It’s no secret that wellness is moving to the forefront of our collective consciousness, and that self-care is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury in today’s society. Which is why when Katherine Parker, founder of Studio PDX (Portland, OR), opened her own practice, she knew she wanted it to offer more than the typical yoga studio. Parker partnered with colleague Tiffany Ryan, Ph.D., LMT, to launch Yomassage: a fusion of relaxing and supported yoga poses, hands on massage therapy, and mindfulness.
The idea for Yomassage came from the desire to change the mindset around massage. With self-care awareness on the rise, Parker and Ryan wanted to make massages part of everyday life, which meant bringing the treatment down to a more affordable price point. Yomassage focuses on accessibility—because the class is more affordable, clients are more likely to return with more frequency, meaning they will incorporate massage into their lives more frequently than heading to the spa for a 90-minute treatment.
The classes themselves are simple: students hold each pose for around five minutes while a massage therapist comes around and performs manual massage on different parts of the body. Classes can range anywhere from one to eight students, and typically last an hour to two hours. Yomassage stimulates the body more than the typical yoga class, since the massage aspect increases circulation, provides myofascial release, and achieves trigger point therapy. Classes are taught in four styles: traditional Yomassage; Trauma Informed Yomassage; Reiki Yomassage; and Craniosacral Yomassage.
In addition to helping yoga students further their practice, Yomassage was designed to help massage therapists further their practice, too. Yomassage recommends charging between $40 and $70 per 90-minute session depending on class location, giving massage therapists an opportunity to make between $320-$560 per class versus the industry average of $20-$35 for a single, one-hour private massage. Plus, Yomassage sessions tend to be less strenuous on therapists than performing a typical massage session, which can increase longevity of the massage therapist’s career.
According to Parker, becoming a Yomassage instruction helps therapists stand out amongst others in their region. Yomassage master trainers like Ryan teach massage therapists everything they need to know about the 10 restorative yoga postures included in the training, though classes can feature anywhere from five to eight poses. For classes other than the traditional Yomassage, some addition training may be required.
The combination of supported yoga postures with hands-on massage is a unique service that appeals to both experienced yogis and newbies alike. Adding the aspect of yoga to massage therapy also opens the door to a brand-new group of clientele, like people looking for more from their yoga routine, people who would be uncomfortable in a private massage setting, and people who can’t afford private massage session.