We sat down *virtually* with Pasha Kat Yuen to talk about Thai Massage and Craniosacral Therapy, the importance of community, and the beauty of photography.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you love to do?
I love light and all things cozy - making spaces and experiences that are surrounded by seeing beauty in the details, engaging the senses in delight and slowing down enough to really enjoy them. Essentially my kitchen revolves around cooking savory recipes, burning sweet incense and chasing sunbeams on their daily journey through my windows.
My second home is out in nature - I love being near such an incredible river in Richmond!
How did you come to create your practice? What services are you now offering at Boketto?
My practice was derived out of the realization that living with pain didn't have to be the story I chose for the rest of my life. After 6 years of unexplained chronic back pain and trying to live a "normal" life with it I stepped away from my wedding photography studio and went back to massage school.
I made it a point to receive consistent work as I was learning about it and discovered Craniosacral Therapy through one of my teachers who practiced. Learning about the subtle ways I could assist the body in regulating itself, and experiencing the proof of how profound the work was, changed the way I viewed massage and opened the doors for me to study other specialities. Working consistently with a holistic minded practitioner guided me on the path to be free from the chronic pain I experienced for so long and inspired me to be of service to others in a similar way.
After working with the public and at a chiropractor's office, I moved to NYC and opened the doors of my private practice offering Thai Massage and Craniosacral Therapy underneath an herbal apothecary in Brooklyn.
Many of my clients were working through trauma, trying alternative methods to manage pelvic pain like fibroids, endometriosis and painful periods and managing the frequent stress markers of city life - digestive issues, lack of sleep, migraines and chronic neck and back pain. Working closely over 6 month treatment plans focusing on mental stability, cycle tracking, receiving body treatments and following up with personal care exercises at home my clients showed vast improvement. The only thing missing was a community to share with and support the hard work my clients were doing.
Enter Boketto, a dreamy space that reminds me of home that is brimming full of educated, compassionate, and dedicated healing artists as well as the resources to support clients through their journey of taking care of body and mind well.
After 6 years of working hard to build my business, I took a chance to see if this cozy light filled spot in Richmond by chance wanted a highly specialized bodyworker that refused to do Swedish Massage.. and luckily Jelena said YES!
I offer therapeutic Thai Massage, Craniosacral Therapy and Reflexology at Boketto on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I work to find the root of your pain with you whether its postural, daily habit induced, genetic or recovery from an accident or surgery. My work softens restrictions and encourages patterns that the body has been holding to release. Essentially, my job is to hold your nervous system til it calms, rub the tension out of your belly and lean on the spots that hurt until they release giving you more space and flow in your breath, your joints and your life.
What do you want future clients of yours to know!
I'd love my future clients to know that they are welcome as they are on my table or Thai mat - the body cannot hide secrets in massage and we all have STUFF going on beneath the surface. Show up as you are, there's no judgement here, and we'll unwind your aches one at a time to help you find a state of balance. Sometimes that requires "homework" like stretches, breathing or eating differently, different kinds of bodywork, or even a referral to another kind of practitioner, but my goal is to help you get the care you need in an culture that's told you there's nothing that can be done.
You're also a photographer! Can you share a little bit about your life as an artist?
My life as an artist has been chasing the pretty and finding the functional within it. For 10 years I've been drawn to photographing portraits of all kinds of people in different scenarios. Learning how to mold myself to be whatever is necessary to get their true personality to come out to create evocative and intimate portraiture, whether we know each other well or not has taught me a lot more about human behavior than I would've thought. These days, I'm slowing down to create more intentional work that's concept based - helping creative people bring their ideas to life to communicate their passions through the images we create together.
If you could have a tea or take a Boketto moment (a moment of daydreaming and of rest) with any person dead or alive who would it be? What kind of tea would you have?
A Boketto Moment with the photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) would be my choice. English breakfast with lemon in a sunny window and a vintage couch. I think we'd look over our early self portraits together and discuss mental health, the pressures of success in NYC as a young woman and day dream about summers in Italy, wandering through museums and the coast.
What's something you want people to know about you that I wouldn't think to ask?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
An Ayurvedic doctor.
I've been studying traditional medicine, herbs and formulas while I figure out what life looks like during and after the pandemic. Given the state of the world - health is more important than ever and while modern medicine saves lives it doesn't build or protect the foundation to ensure that we're living those lives well. Studying "the science of life" with traditional information passed down for thousands of years through sacred texts and teachings to help people eat, breathe, move and live in a better way has been inspiring me to keep working when the world seems too awful to face.
Pisces Sun. Libra Rising. Virgo Moon.
Learn more and book a session with Pasha here.