As a yoga teacher, practitioner and massage therapist, I fully appreciate, advocate and depend on good bodywork in order to live and work from a place of balance and wellness. Acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, cranio-sacral therapy: these modalities, among others, have assisted me in healing from concussions, infections, sprains, strains, popped-out ribs, headaches, depression and more.
That said, sometimes I forget to take care of myself. Sometimes I don’t want to spend that money, even if I know it will make me feel better faster. Sometimes I just hope that if I ignore the problem, it will disappear. Indeed, time can heal many wounds, but giving the body a little extra TLC certainly expedites that process.
I’ve had sharp and re-accuring pain in both my shoulders for a few years now. It was really bad in the end of 2011 and got way worse in early 2012 when I began practicing deeper backbends like kapotasana (I guess that asana is my favorite scapegoat). It was diagnosed as “bursitis”, but the prescribed rest from asana didn’t provide any relief at all. Over time, it ceased, I became busier with work and the wedding and so life moved on. Recently it returned with a vengeance, and with it, a lingering tenderness in all my past injuries as well – my left meniscus, my right SI joint, one of my left ribs (I know, I sound like a mess but I’m actually quite healthy, just sensitive to residual Ashtanga battle wounds!).
Apparently, the time has come for me to address these “problem” areas directly. I’ve been thinking about it a lot but wasn’t sure what to do. Well, all I had to do was look up – literally – as in look to the man in the apartment above ours. He is a Rolfer and today I had my very first Structural Integration session. It was amazing – just what my body was asking for. Rolfing has the reputation of being painful and there were certainly moments of intensity, but through breath and proper communication, the pain was negotiable and it actually felt very therapeutic. Rolfing is traditionally done in 10 sessions over the course of a number of weeks. The first few sessions really just address the more superficial layers of tension and misalignment in the body and as the series progresses, deeper layers are affected and more substatianal realignment and integration can occur. Getting off the table today, after just one session, my whole shoulder girdle and chest felt different, more open, lighter and softer energetically.
I’m very excited for this process of healing. It’s definitely an investment, but I believe it’s a necessary step for me right now. I’m quite curious to observe the changes in my body and my practice as I progress with the Rolfing series. I know Steve over at the Confluence Countdown has written about his experience being Rolfed and the benefit it has had on his practice.
Have you ever been “Rolfed”? How did it change about your body, your life, your yoga practice etc.,?
PS – Yesterday Lila was featured on the Kharma Khare blog - so great! Super grateful for the kind words from these awesome folks.