, but I experienced one with a little bit of Thai in it. After the muscles have been relaxed and massaged, the Thai stretches sure feel good towards the end of the Swedish massage. I like Thai week. I don’t like getting on the tables to do it, but getting on the yoga mats on the floor is much more reassuring and easier to stretch your partner. Would anyone like to exchange a Thai massage after school sometime this week?

  2. I prefer the Swe-Thai to just Thai massage. I love the Swedish massage because it’s very relaxing and gets the blood circulating better; but it doesn’t always get the tension out of all the muscles. Thai massage is a great way to enhance and extend the benefits of a relaxing Swedish massage. I’ve never actually had a professional Thai massage but the little we did in class was great! I’d love to learn more so I can maybe use it in my own practice along with Swedish!

  3. I really loved when we learned about thai massage. I felt energized afterwords. as for the positions and stretching. my chiropractor does number 3 on me all the time to release low back pain.

  4. I have only received a Thai massage in class and it was nice. out of the poses I think the spinal twist standing up looks the most appealing to someone doing the motion for me. As for the Thai or Swe-Thai I think I would prefer the Swe-Thai the best. I will have to try these poses on my sister later on at home I think she would like the Spinal Twist the best the sitting up one but we will see!

  5. I didn’t care for thai massage because when I relax my leg out laterally to have my adductors done, there is a painful pop in my knee when I straighten out. The work done on the adductors feels wonderful so I would find another way to do massage on them.

  6. This type of massage, “Lazy Man’s Yoga” is something that could be of interest to some clients. As for myself I don’t think I would want to try it. I for one am not an yoga fan. However for those who are yes this could be something to introduce to them.

  7. I love thai massage. The week we learned it I really liked it. I would love to learn more and become certified in it. The reason I probably enjoy it so much is because I really enjoy yoga. One thing I really like is if someone can’t do yoga or doesn’t know how thai massage “lazy mans yoga” is a great way to get started and really stretch. I can’t wait to learn more about it.

  8. I like the spinal twist lying down pose, it feels really good. I am a bit hesitant to let someone try the plough pose on me. I really enjoyed the thai massage class we had a few weeks ago and I look forward to studying it more in depth and learning more about it.

  9. well from what we experienced in class performing a little thai massage on one another i quite enjoyed it, tho the thought of swe-thai sounds more enjoyable to me. Tho that is because i enjoy more of a relaxing massage verses deep tissue or a stimulating massage.

  10. I received a Thai massage in class and loved it. Out of the videos, I would prefer to receive the Thai massage (the video links are backwards, by the way). I tried the techniques on my boyfriend and he enjoyed the spinal twist on the floor the best.

  11. I loved it when we did Thai in the alpha class. I have to say after watching the videos I REALLY want to go have a full Thai Massage done. I love stretching but I hate having to do it myself, plus when someone else is doing it, it seems like I get a better stretch. I tried the different positions on my husband and he liked the seated spinal twist the best.

  12. I have tried this and it feels great on your lower back. It does give your upper area a stretch as well. Done wrong and this could seriously hurt a person.

  13. I like Thai Massage. I liked it so much that I even incorporated it into massage at the end for stretching. I really like the one stretch where the client legs looks like the number four love that one it is a good stretch for the lower back and legs. I didn’t even know it existed until I tried in class.

  14. I am very interested in learning Thai and would like to incorporate it with Swedish Massages. When Sharon taught us this modality she said it would be possible to incorporate the two. When taking the class the best stretch was the cobra! On the above stretches I like the spinal twist in the lying down position. It felt so great on my lower back. Really interested in becoming certified in Thai.

  15. When I was In Thailand I received many Thai Massages. I am not a big yoga fan but I love Thai massages. My favorite position is the spinal twist lying down. I really like how Thai massages stretch the body out and loosens everything up. I always felt like a brand new person after receiving a Thai massage.

  16. Though I like Thai massage as a whole, my favorite of these poses was the spinal twist laying down. I also did these with a couple of people who also found the spinal twist laying down to be the favorite. I’m super curious to learn more about Thai massage. Great post!!

  17. If I had to choose I would pick spinal twist lying down. I tried this on my wife and she said, “it stretched out my hips really good”. She said the other two didn’t feel like a stretch just a tad awkward and I agree with her statement. Sadly I have never had a thai massage at least outside the classroom. But from what I have had experienced it was a great stretch.

  18. I sure like the spinal twist, I do it as often as I can, when my daughter is around . I watched the videos and the first one is awesome . The second one is so intense and I don’t think I would have the stamina to do it. Besides, you have to be in shape to do it . Looks great, but too much work .

  19. I really enjoyed doing it, especially since I love to do yoga. Feedback from my client consisted of a bunch of negative griping and him saying “who would pay for this?” I however really enjoyed doing it, despite all the negativity. 🙂

  20. I have trouble breathing some times so when I do the seated spinal twist it helps not only to stretch my muscles but it helps me breath with out pain. I also like the laying spinal twist, that helps me sleep better at night and it also gets me going for the day. I find myself doing these each night before bed and each morning before I leave my room.

