I felt like hell the next day, so the Rolfing seems to be working
My Rolfer on Thursday night went, if I do say so myself, to town on me.
I believe I’m remembering the proper descriptions: this was a focus on the “sheath” and later we’re moving on to the core.
Apparently my sheath needed some help, especially around my IT bands. If I already hadn’t felt a bit admonished about saying it hurt, I’d say it hurt. Instead I’ll just say that I felt some intense sensations.
As always, Russ Pfeiffer was extremely professional, telling me I was the one in control of the emergency brake if things got too tough. (Of course, I think of the emergency brake as the part of the car used for drifting, so we were perhaps bound for a wild ride.) The thing is: I’m not there to for it to be easy and not rough. I know I’ve got a ton of stiffness to get through, and I am convinced I won’t get through it without a little bit of sensation.
But it wasn’t even the actual Rolfing session that left an impression on me. As I’ve suggested before, I don’t think I’m your typical hardcore yogi, raw foodist, no hybrid wheat type. I’m analytical, not metaphysical. I’m skeptical, not a believer. When Tim Miller has called me an “archetypical stiff white guy,” I think he means stiff and white and guy.
I look pretty normal in a suit, let’s say.
And so a lot of the yogic journey is about moving past the very archetypical stuff that comes along with that.
As we were wrapping up our session, Russ recommended I drink lots of water over the next 24 to 48 hours because we’d gone pretty deep into parts of my body that hadn’t been moved or worked around like that in … well, about forever. Toxins were worked up, he said.
I had no idea.
I had no idea because of all the self-descriptions I just laid out for you. But I am here to tell you: On Friday, I felt like hell. I was tired. My body was sore. I felt, I eventually realized, sort of sick.
And then I realized: I’m full of all those toxins Russ was talking about. They’re free, they’re moving, we need to get rid of them.
This Rolfing, in other words, is working.
Bobbie on Friday night encouraged me to take some Advil or such, and I declined. I figured — and here comes the archetypical Ashtangi — I needed to experience and feel what was coming out. (Those of you who know the fifth Star Trek movie may recall Kirk at one point telling Spock’s half-brother, “I need my pain.” It was like that. Also, I just lost about 88% of you, I’m guessing.)
This was detoxing. This was the process, this was my (hopeful) move toward a bit more flexibility (on a bunch of levels).
This was proof, in a subtle, somatic way — a path I’m not inclined to naturally — of the Rolfing at work.
And I’m here to tell you, if I can feel it and experience it, just about anyone can.
Final, added note: I see over at Ashtanga Yoga New York that Eddie Stern has a workshop coming up in Sag Harbor from Aug. 9 to 12 at Tapovana. Here’s a little about it:
We are thrilled to welcome Eddie Stern for a 4 day workshop, August 9-12! He will focus each day on a different aspect of tristhana (the 3 supports and basic principals of the Ashtanga system of practice), and how they directly relate to Patanjali’s idea of Kriya Yoga (practice) in the Yoga Sutra…namely: discipline, study and devotion. The 4th day will include an inspiring talk on Ganehsa (Lord of Thresholds) and a puja, blessing ceremony, led by Eddie. The cost of the entire workshop is $320. Drop-ins will be $45 per session, space permitting, at the time of the event.
I need to work on getting Eddie out to LA.
Posted by Steve