Ida Rolf, who created Rolf Structural Integration, has been speaking about the importance of and creating change within the body's fascia since the 50's. Mainstream science is finally catching up to her.
Yoga, bodywork and other therapies that tap into the transformative potential of the body’s fascial network have an important role to play in this process. In this interview with Yoga U Online, Tom explores the transformative potential of the body’s fascial network and its implications for the future of yoga and yoga therapy.
It’s astonishing the money and time many elite and ‘weekend-warrior’ cyclists devote to retro-fitting racing bikes to conform to their bodies rather than first restoring function to the most critical piece of racing equipment… the rider’s body!
What is the most plentiful tissue in the body -- and the most ignored? The answer is fascia -- the gooey, gliding stuff that holds you together.
In this culture we study walking and running biometrically, yet we still don’t understand how to do either correctly. For whatever reason we adopted our walking style, we invariably create a limited approach to dealing with gravity.
This is a lying meditation you can do where you scan your body slowly looking for tension and consciously relax each area.
As we worked she spontaneously recounted abuse she had suffered as a child from her mother. They have long since reconciled and she has no bad feelings toward her but this trauma was still in her body. What a thing to let go of!
I have come to understand that Structural Integration is first and foremost an exercise in developing self awareness. As a practitioner I can only guide my client through this process of self discovery, but it is their journey of awareness. With awareness comes change in the body, the more we listen to our own internal signals of distress the more power we have to change unhealthy and habitual patterns.
"Sometimes I feel a little odd when people ask if I “do” Yoga, it’s comparable to asking if I “do” art. Yoga is something one becomes, not something one does."
"Structural Integration seeks to awaken changes in the body using deep touch, core movement and awareness."
"The tennis ball is a great tool for self care because it is firm and resilient, yet yields to pressure nicely."
"Every physical creature is subject to the effects of gravity throughout life. It is the one unrelenting stimulus to which we must relate."
"The first principle of Rolfing® is that the body must relate continually to the physical force of gravity. The various segments of the body must be more or less aligned one on top of the other, or else the external muscles begin to labor to maintain the upright posture."
"Many have used holistic methods in the past spanning from to Hippocrates in Greece to the Yellow Emperor in ancient China. Although the meaning and theories that fall into this realm of healthcare have evolved, the basic tenets have remained the same."
"The benefits I’ve received from SI are really physical, emotional and mental. Primarily, it helped me process emotions that had been trapped in my body. It eased my pain tremendously and I was able to resume the active life that I enjoy."
"Using Yoga’s theory of evolving the human structure for higher states of consciousness through physical change, combined with deep hands on work, she began to develop Structural Integration."