How to travel as a yoga teacher

Do you love yoga? Do you love travelling? Well, duh. Chances are 99.9% of you answered a firm "YES!" to both questions. Well, why can't you do both? Have your cake and eat it too?

Here at YIMI we want you to create the life you want to live! By becoming a yoga teacher, you are investing in a skill and career that is appreciated all over the world - and therefore you are in demand! YIMI's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training course (both face-to-face and online) allows you to obtain insurance to teach all over the world*.


Here are a few tips and things to consider if you're feeling inspired to throw your yoga pants and mala beads into a backpack and hit the road!


  • There are several websites out there that facilitate yoga jobs while travelling, for both volunteer and paid work. Yoga Trade and Yoga Travel Jobs are two worldwide examples. Workaway is a fantastic international company that is an online community that advertises jobs all over the world, in exchange for food and board. There are hundreds of yoga based jobs on there, where you might teach one or two classes a day in exchange for your food and accommodation.
  • Think outside the box - you'd be surprised at where a yoga teacher can get work! Aside from studios, retreats and gyms, many hotels, hostels and resorts offer daily yoga classes, as do cruise ships, yacht tours, eco-lodges, youth camps, community centres, festivals... the list goes on! And it's always worth asking - people admire initiative! Staying at a hostel with an amazing common room space? Suggest to the manager that you could do a daily yoga class in exchange for your accommodation - chances are they'll love the idea!
  • Don't expect to be paid a lot/at all. As mentioned, a lot of this work is volunteer-based or in exchange for your living expenses. Or, you may be in certain countries, such as in Asia or South America, where the amount you get paid in the local currency isn't comparable to the Australian dollar.
  • Be flexible! We KNOW you can be, we've seen that forward fold of yours! Plans don't always work out, and when they don't, take a deep breath and look for the new door that has inevitably opened just around the corner.
  • Make sure you have the right insurance for the countries and places you're planning on going to - for both travel insurance and to cover yourself as a teacher.
  • Get comfortable practicing anywhere and everywhere - you won't have your regular nook or studio space - so try and adapt to your current 'home' - whether that's an airport, a hostel common room or rooftop, or a shady park. But don't stress if your own practice suffers a bit - you're taking in so many sights and sounds, you're allowed to stray from the schedule!
  • Invest in a good travel mat. While many places you go will have their own mats, having your own will make it so much more likely for you to maintain your own practice when you're between yoga teaching gigs. Manduka's eKO Superlite Travel Mat is amazing, very grippy, durable and thin - and it can be folded up to A4 size and tucked into your hand luggage!
  • Yoga studio trials are your best friend! Wherever you go, look up if there's any yoga studios nearby. Nearly every studio will offer some kind of trial or introductory offer, so take advantage of that! Attending classes whenever you can will keep you inspired, and is the perfect place for meeting people and networking new opportunities.
  • Go to India. You won't regret it! While you may not necessarily find work, you'll learn so much in the birthplace of yoga, and feel such a wonderful connection.
  • If you're more of a road-tripping kind of traveller, have a couple of mats in the back of the car/van and make a little sign advertising your yoga teaching services which you could put up whenever you feel comfortable - you might find yourself teaching a class in the middle of your campground to that elderly couple in the caravan opposite, in exchange for a bag of juicy tangelos!


Have passions, and follow them! The world is your oyster! Breathe deeply! Grab life with both hands and make the most of this incredible journey you're on! We promise we'll stop the cliches now... Okay, just one more... the sky's the limit - live big!


*The minimum amount of yoga teacher training to teach worldwide is 200hrs. Australian yoga teachers can get insurance to teach, with a 200hr registered course such as the ones that we offer here at YIMI, to teach all over the world - excluding the US & Canada. Insurance companies have different stipulations for the US & Canada based on the laws in those countries. However, residents of the US and Canada can do a YIMI course in Australia, including YIMI's online and distance courses, and will then be able to purchase insurance cover to teach in the US and Canada. Residents of all other countries can enrol in YIMI's online and distance courses and can teach worldwide (excluding the US and Canada) once insurance is purchased for the applicable country/ies.

