The Synergy of Yoga and Rolfing®

By Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner, Åsa Åhman, Stockholm, Sweden

Two decades ago, my journey into the realms of yoga commenced with reluctance. As a fervent fitness enthusiast and part-time aerobics instructor, the slow pace of yoga initially seemed incongruous with my active lifestyle.

If it was not fast or heavy, it was not for me, or so I thought.

However, what began as scepticism soon evolved into a profound exploration of holistic well-being, ultimately leading me to become a yoga teacher and a Certified Rolfer®!

Body Awareness Through Yoga

Initially drawn to the physicality of yoga, I gravitated towards its more dynamic forms. Yet, beyond the realms of muscle power and performance, yoga offered me a gateway to enhanced body awareness.

Through dedicated practice, I cultivated a deeper connection with my body, embracing the virtues of health and balance over sheer exertion. However, despite my commitment, my body seemed reluctant to stretch and release tension.

Encountering Rolfing® Structural Integration

It was during a yoga training in the United States that serendipity intervened. Overhearing a conversation about Rolfing® - a transformative bodywork technique - I was intrigued by its promise of liberation from physical constraints. Upon returning to Stockholm, I was lucky enough to find a Rolfer® nearby. I still remember my first session:

I was completely in my body, but not by moving or exercising hard. I was simply present within myself in stillness. And when standing up, I felt so different!

That first session was the starting point of my career change. For me, this type of intervention was what my body needed to let go. I could have done yoga until the cows came home without being able to let go all the tension that Rolfing had released!

Cultivating Wholeness

Today, my practice seamlessly integrates the principles of yoga and Rolfing, each offering distinct yet complementary benefits.

While yoga serves as a foundation for physical maintenance, Rolfing releases stuck tensions and enables me to move better, improving my flexibility and body awareness.

Rolfing gives me more access to my own body, both in terms of movement and the ability to feel more details and be more in my body.

This symbiotic relationship has guided me towards a deeper connection with my body and a greater sense of wholeness.

Evolution in Practice and Teaching

I now work full time as a Rolfer and use yoga only for private sessions, occasional workshops, but always with all the knowledge from my Rolfing and Rolf Movement™ trainings incorporated.

Rolfing has made me completely switch how I practice and teach yoga.

Departing from conventional notions of alignment and from ideas of how the body should move or even look like, my teaching now prioritises the body's unique expression and intuitive movement.

It is now all about supporting the body’s own way of moving to keep it as open and free as possible while moving.

Through this paradigm shift, I empower individuals to embrace their bodies' inherent potential, fostering a deeper sense of openness and freedom.


Author: Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner, Åsa Åhman - Stockholm, Sweden

Photos: Courtesy © of Linus Johansson

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