  21. I enjoy the Swedish Massage over the Thai, but the Thai was really neat! At first it’s a little weird because the therapist is doing the “yoga” for you and on you. But all in all this is a great type of massage!

  22. I did this today and I have to say is wow, just wow. I love this and i say to everyone….go do this!

  23. We practiced this technique today, and it was awesome! I am planning to pursue this further after I graduate. Using your knees is to give leverage is an awesome concept.

  24. I love this so very much. I did not realize how much I really needed to be stretched until I did this. Wish we could do this type of massage more often

  25. Ah, i love this massage. Tho i feel it has no sensuality for me as a therapist. i enjoy the relaxing motions, calm and closeness that Swedish massage brings me. i don’t know how to describe it, but even tho the client is on the table receiving the relaxation. On my end, i’m completely relaxed and feel as if i connect with client…i guess more spiritually, maybe like an aura…idk now i sound like a hippy. But the stretches, the relief, flexibility, and uniqueness that Thai brings to the “table” is definitely a type of massage i would enjoy learning.

  26. I don’t really know about all this intense stretching, it probably wouldn’t be good for me personally. For others or doing it to others it’d probably feel good and be fun. Because I love stretching I’d like to try and give but not really receive.

  27. Thai massage is super awesome and I really helps me stretch the parts of me that I couldn’t stretch on my own.

  28. I’m so excited to do this one! if looks like a workout for both client and therapist. the spinal twist in laying position looks like it would feel amazing on the lower back.

  29. I would like to try both of the spinal twist because of my back is always tense and sore. I would not like The plough pose because I have hurt my neck in the past and dont need that to happen again.

  30. So I haven’t gotten to do the thai massage yet either. I am really looking forward to this because I love doing yoga and maybe this way I can introduce yoga to my clients and show them the benefit of yoga and thai massage.

  31. I do not know if I like Thai massage it looks painful and rather invasive, my people at home would never let me stretch them like that. I do like the fact that you can make a lot of money doing this, but in my small town might be difficult to get clients.

  32. i am very interested in learning a little bit of thai, but i would love a massage from a professional in their company

  33. i am very interested in learning a little bit of thai, but i would love a massage from a professional in their company clarisa

  34. I like the idea of stretching and the practice of thai massage, only thing is that I would not enjoy doing this professionally it was just a little different then the other therapy’s.

  35. I really enjoyed the Thai Massage demonstration today and would like to learn more about it. I enjoyed all the passive stretching.

  36. I have never had Thai massage before but I really enjoy stretching and I think it feels even better when someone else is doing all the work for me;) It does look painful in the pictures but I think after you have done it for a while and your body gains flexibility it will feel amazing.

  37. I would prefer the swi- Thai massage because it seems more relaxing then just the Thai but I would love to learn more about it.

  38. I have followed along to some youtube videos of thai massage in the past and really enjoyed practicing it. I would like to know more about the proper body mechanics of it though!

  39. When I was looking for schools for massage therapy, I was really impressed that community care college introduces it to us. I’ve heard many people say how wonderful Thai massage is, unfortunately I never got to experience one when I was in Thailand. I’m really anxious to try the poses on someone and to have someone do these poses to me also. I’ve experienced the spinal twist in the laying position before when I was in wrestling, we had to stretch out really well before practice and that was one of them that we got to do and it feels amazing on the gluteals.

  40. I think I’d like Tai massage more, stretching really makes me feel a lot better!!! Can’t wait till I learn how to do it!

  41. Ok, sign me up, sounds like 2 hours of awesome!

    This looks to be something everyone should do, stretching is super important for maintaining health and mobility, improving quality of life. (Particularly with how common a sendientary lifestyle has become)

    Having someone perform the stretches on you allows for a deeper stretch with the muscles disengaged, and it insures the stretch is done with proper form (assuming the thai masseuse is properly trained).

  42. The lazy mans yoga seems a little bit more painful and the Swi-Thai seems to be more relaxing and less painful who would chose the more painful looking one but I would like to try it sometime and exsperience it keep an pen mind in case someday I could use it in my career.

  43. I am very excited about the Thai massage therapy. I watched the videos and I have to say that my favorite of the two would probably be the Thai. I can see where it is called the lazy mans yoga. As the therapist, I would rather do the Thai massage also. I can see where the increased flexibility would come from. I like the idea of the theory being based on the air or Lom in your body. I can see where most people do not have the correct amount of oxygen in their systems. Breathing and working with your clients breathing can be very beneficial. I can see where the monks realized that the stretching can stimulate and move the air or Lom through the body. I like this form of medicine so much better than just giving someone a prescription for some drugs.

  44. Tia massage is defanantly something that would like to study more. I, like a lot of people, need to stretch more often than I do. This leads to a lot of tight muscles and all round “uncomfortableness”. I really liked the spinal twist in lying position. It really helped with the tightness in my lower back and legs. I can see this therapy being very useful for someone who isn’t able to stretch or do yoga on their own.

