Ida Teaches

Welcome to Ida Teaches - the wit, abundant wisdom and vision of Dr. Ida P. Rolf.

We are going into the archives to bring you recordings of Dr. Rolf as she teaches experienced Rolfers in live trainings. Experience what it was like to study under the master.

Dr. Rolf is no longer here to teach us directly, to transfer her legendary ability to see the body, to inspire in us the laser-like focus she had for her work, but we can access her wisdom via recordings.

  • Understand Dr. Rolf's vision for her work and her challenges in relaying it
  • Experience Ida's scientific mind but also her willingness to think outside the box
  • Learn the kind of things that are taught in advanced trainings
  • Let Ida's original vision ignite your passion beyond your practice and perhaps inspire you to also teach

These are audio only. You cannot see what Dr. Rolf is demonstrating, how she is seeing or what she means by her words alone. Therefore, do not use these audios as training tools. Let them inspire you to learn more but not to guide your hands.


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Ida Teaches

Please click on one of the audio titles below to listen to the words of Dr. Ida Rolf.

Files files denoted with an * after the title are available to Members only. You will need to log in to access them. All other audio files are public.

Please remember that these materials are copyrighted. You cannot use them for any purpose other than listening without the express written permission of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®.


Ida Rolf Teaches Head Horizontals

Ida probes students about their "head" homework assignment./ 9:30 What did you see?/ 27:40 Bodywork begins

Ida Rolf Teaches Cervical Layers

13:30 Material starts in earnest at minute/ Also leads into thorax, pelvis, top of skull

Ida Rolf Teaches Cervical Layers, Diaphram & Psoas
6:00 Visceral fascia is endodermic portion of the body/ 8:30 We are integrators of all this information because the posts migrates from a viscera space in the little egg that is developing/ 20:00 Bodywork begins.


Ida Rolf Teaches Advanced Students Why You Work Your Client in Different Positions

Dr. Rolf asks, "How do you know?/ Why do you start working with someone on their back?"/ 16:00 Exercise: Nose to knees./ 27:00 Rolfing and yoga

Ida Rolf Teaches Muscle Mass and Corresponding Lack in Neighboring Space

"Your answer stops you're seeing. Stops you're looking." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 15:25 This is my entire sermon, not only today but every day: The job of a Rolfer is creating order./ 22:00 What is the goal of the first hour?/ 25:00 Metaphor of key in lock./ "You can see in their eyes what you are going to find in their hips and pelvis." Dr. Ida Rolf

Ida Rolf Teaches Going From Higher Abstraction to Lower Abstraction to Silent Level

28:00 Are you all beginning to understand "where you think it is, it ain't?"/ 29:00 Body work begins.


Ida Teaches: Guest Speaker Jan Sultan Leads Discussion on Defining the Territory of Rolfing

Discussion among students at opening of Santa Monica Advanced Training about defining the territory of Rolfing. Legal and semantic challenges are discussed.

Ida Teaches The Territory of Rolfing (Cont.); The Evolution of The Recipe
Beginning of the talk is a continuation of the discussion of the territory of Rolfing led by Jan Sultan./ Evolution of the Recipe by Dr. Rolf./ 12:00 What is in the body that it asks you to start at the chest?/ 24:00 How did the Recipe evolve the way it did?

Ida Teaches Do You Understand What The End of The First Hour Is?
10:30 How to horizontal the pelvis/ 13:30 We want to be able to take this new way of working with the body into the culture./ 20:00 Using the reflexes of the feet/ 33:30 The body shortens by poor use of the shoulder girdle.


Ida Teaches After the 10-Series*
*NOTE*   This recording includes a brief interaction between students and Dr. Rolf regarding the occult. The discussion ought to be understood in the context of the Human Potential movement and the historical context at the time./ 3:30 Cannot balance hard structure, only soft tissue/ 9:40 Reason for the 10-hours/ 15:35 How bones change as body matures/ 19:45 Ida's request: "Go out and gather information that adds to the Rolf concept because heaven knows I didn't finish the job."

