Rolfing and Yoga

One of my favorite joys in life is taking a yogi through the 10-series. That's not to say I don't love taking other people through the 10-series as well, but there's something particular about yogis. On some level, the practice of yoga sets a person up to really be able to embody the work. In other words, they just get it.

Why is this? What makes Rolfing and yoga such a good combination? The answer is pretty simple, and somewhat surprising.

Yoga was a major influence in Dr. Rolf's development of Rolfing Structural Integration. From a young age, she used yoga to help deal with her own issues, including scoliosis and arthritis. She studied and practiced for many years, at one point even declaring yoga as "the best exercise system ever devised, if the student worked with a good teacher," according to Jeff Lin, Certified Roler and archivist.

However, in Dr. Rolf's eyes, there was something lacking with yoga: simply put, often times people were doing it wrong. To paraphrase her thoughts, often time when people practice yoga, they are doing more to imbalance their body than to balance it. Lengthening where one is already long, contracting where one is already short. This frustration is what started leading her towards the development of Structural Integration. She hoped to create a program where the body could be fully explored and fully balanced. And thus, the 10-series was born.

Now this is obviously a short-and-sweet version of Dr. Rolf's thought and development process. It really starts to show how yoga and Rolfing are actually, on some level, designed to go together.

The process of the 10-series is one of the most comprehensive ways of exploring and balancing the body in all dimensions. Yoga has the power of doing the same thing. Often times I compare Rolfing and yoga in this way: Rolfing is, in a way, a concentrated version of yoga. It brings awareness in a similar way, it balances in a similar way, and it creates a feeling of ease and freedom in the body in a similar way.

The difference is in how one goes through it. Often times large yoga classes are designed more as workouts rather than therapeutic experiences. And that's where Dr. Rolf's problem came in, and why she created the 10-series. Where yoga lacks focus and consistency, Rolfing and the 10-series provides a structure and true therapeutic experience.

This brings me back to the idea of why I love taking yogis through the 10-series. Most modern yogis who have been practicing for a while have experienced this lack of focus, lack of consistency. So when they come and start on the 10-series, it's as if their bodies start to fall into place naturally. Almost as if it's what they have been looking for, even if they didn't know it. Coming from a yoga background, that was certainly my experience the first time I went through the 10-series.

As always, if you have any questions about Rolfing, yoga, the 10-series, or anything else, feel free to reach out.

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