  45. After viewing the videos, I would prefer to experience the Swe-Thai massage. I haven’t ever had a Thai massage before. It appears that Thai massage may take more trust than Swe-Thai! I like the idea of gaining more flexibility as I don’t consider myself very flexible.

    My son liked the spinal twist the best out of the three stretches. His back popped with this stretch. I have difficulty even sitting in a “criss-cross” fashion. I liked the plough pose the best out of all three. It felt relaxing to have my feet held over my head that way and to breathe deeply-my legs weren’t the straightest though! My husband liked the spinal twist lying on the floor the best. He was unable to tolerate the plough pose. I think everyone’s tolerances and preferences are going to differ. Also, not sure we did it all correctly as the body part that felt like it was being stretched didn’t always match the description of what it said it would be stretching.

  46. I’m not a big fan of being bent like that. I don’t think I would like giving a Thai massage. Some therapists might enjoy it

  47. I love this, I love to stretch and the idea of someone doing it for me just relaxes me. I don’t think u could be stretched as well by someone else but I can see how it would be very beneficial.

  48. This is very different to me. I don’t know if I can enjoy being bent and twisted up like that, but I know for some people it’s relaxing and a great exercise. I wouldn’t mind learning this massage type and doing it on others. Stretching is good for the body and good for us as a massage therapist,so I will try it.

  49. Thai Massage is something that I would love to learn. I love all that stretching, both the therapist and the client get a good work out by doing this. All the therapist does is just using his or hers body weight, it pretty cool, that’s why this session can last up to two or more hours, therapists don’t have to use their hands, so ever after two hours the therapist still has all that strength.

  50. Thai massage is a great way to relieve alot of stress and promote flexibility it is really in a league of its own yoga doesnt even compare to this. This is alot better then yoga

  51. Thai Massage can be done with lots of stretches and can resemble applied yoga. However it can also be done with very few stretches in a more relaxing way. So we don’t really have to choose between “intense” Thai Massage and relaxing Swedish massage. We can have our cake and eat it too.
    I live in Thailand and have received lots of very relaxing Thai Massages. You just have to request it.

  52. I absolutely love some of the stretches we did in class for tai massage. I really would like to study more about it. I think It could be a great addition to a regular Swedish session. Mixing a few stretches in can not only make your client client feel great, but also can give your hands and thumbs a rest when needed. Win win.

  53. My preference would be the Swe-Thai. I am a very inflexible person, it takes a lot of relaxing to get me to stretch in any way, so I think combining the two, at least to begin would, would be extremely beneficial for me personally.

  54. I’m definitely looking forward to doing thai massage. In the future I hope to learn more about it.

  55. I would prefer the swe-thai because the sweedish massage is extremely relaxing and to add stretching to it just tops it off. I cant wait to do it in class and later add it to my business.

  56. When it comes to massage, I’m doing it more for relaxation. Having stretches done during a massage is great so the Swe-thai massage would be perfect for me.

  57. I had a Thai Massage for the first time about a year ago and it was amazing. I was a little freaked out when she flipped me though, I had no idea that was coming! I’d love to learn more about this, but I’m afraid I am not strong or fit enough to perform this modality.

  58. I have to pick Thai massage. It appeals to me but I have yet to try. These excerises are a very good way to stretch your muscles.

  59. Thai massage looks pretty difficult and a very up close massage. But I am all for someone else doing yoga for me. I would like to try this.

  60. This is definitely something I’m interested in learning more about. The benefits look excellent for those wanting to start into yoga

  61. I’m very interested in trying this form of massage. I feel like I have a lot of tension all throughout the muscles in my body and I feel it would be very beneficial. Also, I’m not a very flexible person and this would probably help stretch my muscles out quite a bit.

  62. Wow, after watching the videos I want to go try the massage it looks like a great way to stretch or should I say to be stretched. Both looked like they could be helpful to a client and/or myself. I would like to try both because they both look like they could be very beneficial.

  63. This looks amazing! Having done just a little bit of yoga I know how much of a deeper stretch I can get when the instructor helps by pushing or pulling and by manipulating my body for me

  64. I cannot physically get in some of those moves, but I have had the spinal twist done, and it was amazing. I think I would prefer Thai Massage over Swe-Thai because I would think you get more benefit from Thai. It definitely looks like the lazy man’s yoga.

  65. This sounds amazing I would definatly love to receive a Thai massage, I think what I like the most is the stretching.

  66. YES!!! to both. 🙂 I would love to have both of these and use both of these. I guess I need to make a style of my own. LOL! I see lots of things in different massage techniques that are cool and I want to use them. 🙂

  67. I really don’t know that I would enjoy receiving Thai massage but I think it would be cool to learn how to perform it. I look forward to learning Thai in class.

  68. I feel that this therapy could be beneficial for many people. Do you think it is better for people who already have a good range of motion? Like athletes, as opposed to people who may need work on their range of motion?

  69. Is an interesting technic that could be great or it can hurt,but with a 2500year history I will need to give it a try.

  70. I’m very interested in learning more about this modality! I’m going to incorporate this into my practice. I love the peace you get from yoga and the release to add into my practice would benefit my client and myself.