Yoga for Massage Therapists….& More!

By Katie Tallent

I was introduced to a handful of yoga positions in massage therapy school and found it to be deeply centering.  After graduating I attempted building my personal yoga practice with a DVD.  While I knew in theory yoga should elongate my muscles and bring relief after a long day giving deep tissue massage, I could not hold a downward facing dog for any length of time due to the pressure on my wrists.  After starting and throwing in the towel many times I have discovered (the hard way) how to practice yoga in a way that will benefit my body and massage practice and wanted to share.

First, take a class!  A well trained yogi can offer adjustments and wisdom to your yoga practice.  (I still have my DVD but it collects dust these days).  We receive valuable guidance such as leaning into your pose and not bouncing and proper body mechanics.

Second, when you do take a class, remember, your practice is your own.  Yoga is not a competitive sport.  In fact many instructors will encourage you to kick your session up a notch by closing your eyes.

Final lesson I have learned: if we feel the need to compete with others’ practices we run the risk of pushing ourselves past our stretch points and limitations causing injury.  Lean in to your pose until you find a mild stretch and breathe into it for 20-40 seconds.

One benefit of yoga is building shoulder strength.  However moving through and holding positions with improper body mechanics can cause repetitive motion injuries and instability.  For instance, if you are holding Plank Pose (which is the top of your push-up) and let your chest collapse this will put strain on your rotator cuff and the fronts of your shoulders will be sore.    A simple adjustment is, if you are unable to hold this pose properly try modifying it and dropping your knees to the floor.

Here are a few other poses to master for strong stable therapist shoulders:


Back Prayer Pose









Reverse Tabletop Pose



Try these few poses and tells us what you think 🙂


What are your good or bad experiences with yoga?  Do you think it has or will help your massage practice?!

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14 thoughts on “Yoga for Massage Therapists….& More!”

  1. I think yoga is very relaxing, and a wonderful tool to incorporate in one’s massage routine. I would love to become or rather learn to become a yoga instructor after I graduate from massage therapy. The poses are great

  2. I believe yoga (and the like) is an extremely important form of exercise that all of us massage therapist should be practicing as often as we can. I, myself, have only done yoga once outside of school and was years ago. When I started at CCC and it was mentioned that we do yoga every week as part of the MT program, I was very excited. I only wish we were able to do it twice a week instead of once. I think it would be more beneficial to us twice a week than once as it helps to stretch us out and it allows our brains to relax and be able to function properly. I definitely am going to make it a point to study and practice more yoga.

  3. Yoga has been a life changer for my body. I am now more pain free and flexible than what I use to be. Also it’s just fun to do!! Next week I am going to practice longboard yoga which is done by doing doing yoga on a longboard in the lake or ocean

  4. I found out doing some of the moves I need to go to a class to do yoga. I have poor balance and I think yoga would help that. I need to Lear the proper way to do yoga to be able to master it.

  5. I enjoy the times we do yoga before class it’s a good way to wake up and center yourself to start the day. The reverse tabletop position I might skip it just looks uncomfortable.

  6. My posture isn’t that great but I will try it. Some of my friends have done it and enjoy yoga.

  7. i believe yoga is great for the mind and spirit as well as the body. I think it is very beneficial for me and anyone else who’s interested should add it to their daily routines when possible.

  8. Whoa! I need to stretch more often. Yoga is something I am very interested in and will be taking classes very soon. I would like to get certified at some point as well.

  9. Yoga has always been something that I have been interested in and loved doing. My shoulders have become very week so I will try these poses to see if theyy help!

  10. This sounds interesting I have tried some yoga but it was a long time ago I might look in to it agin.

  11. Overall wellness is so important, and I believe Yoga is a great way to stretch and balance your body. It is something I need to practice more though, I purchased a beginners video, and man was I sore the next day! I think I will stick with it, especially to benefit the length of my Massage Career.