Restorative Yoga Teacher Training in Brisbane and Online


Restorative Yoga Teacher Training in Brisbane and Online

Our next Restorative Yoga Teacher Training will be held on 21st & 22nd July at our Upper Brookfield Retreat, Brisbane with the brilliant Marian Cavanagh.
Take advantage of the early bird pricing of just $400 for the entire weekend of snug, supported, warm winter wonderful-ness (with plenty of wisdom and learning on the side, of course!). Below is an example of some of the content you will be learning during this incredible two day course - bring your body and mind to Upper Brookfield this July to experience the goodness in person!


Click on the intake below for more details, and booking links.

25hr Restorative Yoga Teacher Training UPPER BROOKFIELD, BRISBANE July 2018 | FIND OUT MORE

25hr Restorative Yoga Teacher Training UPPER BROOKFIELD, BRISBANE 2018


Restorative yoga is a magnificent and empowering therapeutic tool. Restorative yoga bridges the gap between a strong yoga class and a seated meditation class, making it incredibly accessible to many people, including those with injuries or chronic health conditions. The mind-body connection is intricately enhanced through restorative yoga and it enables all yoga practitioners to have a deep understanding and first hand experience of psychosomatic medicine and the healing process.

What you will learn

  • Restorative Yoga Asanas
  • Restorative Yoga sequencing
  • Touch adjustments
  • Accurate and precise Alignment tutelage
  • Correct prop usage – chairs, blocks, straps, sand bags, blankets, straps, eye pillows
  • Pranayama with Props
  • Yoga for ailments
  • Physiology of relaxation

Your Teachers

We are excited to announce that Marian Cavanagh will be our guest teacher for this course. Marian is a Level 3 Yoga Australia registered yoga teacher with a wide range of training. Marian has specialised in restorative yoga for the past 5 years, and her restorative training with Judith Hanson Lasater was a profound experience. She states, “having the chance to rest in restorative poses over several days literally changed my life”. Her workshops emphasise internal rest with a focus on long-hold, quietly held spaces, and she adores sharing this much needed style of practice.


The Restorative Yoga Teacher Training course is scheduled from 8am – 4:30pm Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd July 2018 at Upper Brookfield Retreat.

Prerequisites & Course Registration

There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course attracts CPD points with Yoga Australia and other governing bodies. If you complete non-contact requirements, you will be issued with a 25hr certificate. If you only attend the contact hours, you will be issued with a 16hr certificate.

Required Books

  • Restore and Rebalance by Judith Hansen Lasater

Recommended Books

  • Relax and Renew by Judith Hansen Lasater


Enrol now!


Restorative yoga is the practice of relaxation. Sounds simple, right? 

But how often do you truly relax? Really, truly, all-your-worries-fly-away RELAX?
Most people think they relax when they sit down and watch tv, go for a walk or read a book. But as far as the accepted clinical definition of relaxation goes, these activities are far from relaxing.
Each is a stimulant. They require the brain to respond to stimuli and keep the sympathetic nervous system running, both so that the brain can filter the stimuli, and so any dangers that might arise can be responded to accordingly.
The clinically accepted definition of relaxation is termed “The Relaxation Response”. It is generally characterised by a reduction in blood pressure, respiratory rate, body temperature and resting heart rate, and relaxed muscles. Overall oxygen consumption is reduced, while there is an increase of oxygen to the brain.
Parasympathetic dominance in the nervous system is effectively what occurs when relaxation is apparent in the body. This enables the body to counter cortisol levels and effectively release stress from the cells.
A recent study compared "The Relaxation Response" to another similar de-stressing program, the "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction". While both of these styles of de-stressing are based on meditation practices that we use in yoga, the findings highlighted the differing areas of the brain that are influenced when employing each method. It was found that "The Relaxation Response" strengthened neural pathways related to deliberate control, whereas the mindfulness program was linked more to sensory awareness mechanisms in the brain.

