Shiatsu for Yoga and Self-Massage

Shiatsu (which means, literally, ‘finger pressure’) is a Japanese preventative manual therapy technique. In Shiatsu massage, vertical pressure (usually from the fingertips or palms) is applied to various points on the body—found using both anatomical knowledge and meridian knowledge—to produce wellness and ‘flow’ within the body’s energy systems. Pressure is usually applied, in order to guide energy through the body and clear blocked channels.

Many of us use these points unconsciously: when people feel pain in their bodies, they often naturally squeeze, massage and apply pressure to the area. This stimulates blood circulation, increases awareness (and thereby ability to respond to pain) and supports the metabolism of healing in the affected area. Shiatsu is especially successful in treating things like neck pain, but can also be used to deal with allergiesheadaches,  chronic pain, exhaustion and all sorts of other problems you might have. Plus, it just feels really nice.

image taken from

Learning a few Shiatsu points on your own body is a wonderful way to add a special level of care and support to your yoga practice. You can practice Shiatsu points regularly, and then use them in stressful situations as part of emotional first aid! In our English yoga classes at English Yoga Berlin, we integrate this teaching, step by step, so that students can slowly begin to learn their own bodies areas of strength and weakness, and thereby develop a highly personalized practice that meets their own health needs. Here is a blog discussing how Shiatsu and Yoga can complement each other, from a student’s perspective.

Two very useful points that relieve anxiety, exhaustion, sore eyes, neck tension, jaw ache and shoulder pain are Heavenly Pillar and Heavenly Rejuvenation. Heavenly Pillar is located on both sides of the neck, about one finger-width below the base of the skull and about one finger width on either side of the neck. Heavenly Rejuvenation is located on the shoulders, midway between the base of the neck and the outside of the shoulders, about 2cm below the top of the shoulders. Here is a graphic that shows both points.

The most important part of self massage is listening to your own body, so breathe deeply while you try finding these points and, when you find a point that feels good, stay there and apply gentle pressure. You might feel the point radiating outwards, into the muscles surrounding it. That’s a good sign. You don’t want to hurt yourself, so only press as firmly as you need to in order to feel a nice sensation. It’s recommended to press for about 1 minute—but feel free to stay longer if it feels good!

Fall Schedule and Special Offers!

photo by Fern

The days are getting shorter, the first leaves are falling and there is only just the slightest hint of chill in the evening air, but we all know what it means…

It’s time to do more Yoga, dammit!

To accommodate everyone’s return from their Summer Adventures, we are happy to announce that we will be opening three new classes!

From September 1 onwards, our new schedule will look like this…





Community Class


Hatha Yoga


Classical Yoga



Vinyasa Flow

starting September 15th


Vinyasa Flow


Classical Yoga



Restorative Yoga

starting September 15th

  taught by Juli; taught by Pedro; taught by Meg

To celebrate the change of season with our lovely student community, we have 2 Special Offers

Buddy Pass: Receive a free yoga voucher to give to a friend when you purchase a 5er card or month of classes in September. We know you all love yoga so much that you talk about it to anyone who will listen, so… the voucher is valid until the end of 2013 and can be given to a friend who has not been to one of our classes before. Then they will know what you’re always talking about!


Early Bird Special: Sunday yoga till the end of October for only 50euro! Sign up for Sunday classes on or before September 15th and get 7 classes for the price of a 5er card.