The Yoga of Structural Integration

My love of mountain biking, snowboarding and running is what brought me here to Oregon from my birthplace in Oklahoma.  I vividly remember feeling awe and inspiration while out on the trails amongst mighty Doug Firs, lush, fern-laden forests and the amazing views these places in northwest Oregon afforded while I was doing what I loved to do physically.  The repetition and intensity of the activities I chose to do in my early 20s came with a price; especially the culminating effects of a childhood traumatic injury and the lack of essential self-care activities like stretching.  I knew something would have to change when the benefits I received from my passions were increasingly diminished by the pain and discomfort I was experiencing as a result.

My introduction to Rolfing came through yoga.  I now laugh when asked about my first experience with yoga:  while I was in college once, and it was extremely challenging for a “stiff one” like me.  Five years later the pain was severe enough that I decided to open myself to the practice once again.  My first class with Sarahjoy Marsh in Portland was profound.  I was acutely aware of my inflexibility and amazed at how somatically challenging it is to practice yoga in optimal alignment. It was through my studies with Sarahjoy and her teachers where I began to understand the importance of body alignment, not only in yoga but everyday movement.  The lesson was greatly enhanced when I began teaching yoga, practicing yoga therapy and co-teaching teacher trainings.  Teaching alignment-based yoga trained my eye to see nuances and patterns in how people moved and positioned themselves in the various asanas.

Several years after my yoga revolution, I found myself being structurally assessed by my Rolfer, who was trained to see beyond the structure and identify the patterns of strain and pull in the soft tissue.  After my first two sessions of Rolfing I was dumbfounded at how quickly and efficiently my body was beginning to change and realign away from the injured scoliosis pattern.  Particularly astonishing was how immediate the pain relief was as a result of this structural shift: a rate I was not familiar with from yoga.  Previously yoga was the medium by which I effectively managed the pain, but after Rolfing the pain was radically alleviated.

Over the past 10 years I have worked with many yoga teachers and students who remark on the benefits Rolf work has made in their yoga practice.  In the midst of fascinating conversations which present themselves regarding the parallels of yoga and Structural Integration, I frequently find myself sharing this quote from one of my clients and yoga colleagues:  “I feel 10 sessions of Rolf Structural Integration has opened my body in profound ways equivalent to 10 years of yoga practice.”

Please visit my website:  www.matthewsi.com for more information on Rolf work or feel free to call with any questions you may have: 541-214-8980. I am currently offering a 10% discount on Rolf Structural Integration 10 series paid in full.