So how do we achieve this state? 

There are many breathing and meditation techniques that have been studied and are shown to induce relaxation. Many have shared characteristics - such as, studies have show that it is known to be easier to relax when one is warm, comfortable, and feeling safe in a dark, quiet space with little to no stimulation of the senses. In a sense, simulating the state we were in when we began our life journey in our mother's womb. A generous amount of time to enter the desired state of relaxation is also required - trying to 'feel relaxed' cannot be rushed, as that negates the whole purpose of the exercise!
True relaxation requires a list of ingredients to make the cocktail just right, and restorative yoga brings these together perfectly.
In restorative yoga asana, the body is completely supported and comfortable. The nervous system responds with less stress when the body is symmetrical, so it is critical that time is given to ensure the body is evenly supported. There should be minimal stretch sensation, or any effort felt at all, when the body is in a restorative yoga pose. This reduces neuromuscular activity, including pain messages, warning signals and proprioception, which aids the nervous system in entering parasympathetic dominance.
Restorative yoga gives the body time to enter the state of parasympathetic dominance. Many postures are held (with no effort) for around 20mins, giving the body and mind enough time and space to relax.
Blankets keep the body warm during restorative yoga, and eliminating the use of music and scents (like essential oils and incense) will ensure more students will relax. Eye pillows help block out light and the sense of sight, aiding the transition to pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). The gentle pressure on the eyes from the eye pillows also stimulates the ocular vagal reflex, activating the vagus nerve and hence aiding parasympathetic dominance.
Dominance of the parasympathetic nervous system is where all the deliciousness of restorative yoga happens.

Studies show that restorative yoga can help weight loss, cardiovascular disease, stress levels, improve sleep, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and more.

Who wouldn’t love a sip of that...?

  1. Caffrey, M. 2013. Health benefits of restorative yoga include trimming fat, NIH-funded study finds. AJMC.
  2. Forbes, B., Akturk, C., Cummer-Nacco, C., Gaither, P., Gotz, J., Harper, A., Hartsell, K. 2008. Yoga Therapy in Practice: Using Integrative Yoga Therapeutics in the Treatment of Comorbid Anxiety and Depression. International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
  3. Mustian, K.M., Sprod, L.K., Janelsins, M., Peppone, L.J., Palesh, O.G., Chandwani, K., Reddy, P.S., Melnik, M.K., Heckler, C. & Morrow, G.R. 2013. Multicenter, Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga for Sleep Quality Among Cancer Survivors. PMC.
  4. Siber, K. 2014. Why you need a restorative yoga practice this winter. Yoga Journal.
  5. Massachusetts General Hospital. 2018. Mindfulness meditation and relaxation response have different effects on brain function. Medical Xpress.

Doing yoga with children


Many yogis and yoginis talk about their yoga practice suffering once little ones arrive on the scene. And while we have no doubt that's the case, there's no reason your yoga practice needs to stay separate from parenting!

We're all aware of the benefits of yoga, and many of these resonate for children as well. Aside from generally helping children move and stay healthy (and decrease screen time!), yoga has been shown to decrease mental health challenges that children face, such as anxiety. Yoga can also help with self regulating behaviour, and is also a good way for children to learn to engage in a non-competitive activity, as  many of the physical movement-based activities that children are offered are competitive sports.

Children have so much fantastic energy, but sometimes they have trouble guiding that energy in one purposeful direction, and rather seem to be "bouncing off the walls". School teachers that use yoga find it helps bring an overall balance to the classroom - energising children who are tired, and calming children who are erratically energetic. It also helps children build focus and concentration - especially poses that require balancing - which is of course invaluable in the classroom.

Yoga is a wonderful way to create body awareness in children - learning the names of all the parts of the body (which also helps their language development), fostering a sense of ownership and agency over their own body, and how to use and isolate certain limbs and muscular contractions in different ways. One of the best things about doing yoga with children is the opportunity to develop their gross motor skills and coordination by designing ways for them to cross the body's midline and use both the left and right sides of the brain which is crucial in their developmental process.

