I had to make a choice. The guy I loved lived in India, and I was a nurse in the U.S. I decided to quit my job and look for new opportunities. What I ended up doing has freed up my time and been able to keep me traveling! I became a Thai Yoga Masseuse in India.
What is a Thai Yoga Masseuse?
They don’t call it the “lazy man’s yoga” for no reason. It really is a lot like physical therapy. My clients come in fully clothed for a yoga class and lie on a yoga mat. I twist, crack, push, and pull until they are limber and woozy. If you’ve had a Thai massage, it’s quite similar but with more “yoga” moves and reflexology aka pressure points. There is also a little Reiki involved.
Why Did I Choose Thai Yoga Massage?
I sort of hate touching people! Everyone is shocked I picked massage. I think of it more as a health-oriented massage. People are fully clothed and tell me what hurts. I also make sure hands and feet are washed before the massage starts. Sometimes I teach a few stretches they can do at home as well. Most people are new to this type of massage in India, as Ayurveda is the big contender. Once they have a massage from me, they are hooked! It’s great to get return customers.
Benefits of Being a Masseuse
I actually get a great work out during massage. If I’m putting the client’s knee to their chest, I’m doing a lunge in order to do so. When I’m pressing on their back, I’m doing a squat. By the end, I’m super sore but it feels great. I have hours of work that I choose and people can either come to me, or I can go to them and get views like the picture below while I massage. I have fliers with my information and take customers as I see fit. Most are on vacation and have pretty open time tables so it works out nicely.
I can further my career by more advertising once I’m ready and have more time, and I can also expand by hiring more people or opening an actual shop. The money I make is on par with what masseuses make in the U.S. although my certification won’t carry over. If I can do about 1 or 2 massages a week I am ok for living in India. I charge 2,000 rupees ($33.75) for a 60 minute massage and 3,000 ($55) for a 90 minute massage.
How Can You Become a Thai Yoga Masseuse?
There are options for this all over India and Thailand. Some are called only “Thai Masseuse” but will be similar. You can choose any type of massage, but Ayurveda is more popular. Because I got certified in the mountains of McLeod Ganj (near Dharamsala) during the off-season, it only took me a week. Although during peak season it will take longer. I paid 5,000 rupees ($85) for my certification. I got an off-season special on the price. When you choose to travel to India, or if you want to get certified in your own country, make sure the teacher who trains you has a legitimate resume. You’ll want to learn accurately or you’ll never get return customers or happy clients. You also won’t be comfortable giving a massage on your own. To work in a spa, you would need a few certifications for many types of massage, which is why I only work from home. If you know anyone coming to North Goa, send them my way, wink wink.
My Gateway to Travel
I was nervous to give up my job as a nurse but the perks of working as a masseuse are amazing. I have been so busy with my blog, I haven’t taken the massage as far as I want but plan on stepping up my game this monsoon, posting more fliers than just in 2 restaurants. If you want a new job, massage might be right for you!
Hippie in Heels has quickly become the go-to website for all things India related since Rachel has been living there for nearly two years. She left nursing to follow her dreams of living abroad after falling in love in Goa, and has since become a Thai masseuse. Other than writing about India, Rachel shares packing tips and advice on the other 24 countries she’s been to. Hippie in Heels is all about staying glamorous without spending a fortune to do so: where to get the best massages, great salons and spas, and of course the hottest clubs from Europe to Asia and Africa. Follow Rachel’s journey on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Google+