If you are a seasoned yoga practitioner or a beginner who would like to start enjoying the benefits of yoga, there are several ways that Rolfing can complement your practice. Rolfing treatment is a system of deep tissue body work that many people mistake for massage. While Rolfing does work on the tissues of the body, Rolfing massage (many people refer to Rolfing as a massage, but in practice it is a series of soft tissue manipulations to effect lasting change) is nothing like what one would think of as a traditional massage. People who go in for Rolfing treatments generally have a series of 10 sessions that are designed to release the fibrous tissues that effect the alignment of your body. Rolfing can enhance your yoga practice by offering the following benefits:
- Ease of Movement – Yoga is all about attaining and maintaining certain postures for health and well-being. It can be a great way to relieve stress and improve flexibility overall. Rolfing treatment can help by making it easier for you to move your body, which will of course make practicing yoga that much easier as well. With a good Rolfing practitioner, you can regain flexibility that may have been lost due to age or lack of use.
- Sense of Emotional Well-Being – Rolfing treatment has been said to give people an enhanced sense of emotional well-being. This can be a great compliment to yoga practice, which is also said to enhance your emotional well-being. Yoga and Rolfing massage (many people refer to Rolfing as a massage, but in practice it is a series of soft tissue manipulations to effect lasting change) together can help many people to attain an improved overall happiness as well as reduce the stress that comes with everyday life.
- Relief from Chronic Pain – One of the most highly touted benefits of receiving structural integration bodywork is the relief that it can give you from chronic pain. There are many people who have found relief through Rolfing that they could not find with traditional massage or with medical treatment. When you are able to finally find relief from pain, your yoga practice will inevitably benefit.
- Improved Posture – Since Rolfing, or structural integration, works on the tissues that influence the alignment of the body, you could find that treatments improve your posture naturally, when your body is properly aligned and your posture is improved, you may find that some of the more advanced yoga poses and practices are easier to attain and maintain. Not only does it compliment your yoga practice nicely, but improved posture can help you in your everyday life as well.
Bob Alonzi is a certified rolfer in Los Angeles and Santa Monica who has been practicing in Santa Monica for over two decades.
Bob was educated at the Rolf Institute of Boulder, CO, which is the only school that is accredited to certify advanced rolfers.