Alright, so we know it's beneficial - but how do you actually engage the kids to stay on the mat (or anywhere in the general vicinity)?! Here are a few tips, ideas and things to be aware of when doing yoga with the kids:

  1. Get creative. Leading children in a yoga sequence is a great way for you to practice describing poses without just using their names - or creating more fun, engaging, kid-friendly names! Warrior 2 could be made more exciting by imagining you're holding a bow and arrow, and you have to aim forwards as you draw the arrow slowly back. Upwards Facing Dog could involve tipping the head all the way back and opening the mouth to catch the cherries falling from the imaginary tree above! If you find this challenging, there are many resources available online to help, such as decks of cards depicting an animal pose on each card which children can arrange into sequences themselves. Release expectations of perfect alignment and enjoy the shapes your mini-me is making!
  2. Be aware of attention spans. If you manage to engage the kids for ten or even five minutes, well done! Every little bit helps, and it's perfectly normal for their focus, and bodies, to wander off! Some children might be excited to flip the roles, so you could ask them to play the part of the 'yoga teacher' instead. This is great for their confidence and independence, as well as language development when they have to describe poses and name different parts of the body. They'll probably impress you with some of the poses they create out of thin air!
  3. Be noisy! Although the traditional yoga we're used to is mostly practiced in silence, kids will be far more interested if there's some engaging ways to make sound. Every animal pose can have it's own correlating sound, such as making a hiss when you're in Cobra pose, 'moo'-ing or 'miaow'-ing in Cat Cow, or turning a forward fold into an elephant snorting as it lowers its trunk. Not only does this benefit language development for the really little ones (by mimicking the sounds), it also is a way of guiding children when to breathe without actually seeming instructional. You might also like to integrate simple songs to keep children engaged - 'The Wheels on the Bus' tune can be adapted to fit nearly any occasion, for instance: "The yogis on the mat go up and down, up and down, up and down" etc.
  4. But also integrate quiet, still, restful moments. Visualisation is great for this - you could tell the children you're going to play the Growing game, where they basically start as a seed and grow into a big flower. Describe each stage slowly, with lots of small details and cues - the seed starts curled up in a tight ball on the ground, then starts to spread into a seedling, then maybe one hand/leaf starts to lift out of the ground, and then the stalk starts sloooowly rising up to the sunlight and they go from crouching to standing tall, spreading all their petals/limbs. Children will often follow your atmospheric cues as well, so if you're whispering or speaking in a hushed tone they will quieten down so as to listen.
  5. Be safe. There are certain poses little developing bodies shouldn't be doing - while children are daredevils, take care if they're attempting to push themselves into "advanced" yoga poses. Yoga with children should be fluid and full of movement - static yin poses that are held too long, or pushing a stretch too far can be damaging to developing bodies. So keep it flowing!
  6. Cross that midline as much as possible! This does wonders for children's hand eye coordination and for things like writing and drawing across the page and sitting cross legged. Incorporate lots of yoga that involves windmill arms, side body stretches or standing wide legged and touching the toes with the opposite hand.
  7. Laugh! Release those endorphins!
  8. Try partner yoga. There are lots of great partner yoga poses that can be done with an adult and child, from ones taught in Mums & Bubs style yoga classes to more acro-yoga-inspired poses. You could even get some weight-bearing exercise by pretending to be the big monkey while the little monkey clings to you in Chair pose - get creative! And enjoy the hug therapy!
  9. Be flexible (pun intended!). Yoga doesn't have to be on a mat, in a certain space, with incense wafting around and soothing harp music playing through the speakers. While that sounds relaxing, when you add kids into the mix that just isn't realistic. Yoga can be anywhere! In the car? Do facial yoga and head/neck exercises during a game of Simon Says. In the garden? Create a game of doing low lunges all the way over to the watering can, like a crouching tiger. At the shops? See who can stand up the tallest, like there's a puppet string pulling up from the crown of your head - then maybe the 'puppeteer' starts to pull at the strings attached to the shoulder, knee, elbow etc. Bedtime? Downward dog walk down the passage towards the bathroom, then stand on tip toes and keep your eyes fixed on a spot on the ceiling while brushing your teeth!
  10. Let your own practice be inspired. To teach is to learn, and by teaching children you might ignite your own inner child and sense of fun in the poses, and work those elements of adventure and fearlessness into your own, regular-adult yoga practice!