Ida Teaches The Importance of Seeing

"I don't know how to direct you. My weakness as a teacher is that that which is so utterly apparent to me, it never occurs to me that I should want to teach it that I wouldn't bore you to death with it." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 18:40  Body work begins

Ida Teaches Multidimensionality*

"Your gospel is you are preachers of the opening of man. This is tough assignment." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 4:25 Body assessment/ 26:20 Body work begins


Ida Teaches Floor of the Pelvis; Coccyx

5:00 It is the floor of the pelvis that is the vital structure/ 11:00 Get our your anatomy books/ 24:20 Comparison with Reflexology/ 29:00 I don't understand how there are any coccyges that are relatively normal.

Ida Teaches  Muscle Wandering

16:50 Psoas is perhaps one of the most important structural units in the body/ 24:30 Go home and meditate for 2 hours in the middle of the night on the psoas./  27:50 "That's why it takes five years to make a Rolfer." Ida Rolf/ 33:00 Lumbar plexus is affected by any and all movement in the psoas.

Ida Teaches Abdominal Wall and Psoas

"There is no other single system in the body that is as important to the well-being of the body as the psoas-rectus combination." Dr. Ida Rolf


Ida Teaches Horizontalizing Pelvis; Multidimensionality

3:00 When the day comes that we have an Institute/ 6:00 "If you're a good Rolfer he will get on his knees to get on your waiting list. If this isn't happening to you, there's something wrong with your Rolfing." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 10:00 Horizontalizing the pelvis/ 17:40 Communicating with the silent level/ 23:15 When you are doing the 3rd hour, do the 3rd hour./ 33:00 This is your job. It is an integration, putting more dimensions in, increasing the dimensionality. You have to recognize that as you get into multi-dimensionality you get into dimensions that have no reality in time or space.

Ida Teaches What Does Breath Have to Do With the Sacrum?

Getting where you want with the sacrum./ The spine is the organ of respiration./ 10:45 How you know you've gotten where you should be in the 6th hour is the sacrum is moving with every breath./ 20:00 Body work begins

Ida Teaches Differentiating and Patterning; 6th Hour Assessment

1:50 There are two reasonably distinct nervous systems in the body. There are in charge of two different levels of functioning./ 4:15 Differentiating and patterning./ 9:00 As you get more movement in the vertebrae it is calling for water./ 10:00 6th hour body assessment/ 15:00 Hours 1-10 are not intended as advanced hours and can destroy advanced work.


Ida Teaches Review of Hours 1-5
Dr. Rolf leads student discussion to review Hours 1-5 in preparation for Hour 6.

Ida Teaches Continuation of Review of Hours 1-5
Relationship between shoulders and thorax./ Continuing review of hours 1-5.

Ida Teaches Cadaver Dissection With Discussion
Embryology/ Aging starts before birth/ 2 day old baby and adult male cadavers are dissected and movements observed. (No photos available. Audio only.)/ 46:00 End of lecture
Ida Teaches Dissection With Discussion (Cont.)
Continuation of previous discussion with slides of dissection
Ida Teaches What Do You do in a Second Hour?
Students discuss details of the second hour.

Ida Teaches Continued Student Discussion of 2nd-8th Hours
Auditing student explains his understanding of hours 2 - 8. Ida approves.
Ida Teaches Preparing for Seventh Hour

Jim Asher leads initial discussion: Why we work on mouth and neck before going into the nose./ 11:30 Embryo has 8 cervicals and then one disappears./ 25:00 Ida enters the room. Leading into 6th hour./ 31:00 Evolution of linear thinking.

Ida Teaches Brilliant Anatomy Discussion; Seventh Hour
Continued MAcCOMB research paper discussion./15:00 State of average body/ 30:30 7th Hour discussion begins/ 33:00 start of conversation about people who have never eaten processed foods.


