There’s a fresh contender for Cas Gasi’s most addictive experience. The Thai Yoga Massage by Agathe Utard, our new in-house yogini and therapist, is fast gaining a cult following.
It’s easy to see why: this treatment is a hypnotic pleasure. Combining assisted yoga stretching with rhythmic kneading and rocking, its lull is impossible to resist. As your body is drawn into a soothing flow, tension melts and energy lines are cleared. With roots in the ancient healing traditions of Chinese, Buddhist and Ayurvedic medicine, the technique has been practiced in temples for centuries. Unsurprising, then, that it’s the essence of tranquillity.
“Thai massage is a kind of choreography – you dance with somebody,” says Agathe, who radiates stillness and devotion to her craft. “I calm my breath and my heartbeat, and put myself in meditation frequency. Each treatment is a graceful, flowing release.”
The French-born therapist is an intuitive healer. Her background covers everything from Iyengar yoga to Indian massage, shamanism and energetic practices. She offers a number of massage styles, but Thai is her speciality – and her passion. She trained with the Asokananda Sunshine Network, in locations from Costa Rica to Laos and northern Thailand, honing her technique with respected teachers including Itzhak Helman.Unlike other massage styles, no oil is used and guests remain clothed – though oil can be applied to feet, hands and back on request.
“People who’ve never experienced Thai massage aren’t used to a treatment without oil, or they think it might hurt,” she says. “But I’ve been trained in a technique that is gentle but effective. Going slowly is important; it means you can go deep without creating resistance. Guests are amazed – and always come back for more!”
During the summer, massages take place on a wooden platform under the trees next to the yoga deck. It’s a dreamy setting, surrounded by lavender and open fields, with the soft sounds of passing sheep and birdsong. Combined with the calming massage, this serenity invites total release. “Before we begin a treatment, I wish guests, ‘Bon voyage’,” says Agathe. “It’s a chance to travel inside your body and enter a different dimension.”