For a limited time we are offering up to $250 off our 2018 courses.

These offers are valid for bookings before 31st December 2017. Book Now for 2018 and SAVE up to $250!


SAVE $250 off Yoga Teacher Training Courses* in 2018.
*Valid for all face-to-face yoga teacher training courses, distance yoga teacher training courses, and the 350hr online yoga teacher training course in 2018 if you sign up before 31st December 2017.


Interested in the 200hr Online Yoga Teacher Training? Or upgrading to 350 hours online? SAVE $150 if you sign up before 31st December 2017!
*Valid for all 200hr and 200hr-350hr online yoga teacher training courses


Save $250 off the Diploma in Yoga Therapeutics in 2018. Sign up before 31st December 2017.


SAVE $150 off the Meditation Teacher Training course in 2018.


The Yoga Anatomy master comes to Brisbane teach a Yoga Anatomy course at YIMI

Brisbane welcomes an intensive 2-day yoga teacher training with the world renowned Leslie Kaminoff in March 2018

For details and bookings go to:

Brisbane, QLD: YIMI Yoga, Viniyoga Australia and Breathing App are so pleased to welcome Leslie Kaminoff in March 2018 to teach a weekend intensive course of his Yoga Anatomy teacher training. Leslie Kaminoff is the co-author of best selling book ‘Yoga Anatomy’ and founder of The Breathing Project. His knowledge spans four decades and this course will cover some of the most fundamental areas of his yearlong Yoga Anatomy program, which runs in New York City.

Teachers will get a unique flavour for his anatomical perspective on yoga as he believes each human’s structure and build is unique which influences the way they practice yoga. He believes “asanas don’t have alignment, people have alignment”. This and other fundamental beliefs structure the foundation for his teaching.

Over the two days, Leslie will touch on a variety of subjects that will deepen students understanding and practice of yoga. Some of the topics that will be covered over this weekend will include:

  • The most basic poses with an emphasis on how feet are the foundation of postural support
  • Understanding the way breathing supports yogis through challenging poses
  • The functional principles of alignment
  • Sequencing for individual needs, preparation and counter posing
  • Why instructions like ‘tuck your tail’ and ‘lengthen your spine’ may be doing more harm than good and how to substitute these
  • The importance of the drishti (or gaze) and imagery to foster increased neuromuscular integration

Throughout the 2-day course, time will be taken to answer individual questions and address any issues or topics of particular interest. Demonstrations will also be a focus for teachers to get as much out of this intensive course as possible.

About YIMI: YIMI – the Yoga & Integrative Medicine Institute delivers yoga teacher training, restorative yoga, meditation, an advanced diploma in yoga & meditation training courses as well as post-graduate specialties and other short courses in Brisbane.

About Viniyoga Australia: Viniyoga Australia specialises in a variety of teacher training courses and regular group classes. They teach Yoga Therapy training as well as Teacher Training and organise a variety of Yoga Retreats and Study trips to India.

About Breath Taking Concepts: BTC specialises in designing creative Yoga experiences, from trekking to the heart of where Yoga began in Kashmir, to developing breathing apps, to hosting events like these. More information can be found on their Yoga in the Park site. Sign up for the free Breath Taking app, designed to help lower high Blood Pressure at

For bookings and further info on Leslie Kaminoff’s Brisbane workshop, go to

More information about Leslie Kaminoff and Yoga Anatomy can be found at:

Unique features of Ayurvedic Massage and understanding the Doshas

Ayurveda focuses on the whole being, as does traditional Chinese medicine, but this system is based on traditions found in Indian culture. The Sanskrit term Ayurveda means the science of life (veda) and longevity (ayus). This natural system of wellness is several thousand years old. It is similar to Chinese medicine in that both procedures use a total examination of the client (including skin condition, pulse, temperature, eyes, psychological traits, and other factors) when making a diagnosis.