Ida Teaches Seventh Hour Discussion
Continued discussion on affect of processed foods on structure/ 19:30 Body assessment begins/ 33:00 Body work begins

Ida Teaches A Human Being is an Energy Pattern
5:30 Rolfing is experiential and that is all/ 10:50 Between every pair of ribs there are reflexes/ 13:30 Throw out your anatomy book and LOOK/ 15:00 Definition of reflex/ 16:00 A human being is an energy pattern, a set of waves, a set of energy fields./ 41:00 What kind of contour is the evidence of good function?
Ida Teaches Newtonian Physics; Entropy; Body as Web
5:00 You are going to spend the rest of your life fighting the words which people use to hid facts they don't want to look at/ 13:00 Entropy is always disorder/ 23:00 Body is a solid spider web

Ida Teaches I Want You to See Bodies in Three Dimensions

2:00 How the body talks/ 2:40 The Recipe will get you out of trouble/ 7:00 Body assessment begins. Function of the legs./ 27:30 Impact of exercise on young bodies/ 29:30 Ida's son Dick's experience with bullying

Ida Teaches Relationship Between Head and Pelvis

8:00 Stressors on babies laid in different positions./ 10:00 Babies strapped to board or swaddled/ 12:00 Ida's client Carl who's skull bones had not closed by 14 years of age/ 20:00 The closer a problem is to the brain the more disturbing it is to the person/ 22:30 "Don't do it! If something goes wrong you are not licensed to do that kind of work. You don't work on the acute ever." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 29:20 How do you know you're in an acute situation?

Ida Teaches Get the Head On the Vertical Line

Dr. Rolf introduces the importance of having the head on the vertical line./ 5:15 Ida begins body work


Ida Teaches The Body is Like a Tensegrity Map- Research Paper

Ron McComb explains his hypothesis of the spine as a tensegrity structure, with Ida's critique. Excellent anatomy discussion. His paper can be found HERE. You will have to create an account to access.

Ida Teaches Finding Yourself as a Teacher
12:20 Content starts in earnest/ 12:20 Non-medical therapeutic techniques/ 13:40 Find your place as a teacher/ 16:30 We aim only to get into derivatives of the mesoderm/ 20:30 Mesoderm tissue carries traumatic episodes, incidences and attitudes/ 25:00 How are we to present ourselves/ 27:30 There ain't no such thing as psychology/ 28:45 Body assessment

Ida Teaches Do I Work Above or Below the Waist
Surgical scar tissue/ 5:30 You have to differentiate by asking, As I look at this man, will the bottom half contribute to the top half, or will the top half contribute to the bottom half?/ 11:30 Different cultures will show very different foot patterns/ 14:20 Realize  that in different parts of the earth there are all kind of different energy relations playing/ 18:50 Body work

Ida Teaches Abdominal Wall and Psoas
"There is no other single system in the body that is as important to the well-being of the body as the psoas-rectus combination." Dr. Ida Rolf

Ida Teaches The Horizontal Line
Beginning is definition of structural integration and brief review of first hour/ 8:30 Ida talks about the disappearing and reappearing horizontal line as the body gains verticality/ 21:30 Deterioration of the rectus-abdominus/psoas combination in athletics

Ida Teaches The Body is a Complex Mechanism, Not Just Mechanical*
7:00 Adhesions/ 13:00 The toughest part about teaching structural integration/ 14:30 "The place you will fall on your noses is when you try to get perfection." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 27:00 The whole first 10-hours of processing deal with a freeing and an ordering of the girdles with respect to the trunk/ 32:00 You relax as you look at a balanced body

Ida Teaches Speeding the Change of Bodies into 21st Century Bodies

Dr. Rolf discusses body changes through history from the Egyptians, to Greeks, to Romans, to Christians. "You see how ideas have literally shaped people."/ "Now you are at the beginning of a movement. How you got there I will never know." Dr. Ida Rolf

Ida Teaches Don't Start Playing God*

Dr. Rolf's admonition to Rolfers: Keep proper perspective on your size and vulnerability./ Working with insurance companies/ Use a CPA/ 25:30 Male Rolfer working with female client

Ida Teaches Jim Asher Leads Discussion on Structural Integration
Student reads from Let's Live magazine on Unorthodox Healing and the Law by Leonard Worthington/ 8:15 Brief definition of Structural Integration/ 13:00 Define second hour/ 32:30 When you do 10 hours of Rolfing, what do you have?


