Thai Yoga Massage

There’s a name for people like me: cardio queen—as in, someone whose idea of a workout is clocking in hours on the treadmill/elliptical/Stairmaster. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done yoga. Which is why I feel completely unprepared for my first Thai yoga massage. Is it possible to not qualify for a massage? There’s no way these legs are going behind this head.

Thankfully, Thai yoga massage is actually “assisted yoga.” Someone physically guides you through each pose, which allows for a deeper stretch than you could achieve on your own. My someone is Kathryn at Spalon Montage in Edina, a lithe redhead with the sinewy arms synonymous with yogis. I hate her.

She shows me to a dimly lit room, simply adorned with an oriental rug and futon. I’ve followed my marching orders to wear comfy, loose-fitting clothing and Kathryn has done the same. For the next hour, it’s hard to tell us apart (except for the arms); we are engaged in a game of yoga twister. Kathryn deftly pulls my limbs in directions they’ve never gone. I relish each long, slow stretch and the way it leaves me feeling limber and warm.

Kathryn also applies acupressure to release muscle tension and increase energy flow. It’s in these moments that I close my eyes and stop concentrating. For the most part, Thai yoga is not for someone who wants to take a nap. It’s a gentle, meditative workout that requires your mental presence. The benefits, however, are exceptional. Afterward I feel deeply rejuvenated, and taller—like I’ve literally been stretched. Which, of course, I have. Maybe this cardio queen can be converted after all.

What: Thai Yoga Massage
Where: Spalon Montage,
3909 W. 49 1/2 St., Edina,
Time: 55, 85, and 115 minutes
Price: $90 and up

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