Ayurveda is the art of living in harmony with the laws of nature and the therapy encompasses the entire life of the individual. The aim of this science is to maintain the health of a person and to restore health where it has been lost i.e. to heal the disease of an unhealthy person. Both maintenance and healing are carried out entirely by natural means.

Ayurveda uses diet, herbs, massage, attitude training, water therapy, behaviour modification, detoxification regimens, and meditation along with other procedures to encourage restoration of the body to a balanced condition.


Ayurveda Concepts

According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness. Anything that affects your physical, emotional or spiritual well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Here are some of the things that can cause a disruption:

  • Genetic or birth defects
  • Injuries
  • Climate and seasonal changes
  • Age
  • Emotions

Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:

  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth

These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called Doshas. They control how your body works. The three Doshas are:

  • Vata Dosha (space and air)
  • Pitta Dosha (fire and water)
  • Kapha Dosha (water and earth)

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three Doshas. One Dosha is usually more dominant. Each Dosha controls a different body function. It is believed that your chances of getting sick are linked to the balance of your Doshas.


Three Doshas

Vata: The force in the body that represents all kinetic activity, all movement of any sort in the organism.
Pitta: The force in the body that is responsible for all forms of digestion in the organism and balances kinetic and potential energies.
Kapha: The force in the body that represents stability and structure of all sorts in the organism.

Vata Dosha

Vata Dosha (space and air) is thought to be the most powerful of all three Doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your:

• mind
• breathing
• blood flow
• heart function
• ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines

Things that can disrupt this Dosha are:
• eating too soon after a previous meal
• fear
• grief
• staying up too late

If Vata Dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

• anxiety
• asthma
• heart disease
• nervous system disorders
• rheumatoid arthritis
• skin problems

Pitta Dosha

The Pitta Dosha (fire and water) controls:

  • Digestion
  • Ability to break down foods (metabolism)
  • Certain hormones linked to appetite

Things that can disrupt this Dosha are:

  • Eating heavy, hot, oily foods
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Fatigue
  • Spending too much time in the sun

If Pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Anger and negative emotions
  • Heartburn a few hours after eating
  • Infections

Kapha Dosha

The Kapha Dosha (water and earth) controls:

  • Digestion
  • Lubrication of joints
  • Brain function
  • Nervous function
  • Fatty tissue
  • Lymphatics

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • Eating dairy, wheat and sugar
  • Lack of activity
  • Oversleeping or being lazy
  • Refusal to let go emotionally or hoarding

If Kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight tendencies
  • Fluid retention
  • Slow digestion


How do we heal with the Unique features of Ayurvedic Massage?

  • Special Medicated oils are used, warmed to suit the individual constitution
  • Ayurvedic Medicine to balance 5 elements
  • Strokes selected according to client constitution and imbalances
  • Marma Point consideration
  • 7 chakras are opened physically through marmas and nadis
  • Physical mental and emotional balance
  • Strokes used are vigorous and rhythmic, connecting one site to another
  • The concoction of oils stabilise the subtle and gross bodies
  • AyurYoga massage helps stimulate deep and hidden kundalini energy which lies dormant in sacrum and unfolds the deeper layers of consciousness in the mind
  • Improves circulation and expels toxins from blood, reducing ama
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Opens pranic channels and balances three doshas


Ayurvedic oils are chosen to suit the individual constitution

There are different oils for each Dosha. You can purchase specific oils that have a sesame oil base and a combination of special herbs designed just for your Dosha. Three popular oils used in ayurvedic massage are almond, sesame and sunflower oil as these are all very nutritious oils and help aid the detoxification process when used on the skin in massage.
Different oils are recommended for the different Dosha types. Many more oils can be used, but the recommendations below are a good selection for your daily massage.
Selecting the oils

Vata types: Use calming oils, including cold pressed black sesame, olive, almond, wheatgerm, and castor oil.