Ida Teaches Recipe as Life Preserver; Legal Position of Rolfers*

Discussion among students about using the Recipe as a life preserver/ 3:00 Review of 1st hour/ 15:30 Ida enters the room. Ask attorney (who is also a Rolfer) to talk about the legal position of Rolfers

Ida Teaches A Discussion on Cores

7:50 The hallmark of the 6th hour is you begin to see the sacrum participate in respiratory movement./ 12:40 There is a difference between balance and order/ 23:15 What is it that gets people flexed?/ "Everything we do in the line of effort is done in the line of flexion." Dr. Rolf/ 27:00 Ida is unhappy that students haven't studied her earlier writings. Students respond, "Where are they?"

Ida Teaches A Discussion on Cores (Cont.); Putting Man Upright
6:00 You can tell if a joint is mobile as you watch it not moving./ 12:00 (After watching a movie) "This is the world we live in and my God this is the world this hand full of Rolfers is proposing to change." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 20:00 Releasing the shoulders/ 21:00 Body work begins/ 28:00 This is what SI is doing. It is putting man upright.

Ida Teaches Preparing to give a talk; Hubbards Emotional Levels
Ida discusses the levels of different emotions as identified by Hubbard. Starting with death, moving up to apathy, grief, resentment and order./ 9:00 When you change someone's body you change the way n which they are in the world./ 16:50 Ida's definition of a good Rolfer
Ida Teaches The Human Use of the Human Being
6:00 Ida's wisdom: This is the point in making a human a bi-ped/ 10:30 Body assessment and body work begin/ 17:40 Thickness and normal functioning do not go together/ 25:30 It is your business to get in there and change the quality of that muscle
Ida Teaches Program Planning (Cont.): Mystical Experience; Cerebral Palsy Study
Mystical experiences are IN the body; experiencing multi-dimensionality/ 11:00 Need to investigate energy fields around the body/ 14:00 Need funding for study on Rolfing's affect on Cerebral Palsy/ 24:00 body work on event planner for flu damage in ear/ 27:00 Every significant change demands a complete change in life

Ida Teaches First Hour Processing; Body is a Plastic Mechanism
Don't worry about moving thorax in first session/ 1:15 Most important thing you have to learn as Rolfers/ 6:00 Psychological things that happen to thorax
11:30 Children are born imperfect and unfinished/ 21:30 Purpose of trochanter/ 26:45 Food as anatomy/ 33:00 Hamstrings/ 44:00 Pelvic lift

Ida Teaches There are Different Degrees of Vulnerability in Different Parts of the Body
The body lives as a whole. Every part is alive./ 4:45 The Recipe is a response to what goes on in a body./ 8:00 The more superficial the myofascia, the more resilient/ 11:00 I strongly object to being put into the position to where I have to know everything./ 13:30 Fibula is most vulnerable. Next vulnerable is 12th rib./ 15:30 Coccyx/ 17:00 Body is like an onion/ 17:30 Relieving the outside structures of the body.
Ida Teaches Muscle Counterparts
Students discuss the feel of the work in their hands before Ida enters/ 12:00 Why a body feels lighter/ 16:00 Muscle counterparts/ 17:30 First thing you do in a first hour/ 20:00 Counter weighting/ 28:45 Advanced students have to see bodies as webs/ 29:30 Beginning students need to stay with classical anatomy/ 30:30 What else do you do in the 3rd hour?/ 32:30 Mistake all young Rolfers make/ 43:00 Either girdle is a doing not a being apparatus
[Ends abruptly]


