The Guild for Structural Integration (GSI) is an association of Structural Integration practitioners and associates who pledge to persevere through the long-term personal challenges which Dr. Rolf’s teaching and work present. Association with the Guild implies not only a commitment to professional excellence in the performance of Dr. Rolf’s standard ten-session series of Structural Integration, it also indicates a resolution to explore a path of personal growth which includes the transcendental vertical line.

Continue Reading

Instructor Elisa Noel and assistant instructor Weston Horne (bottom center) pictured with the participants of the Fall Basic Training class in Salt Lake City, Utah

Judith Aston

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS 
An Interview with Judith Aston

How did you become involved with the Guild?
I first met Dr. Ida Rolf in April 1968 in Big Sur. I went to her for bodywork for complications from a serious car accident and she introduced me to her system. I was so impressed with the magic of the body to change that quickly and that Dr. Rolf had the formula to help it change. She knew something about what I did for a living, which was creating movement programs for actors, dancers, athletes, psychiatrists and their patients. When she found that out, she asked me in that first session if I would create a movement program for her work, Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing. I said, “Yes.” I went to my first class in June of 1968 (6 weeks of auditing the practitioner training). There was no active organization at that time. I did my practitioner training in Rolfing in February 1969. In 1971, I started training all Rolfers in my classes. I was teaching them how to “see” postural assessment, how to use their body so they could be stronger, more efficient and not hurt themselves while working. I started creating movement designs that Rolfers could learn to give to their clients. Dr. Rolf also asked me to train movement people in my movement classes. As the only movement faculty member, I was in charge of the movement program and also became a board member. By that time, we were beginning to organize with board members and people with titles. The organization (now called The Guild) was spearheaded by Dick Stenstadvold.Workshop with Judith

Tell us about the evolution of your work.
I did a lot of movement work with clients. Many of my clients were also working with other Rolfers. I didn’t have to do the 10 session series with them. It seemed like they were coming to me for more problem-solving and more advanced movement work. I did bodywork sessions as well as a lot of movement sessions. By the early 70s, I was training people in the movement concepts like yoga teachers, exercise teachers, coaches, etc, my business expanded into working with a lot of trainers and advanced Rolfers who were coming for classes or tutorials, one-to-one. I also created a training method on how to teach people to palpate, which grew into teaching them how to feel the layers of tension, how to read the body’s holding patterns and to chart the tension pattern. I gave numerous advanced classes for practitioners to learn about their body usage. People who had been Rolfing for 5 years would often look like they were working flexed over when they were actually just standing up. Many were not getting out of that pattern. That encouraged me to teach other kinds of exercises to get them to stretch, loosen, etc. Early in the 1980s, I taught partner stretches. People would be paired up, do the exercises, then look at their partner and say, “How did this happen? How can you have this kind of change without bodywork?” It brought in the whole idea that had been cooking in my mind for a while: the difference between structural holding patterns and functional holding patterns. Functional holding patterns I define as those that can change rather quickly: with rest, meditation, exercise, specific movement designs, etc. The more a functional pattern becomes tighter and long-lasting, it moves up the continuum on the scale of tension to a structural holding pattern, which I find generally needs bodywork to release. The combination of movement and bodywork seemed to be such a beautiful match, as well as adding ergonomics because the environment was and is shaping people to be mismatched for their body. These four things, movement designs, bodywork, ergonomics, and fitness, became the focus for all of my trainings.
In 1976, I started putting together the ideas and theory for Arthro-Kinetics. I became very focused on Dr. Rolf’s idea of moving from the superficial to the deep layers. When I looked at bodies moving that had the movement and bodywork so far, I felt like I saw that movement stop at the intersection of tissue to bone. It felt like somehow there were twists or tension that would stop movement from going through from the superficial to the deep through the bone out to the other side of the body. That’s how the ideas of Arthro-Kinetics came about. I have a deep appreciation of the totality and significance of a moving 3D body and how it supports one’s psyche, emotion, and spiritual aspects. I was aware of these aspects all along, but these days as I witness people change, there seems to be a one for one ratio of physical change translating immediately to their emotional and spiritual evolution. This is very impressive!Judith Working

How has learning the Rolf Method changed your own life?
In reflection, I did not go to Dr. Rolf to train. There were many people going to her for sessions, but I was a professional teaching at a college and doing creative work of designing programs. I went to Dr. Rolf for my back problem. To have her ask me in the first session if I could create a movement program was amazing but I had no idea what the work was. As soon as she started working on me, it hurt, but when she finished I could feel the immediate improvement. I couldn’t believe that all the medical professionals I had seen that year that I was struggling and not been able to stand up without a lot of sciatic pain had no way of even touching the surface of what Dr Rolf improved by 65% in that first session. Amazing. Bodywork wasn’t even on my radar. To suddenly be jumping into this arena still applying the skill sets I had just exponentially expanded for me. And I thank Dr. Rolf every day for being the person who invited me into her world.

What was your most profound moment with a client?
To me it’s not about one most profound moment with a client: it’s the most profound moment in a session with every client that has a similarity. When clients have an experience of something that they felt hopeless about that might never change changes: they experience it and they feel it and they are so touched. Many times they are crying, other times they’re just speechless. Those moments where you’re just doing your work, facilitating, and you have the faith that if I can do my best, all that I know to match what they need, then something magical is going to happen because the body is magical. What we do as practitioners is try not to get in the way of that magic happening by imposing and correcting but invoking, listening, matching and evoking.

What is the one word you would use to describe your experience with the 10 series?
Unraveling

Find out more information about Judith's upcoming workshop, Aston Postural Assessment, Two Day Training, Friday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th, by clicking here.

 

BASIC TRAINING PHASE I & II

The principles and structural techniques expressed in Ida Rolf ’s series for ten Structural Integration sessions are the core of the Guild’s Basic Training Program. Basic Training consists of two phases: Auditing Class and Practitioning Class. Each phase is eight weeks in duration and each class begins with one week of Integrative Anatomy. The ensuing seven weeks of instruction focus on Structural Integration studies.

Continue Reading

BECOME A SUBSCRIBER

Have your listing on the Guild’s Website.  SI “Friendship” status is extended to individuals dedicated to Dr. Rolf’s work. For GSI Practitioners, Rolfers, Hellerworkers, IPSB Structural Integration graduates, we ask for an annual $150 “subscriber” fee to enjoy the services we offer.  Or donate to help with scholarships, maintain our Website, public service and general operating expenses.

Continue Reading