Pitta types: Use cooling oils, such as coconut, sandalwood, pumpkin seed, almond and sunflower seed.

Kapha types: Choose heating lightening oils. These include mustard, corn and safflower.


Different Massage techniques for each constitution

Massage for Vata constitution:

Duration Massage: 50-60 minutes
Temperature oil: warm to hot
Quantity: More than usual
Strokes used: active, passive, less persuasive
Main sites to concentrate attention: lower abdomen, temporals, pelvis and chest
For anxiety and fear: centre of palms, writs, temporal area, centre nipple, throat, navel centre
For nervousness and insomnia: centre of palms, centre eyebrows, eight fingers above eyebrows, occipital area, back of ears.

Massage for Pitta constitution:

Duration Massage: 55-60 minutes
Temperature oil: luke warm to warm
Quantity: moderate
Strokes used: Passive and persuasive
Main sites to concentrate attention: abdomen, lower stomach, eyebrows, below eyes, soles feet.

Massage for Kapha constitution:

Duration Massage: 60-65 minutes
Strokes used active persuasive less passive
Main sites to concentrate attention: Chest and thigh, armpits, buttocks and joints. Kapha can become stagnant and sluggish in stomach lungs and joints. Kaphas also have low digestive fire so important to use warm oil and vigorous movement to enkindle agni.


Learn how to give an Ayurvedic massage at our upcoming course.

Ayurvedic Massage and Energetic Anatomy with Celia Roberts – A 4-day course to explore Ayurveda, Massage and Marma Therapy. Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th June and Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July 2017.

Find out more and book your place now.

YIMI Ayurvedic Massage and the Marma Points

The Yoga and Integrative Medicine Institute features: What is a Marma point?

A Marma is a dot, secret dot or mystical point on our body. Activating a Marma point opens into the inner pharmacy of the body like a door or pathway and is an important element of Ayurveda’s healing power. Marma work has the ability to heal us at a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Stimulation of these inner pharmacy pathways signals the body to produce exactly what it needs, including hormones and neurochemicals that heal the body, mind and consciousness. This deep dimension of Marma therapy has the potential to unfold spiritual healing. Dr. Vasant Lad states that massaging the Marma points “activates the body’s inner pharmacy, changing the biochemistry, and can unfold radical, alchemical change in one’s makeup.” Discovered in India centuries ago, these energy points profoundly affect the body, mind and spirit and facilitate the deepest levels of healing.
Prana is the current of energy that infuses every cell with reservoir of energy and promotes health. Marmas are points in the body where concentrated life force energy is located. They are part of the chakra, nadi and srota system of Yoga. Ayurvedic massage and marma treatment is focused on releasing energy blocks in the energetic system. Using Ayurvedic oils, Marma points are gently massaged to balance the flow of energy.

Prana and Marmas

Prana moves along channels called nadis and the points on these nadis are called Marmas. So, nadis are the string, and Marma’s are the pearls of the necklace. A Marma is a point of concentrated prana where anatomical structures (muscle, bone, tendon, vessels, ligament, and joints) are also present. Through gently working on Marma points, energy or prana is treated, as opposed to simply working on physical tissues.
Prana must constantly be flowing through our Nadis, or energy channels/meridians. When this prana becomes stuck due to toxins, emotional stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, age, our health suffers and we become ill. Marma points are located along these Nadis, so that when they are activated, they clear any stagnation of prana, and immediately bring healing to that organ or that part of the body. Marma’s literally are control points, where prana can enter and be directed.

