I went to a massage therapist yesterday for the first time in about three and half years, and as my therapist worked out a massive knot in my shoulder, something dawned on me: asana alone is not enough to maintain physical health.
Well, duh, you might say. But I’ve relied on this practice to work out the kinks for years now. While yoga does much to help melt away tension, it doesn’t erase all the knots — for me, anyway. My massage therapist kneaded away knots at the base of my skull (developed from too much looking down, probably at my phone), and in my lower back (likely from prolonged sitting). These are spots that my asana couldn’t address, or wasn’t addressing totally.
Just 60 minutes with my massage therapist gave me back range of motion in my neck and shoulders I didn’t know I had lost. And my session has already made certain twisting and backbending asanas more doable. I’m pretty excited to see how loosening muscle tension will further affect my practice.
Up til now, I’ve really seen massage therapy as a luxury maybe afforded every few birthdays or Mother’s Days. Now, I understand it as a key part of maintaining physical health and managing aches and pains — that’s why I made another appointment a month from now to keep the positive effects flowing. I can’t wait!