Ayurvedic Massage Course, Goa


In December 2017, I attended the Ayurbalance massage course with the company Rasovai in Goa. It is a twelve-day course and it was really enjoyable.

The course was created and run by Chetan, a lovely, gentle, kind Indian man, who was really great at his craft!

On day one, in the morning session, we sat on meditation floor chairs in a semi-circle around Chetan which was nice. He introduced the course programme to us in a clear and concise way.IMG_5087


There were seven of us taking part in the course. Two ladies from The Netherlands, a lady from France, a yoga and dance teacher ( woman) from Finland, a man from Malaysia, a woman from Brazil and myself.

Following our introductions, we then we got straight into massage training.

The beautiful space we are using is at Wellness Inn Ashvem, Goa.


Wellness Inn, Ashvem, North Goa

It’s the same space we used for the Abhyanga massage, marma point massage and Shirodhara course last week but the layout of the room was set up very differently today! I like this better. It seems less chaotic, more organised and I really like the seating semi-circle with mats on the floor.


started off the actual massage training by watching Chetan demonstrate the first part of the sequence on the Brazilian ladies husband (who had come in as a model only). It was a great sequence and easy to remember. We then paired up and gave and received.

This particular massage style combines strokes for relaxation and some serious hard pressing for deep tissue work, which I love to receive but discovered is not so easy to give! I developed a new respect for all those deep tissue massage therapists who have helped make me feel wonderful in the past. I kept forgetting to lean in with a straight back and use my body weight so I was just pressing with my hands and that makes it super hard work.

First, we use our hands, then our ( loose) knuckles, then forearms and finally, elbows. The elbow movement was used in the space between the spine and muscle groups. It requires a certain angle for flow, which isn’t easy. If the elbow falls out of place, it really hurts!


Following our training, we sat again and discussed any issues or questions we had about it all. Then at 1pm, we broke for lunch.


The afternoon session started. There was no longer a cool morning breeze running through the training hall, it was warm and we were sleepy. It’s so damn hard to get going in the afternoon and one literally has to force the brain to work and the eyes to remain open. ( This is why on the Abhyanga course we changed the timings from 3 – 6pm to 9.30am – 12.30pm). Even Dr Urja was falling asleep at times!

I have no idea about the biological workings of the body so I have never had an understanding of why we feel sleepy in warm weather but today I learned why! So, here goes with the biology lesson and it won’t be much because it’s taken from my very basic, scribbled notes which I wrote whilst drinking water and fighting sleep!


Our blood is pumped from our heart, through the arteries and through vessels surrounding the cell. Our blood carries oxygen, vitamins, glucose.

Metabolism is glucose used by the cell to create energy.

Activity ( exercise) causes maintenance of the cell as it lets in the good stuff ( oxygen, glucose etc) and releases carbon dioxide.

Blood pressure means the pressure of blood exerted on the artery walls and that same pressure then forces the blood through the wall of the semipermeable membrane of the cell.

In colder temperatures the arteries shrink and when in warmer weather they expand.

So, in warm weather, we have low blood pressure around the cells and there is not enough pressure to force the glucose and oxygen into the cell – hence no energy and needing a siesta! When we feel like this, we are taking less exercise and so our cells are not being rejuvenated.

When we are massaging, we are pushing and moving the blood around the body thus the circulatory process becomes more efficient and increases and in turn, the cells are compressing and decompressing ( as in physical activity) therefore metabolical cell rejuvenation heightens. Nutri cells, oxygen going in, toxins being released. Basically, massage aids in the detoxifying of cells process.

And now I know why I look years younger, my skin looks renewed, my eyes brighter and overall I feel and look more wonderful following a massage!


We can eat as many whole foods as we like ( which, of course, are more beneficial to our overall system than injesting toxins and ‘bad foods’ ) but if we haven’t taken exercise or massage, which rejuvenates our cells, our cells are quite literally ‘full up’. So, when embarking on Ayurvedic Panchakarma ( complete cleansing of the body), we need to ‘make space’ in our cells otherwise they won’t properly accept the treatment.

Our bodies are wonderful, miraculous machines! Just even writing this most basic of basic understanding of our cells causes to me to marvel and have a deep respect for myself. It causes me to think of the Universe, of which we are not separate, and marvel even more at our place in the cosmos. But more on that another time, maybe……

During our lecture, Chetan told us that we could indeed take a little nap on our floor chairs if we needed to! He explained that attempting to stay focused with our brains when our bodies were saying, SIESTA!, was just causing stress on ourselves and during a power nap, everything he was saying would go in, regardless. Love this guy!

Following our lecture, we then watched Chetan demonstrate the second sequence in the massage; neck, shoulder and arm. It involved a lot of deep pressure movement again with hands, knuckles, forearm and this time, thumbs. I wasn’t the only person saying we had difficulty remembering this sequence. For me, personally, it was for two reasons. One, I was sleepy and watching Chetan demonstrate the sequence was so hypnotic! And two, being the afternoon and it was so warm, my brain wasn’t in ‘learning ‘ mode! So, when I came time to give the massage, I had to keep asking questions. But that was fine. Chetan is a good and thorough teacher and came to each of our tables in turn and helped us all with the movements.

The remainder of the course took on the same type of daily schedule; massage practices in the morning and then learning about muscle groups and their functions in the afternoon. As the course went on, we had more and more massage to practice each day and so sometimes, massage practice took place in both the am and pm.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this course with Rasovai. The other students were all so lovely and the fact that I received amazing massages every day was an added bonus! Best of all though, I learned a lot and have come back to the UK with a new skill which I will add to the Abhyanga massage, Shirodhara treatment and Reiki healing on offer from my up and coming therapy business, Bhakti Therapies.


Heidi xx

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