Tag Archives: Thai Yoga Bodywork

A General Update on the Last Two Years

Bless me readers, for I have sinned. It has been over two years since my last post, though I have continued to sit on my domain name (because something inside me knew that I would be back).

Over the last two years I have learned much more about how endlessly full of shit I am (and how that is no different from most human beings). So there’s that. I have also learned how to enjoy things more, which mostly involves trying not to think about about how my B.S. stacks up against the B.S. of others. Both of those learnings have come courtesy of getting older and still not getting what I want, as well as the kick-in the pants of having a chronic illness (that a lot of people don’t believe exists).

To bring us up to speed, here is a bullet list of items that could each be a future post, but might not be:

  • I still work at my corporate job, though I have been promoted a couple times and now feel like I’m pretty good at what I do there, which helps my attitude about the whole thing.
  • I still live on 10 acres of a hobby farm with my husband and dog, except now we have another dog AND my parents and their dog have moved in with us (the between-the-lines there is that we still don’t have any children). Lots of adjustment and turmoil related to that move.
  • I have not finished my Thai Yoga Bodywork training/certification. That whole process got hijacked by my corporate job. I am registered to finish the training in October, and will then need to do volunteering and some other things to finish the certification.
  • After 10 years of random efforts to figure out a weird variety of symptoms, I was finally diagnosed with a strange and fun cousin of chronic Lyme Disease. I actually tested positive for it on a lab test (which makes me lucky – the tests are not the most reliable when it comes to false negatives for borrelial infections, which leads a lot of people to a lot of feeling crazy). When you have had it for 10 years, there is no cure. There is only remission.¬† Having a diagnosis and struggling to do the treatment have sucked up a big part of the last year.

Those are the big headlines. There have also been some trips, lots of yoga, some hiking and camping, the usual assortment of concerts and social engagements, etc. Also, somewhat unbelievably, I have taken up running (I KNOW!). And I finally planted a garden again this year. That’s all for now! Thanks for letting me reintroduce myself.

 

 

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A New Path: Thai Yoga Bodywork

For the last eight days I was in training to learn levels 1 and 2 of Thai Yoga Bodywork (there are six levels to get certified). It was difficult, and gratifying, and purposeful, and I learned so much more than just the curriculum! I felt for the first time in a very long time that I was going down a path that was worth pursuing. Even though it was hard, it felt right to me. I’m excited to share my experience, but first there are a couple things I would like to clear up! The main thing that friends and family have asked when they heard about this pursuit is:

What is Thai Yoga Bodywork?

Often referred to as Thai Massage or “Lazy Man’s Yoga,” it is officially called nuad boaran in the Thai language. It’s kind of difficult to explain until you experience it, but here is a pretty good explanation:

So what is Thai Massage? Well, for one thing, it’s not massage as we know it in the West. In fact, it is unfortunate that the term “Thai massage” has become so popular because that second word, massage, is misleading and inaccurate. Massage tables or oil aren’t used, there is no rubbing on the skin or kneading of the muscles, and the receiver remains clothed. The goal is not to work muscles , fascia, tendons, ligaments, organs and soft tissue, though these anatomical elements are positively affected by the work. Neither is its purpose to simply stretch and apply passive yoga to another person on a floor mat. At its essence, nuad boaran is a balanced blend of physical, energetic, and spiritual healing techniques and concepts. It is the skillful combination of applying both broad and targeted acupressure, finding and dissolving blockages, stimulating energy lines (sen), opening and toning the body with yoga-like stretches, and last but not least, allowing and encouraging the receiver to engage in a process of self healing, deep relaxation, and renewal.

Bob Haddad, Thai Massage & Thai Healing Arts: Practice, Culture and Spirituality

For a little more detail and some photos, check out this page at the Thai Healing Alliance International site.

What the heck made me decide to pursue this?!

Contrary to how it may appear on the surface, I’ve had a long-term interest in natural health and healing. I’ve also had a long-term interest in spirituality. I’ve done a TON of reading and thinking about both, but hadn’t really found a strong application for either interest. Well, I guess maybe it would be more appropriate to say that I hadn’t really applied myself to either interest. At any rate, a lot of this blog has been about me being stuck (it is sad, but true, that the blog is nearly 8 years old. Which means I have been feeling stuck for that long! Yikes! By the way – I deleted most of the old stuff because I’m wanting to refresh). I have just felt kind of dead inside most of the time. Not like I haven’t felt love or happiness at all, but more like I’m just existing: going to work day after day at a job that doesn’t excite me at all, so I can pay bills for things that don’t really mean very much to me, and spend my weekends drinking or watching TV or whatever to drown out the apathy and create a false sense of joy (some of the drinking was fun with friends! But you get the picture – not exactly a healthy hobby!). Life just didn’t seem to have much color.

Over the last seven years I have been making v e r y s l o w progress on getting myself unstuck. There have been many minor epiphanies that have created subtle changes in my thinking/worldview, but no big changes in my behavior. At some point back in February I had a huge babababaBANG kind of epiphany that made me decide to sign up for the Thai Bodywork training. Here is the epiphany: maybe I just don’t want to be a writer. And then: maybe I just really don’t care that much about art anymore. TaDa!

aha momentsI have thought that I wanted to be a writer for my whole life. Because I think I’m pretty good at it. I also thought I wanted to have some kind of path related to visual art. While I was growing up I produced a ton of writing and art, starting at an early age, because I really enjoyed both. But at some point during college I stopped doing both art and writing for the most part. I graduated from college in 2001, which means that I have spent 14 years (not to mention $40,000 on a master’s degree) trying to beat myself into pursuing dreams that had ceased to be dreams. I thought I had a giant fear complex. I thought I was just too insecure. I thought I was lazy and unfocused. I thought so many things that basically amounted to “I’m not good enough.” The truth is that I had built so much of my self-image around those dreams that it never once occurred to me that maybe I just¬†wasn’t interested and didn’t want to do it anymore. You guys, this was completely mind-blowing!

It took me about a month to grieve my old dreams…then I started thinking seriously about what I really DO care about. I asked myself: what are the things that excite you? What are the articles that you actually read? What are the stories that you tune into? What are the conversations about that you most enjoy? They are about lives, spirituality, nature, natural health, environmentalism, and freedom. What do these things have in common? HEALING.

So combine the epiphany, my interests (including my love of yoga), and the business that my husband just started (bodywork), and Thai yoga bodywork seemed like a natural place to start in a new direction!

AND THEN, lo and behold…once I figured out that writing isn’t my Path (with a capital P), and am doing something that feels right for me, suddenly I feel like writing again! Go figure.