An interview with Natasha de Grunwald

by | Apr 19, 2018

Tell us about how you got into Thai Yoga Massage?
I was 18 years old and already a massage therapist but wanted to find an effective therapy with more depth to it, so I travelled to Thailand and traveled the country looking for the school I wanted to train with.

Why Thai Yoga Massage in particular?
I wanted to learn a modality with tradition and lineage behind it, something that had been around for a very long time, so I travelled to Thailand and studied within temple grounds. I had a lot of personal healing to do and I found the deep bodywork to be very therapeutic, so of course I wanted to be able to do the same for others.

What is at the core of this method? What makes it different?
The very core of this style of bodywork is Buddhism, element theory and Thai anatomy. The lineage I teach from is about Thai medicine and healing, using hands on bodywork and much more to honour traditional folklore practices. The massage involves many techniques and a well trained practitioner will have numerous ways to address the body with a large toolkit – these will be both hands-on and with tools like scarfs, cups, spoons, herbal compresses etc. There are also many wonderful focused stretches that can be applied to the recipients body (this is what most people know as Thai massage to be, but in fact there is SO much more!)

What was the motivation behind setting up the London Institute of Thai Yoga Massage?
I wanted to be able to share my passion for this ancient healing art, it was mostly unknown in the UK back then so I was keen to share my knowledge. l felt that I had been in practice a long enough time (I had been seeing clients for over 12 years) and had learned something that I could share in the hope my passion would be infectious and that more people could benefit from the deeply therapeutic work.

What can people expect from your Restorative Thai Yoga Massage course at MoreYoga this week?
My plan is to teach some invaluable Thai Massage techniques that are going to benefit everyone and calm their nervous systems through therapeutic touch. Most people seem to be running on empty a lot of the time so the simple restorative work should make everyone feel much calmer. Alongside this each participant will learn to perform the techniques so they always have them to use on friends and family

If someone was interested after doing the workshop in doing further training what courses would you recommend?
I always hope these mini workshops will inspire people to come and learn more. There is so much amazing bodywork in this modality and I train beginners to advanced practitioners. The first step is to take the 5 day module (essentials, layers and lines).

What do you offer for practitioners?
I teach a lot of existing practitioners and yoga teachers. Generally the practitioners come because they are worn out from the bodywork and are suffering with repetitive strains from hard work, so when they come and learn Thai massage. They are so happy to find a way to do effective bodywork that is easy on their body. Yoga teachers gain a lot of confidence to assist and put hands-on their students. And of course they also learn a whole new skill that complements what they do.

What books would you recommend to our MoreYogis, what books have changed you?
That’s a difficult one as I read a lot and each book has been helpful at a certain time in my life. If I had to narrow it down? I read a book many years ago called Jobs Body, by Duane Juan this is a must read for bodyworkers in my opinion. I also liked reading Big Pharma as it was eye opening, and a fictional book called Eva Luna, Isobel Allende for the beauty with which she writes, I always have a lot of respect for writers who can write a fictional book to get lost in.

If you were on a desert island what three things, aside from food and water, would you need?
Something to study, I think I’d take with me the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) as this would give me a lot to contemplate and understand. I’d also take a device with an eclectic range of music to listen to.

What music would you recommend for relaxation and de-stressing?
When I want to relax I listen to Miles Davis Kind of Blue and at the moment I like Dakota Suite which has a wonderful piano and cello combo.

What is your best piece of life advice?
Be kind to yourself and others

What is your favourite motivational/inspirational quote?
Peace comes from within, do not seek it without, Buddha