Marma Therapy

Marma therapy is an important tool for preventing and treating imbalances in Ayruveda. Marma therapy balances the vata, pitta and kapha doshas, increases digestive fire, detoxification, reducing ama, promoting energy and rejuvenation. Therapeutic touch is used to treat Marma points. While lying on the massage table, or sitting in a comfortable chair, very gently pressure, like acupressure, is used on the Marma points.

Marma points are switches that when opened up, allow for the increased flow of energy. The primary purpose is to promote the flow of Prana in the body-mind. Through the gentle application of herbs, essential oils and light touch, the Marma points are awakened. One feels an abiding connection in the awakening of their energetic anatomy, their energetic body.

Essential oils and organic herbal oils are the main methods for treating the Marma points and are highly effective in altering our dosha and our energy. Marma’s are anointed with organic therapeutic grade aromatic oils, oils often being specific to each location and condition. As marma’s are concentrated centers of energy, the essential oils can penetrate easily and deeply, affecting the entire body.

Apart from essential oil massage, Marma therapy can include the following techniques to stimulate or pacify:

  • Mantra Recitation – Chanting the Goddess mantra to bring in Shakti healing for reproductive tissues. Other mantras may also be used such as Dhanvatari mantra and Ayur mantra.
  • Vibration – Sounding a tuning fork or meditation bells over stagnated or blocked Marma’s will stimulate them.
  • Crystals & Gemstones – placing these energy conductors on Marma’s to amplify prana coming in; especially good for directing life force into the “Adhipathi” or crown Marma.
  • Color & Light – example: directing blue light over an aggravated liver Marma. Red light placed over heart and stomach marmas may increase heart rate and metabolism.

As a healing technique, Marma has been, and continues to be, one of the most revered traditions of Indian healing systems. Similar healing modalities such as acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, and polarity therapy most likely have their origins in the ancient science of Ayurveda. The famous Ayurvedic doctor, Sushruta, mapped out the location of these vital points thousands of years ago in his texts on surgery. He emphasized the extreme sensitivity of these points that hold our prana, and said that the Marma’s should never be cut during surgery.

Indian martial art masters studied which Marma points could inflict pain or even death to their opponents. On the other hand, they also knew which Marma’s, when pressed correctly, could quickly heal their own injuries.

Pranic Healing

Marma’s are centers for the vital-force or Prana, the master power behind both physical and psychological processes. Marma’s serve like pranic switches that can be used to turn Prana up or down, on or off at various places on the body. Through manipulation of Marma’s, Prana can be directed to remove blockages, improve energy flow or tap hidden energy reserves and make connections with the greater powers of life and nature. This makes Marma therapy an important tool of ‘energetic’ or pranic healing’.

The condition of Marma’s is an important diagnostic tool in Ayurveda. At Marma sites stress, toxins and negative emotions get lodged and are held, sometimes for years. Disease is reflected in pain, blockage or swelling in these areas even before it may manifest outwardly in the full range of disease symptoms. Ayurvedic practitioners palpate Marmas as an integral part of patient examination and gain much information from them. Relieving pain, blockage or swelling at Marma points is an important therapeutic aid and one of the first stages of many Ayurvedic treatments.

Marma’s are key locations for Ayurvedic bodywork and massage. The Ayurvedic massage therapist will focus on Marma regions that are in need of stimulation or of release and use the appropriate methods to adjust their energy flow. Ayurveda may treat marma’s with pressure, heat, sound, massage oils, herbs or aromatic oils, providing many tools for working with internal energies through them.

The greatest gift we can offer a patient in Ayurveda is the transfer of healing energy – or shaktipat. It happens naturally in some patient’s more than others, but what we can do as practitioners is gracefully train our own energetic systems and learn how to set up the best circumstances for healing. This definitely allows for transference and healing to take place. It is a gift and a blessing to both give and receive an Ayurvedic Massage.

Come along and learn more…

Ayurvedic Massage and Energetic Anatomy with Celia Roberts – A 4-day course to explore Ayurveda, Massage and Marma Therapy. Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th June and Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July 2017.

Find out more and book your place now.