Ida Teaches 1) Energy Centers 2) Getting Humans Out of Animals
3:30 Pelvis alignment begins to affect energy centers/ 8:30 As pelvis gets horizontal a strange thing happens. You begin to get humans out of animals./ 15:00 Responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders because you are able to change your environment/ 16:00 Structure eve;ves because of the demand of function.
Ida Teaches Systems Fitting Into Systems Creating Integration
Student review of sessions 1-4
20:00 Ida enters. Understanding systems/ 48:15 The answer to Rolfing is not to get an addiction to it

Ida Teaches Gravity is the Therapist
14:45 Living systems do not work the say symbolic systems work/ 18:00 Man has never invented something unless it was inside his skin/ 21:00 How are we going to begin the Fifth Hour?/ 26:30 Muscle is where you keep the fire going/ 30:00 Ida speaks about Buckminster Fuller/ 34:00 What supports everything in life?/ 45:00 Tom Myers being introduced to Bob Toporek

Ida Teaches Evolving Brain Through Millenia

Manifestations of disease/ 9:00 The way of muscles in the erect personality/ 13:00 What you are looking for in gait/ 16:00 Ilium, brain size and locomotion/ 35:00 Encoded retinal elements/ 36:00 Constructs of human conscious experience

Ida Teaches Broad Overview of 10-series

9:00 discussion begins in earnest. Broad overview of the 10-series as it relates to putting the head on the body in the 7th hour./ 11:45 Muscles are complicated chemical factories.

Ida Teaches - 1800's Start of Natural Healing

Dr. Rolf asks students to consider what they are joining as she discusses early adopters of natural healing practices and how they diverge from traditional medicine.
13:30 History of measuring heart rate./ Book mentioned: Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics. Possible author: Dr. Henry Lindlahr


Ida Teaches Rambling Philosophical Discussion
16:00 Experiencing your body with another person who is experienced in seeing and experiencing the body as a teacher/ 17:15 Time is a dimension that is required/ 22:00 How emotional levels (hear previous audio with that title) are affected by culture
Ida Teaches How to Distribute Weight Most Effectively From the Point of Energy

5:30 "I want to leave a couple of hundred people who know how to make a Recipe." Dr. Ida Rolf/ 12:50 How do you distribute weight most effectively from the point of energy/ 15:00 There have always been people who dance. Why? What were they saying?/ 29:00 Harm of military stance / 33:30 "When people are vertical everything inside them has use of energy that comes from gravity" Dr. Ida Rolf/ 41:00 Dancers an the center line/ 44:45 Silent level body assessment

Ida Teaches Particles and Body Mass
9:00 If body is random it is not going to pull evenly/ 10:30 Feet and inner legs are critical; ankle even more critical


Ida Teaches Your Livingness Depends on Your Pelvis

8:00 The limitless of the being goes on in the pelvic level
Is the pelvis simply about reproduction?/ 10:30 Measuring the horizontal sign of the pelvis

Ida Teaches Primary Curve; Human Body is The Only Authority

(Hard to hear before minute 14:00)
14:00 Primary Curve/ 20:00 There is only one authority: the human body/ 33:00 Learning from 3rd hour that you didn't know before/ 37:00 Be aware of your own limitations/ 41:15 Great privilege of changing the body/ 42:00 What was added to the picture in the 3rd hour?

Ida Teaches Goal of Every Hour is Movement in the Pelvis

(hard to hear before minute 15)
16:00  Fundamentals. What happens in the first and second hours?/ 21:30 What is Rolfing?/ 23:00 Your job is to keep people in the common sense world./ 35:30 Where we got our reputation./ 38:45 Getting X-rays into your finger tips; your eyes/ 39:30 The goal of every hour is movement in the pelvis