Of all the weirdo ideas of the past century that turned out to be true,
I believe Ida Rolf’s idea that the body is a “tensegrity” structure is
probably the weirdest. She did love Buckminster Fuller.
Think of it: a body referentially held together by the sum of its parts, which are referent to a
center of function which can’t even be found anatomically in dissection, the whole kit and caboodle referent to a
force we call “gravity” that keeps us pinned down to the earth.
No wonder even Rolfers™ argue about the idea. And some just don’t get it.
It seems Ida Rolf used the words “line” and “core” somewhat interchangeably when she talked
about the center of function which can’t be found anatomically in dissection. Today, 2013,
physical trainers of various sorts have hi-jacked the word “core” to mean those muscles used
in sitting up and twisting in the torso. Those muscles to supposedly flatten the belly, in other words.
So, I am going with “line”. “Line of Function”. One place referent for tensional integrity.
This “line” needs to be flexible. It is a place for the body to be from, a home place of structure
and function. It could be visualized as a fat green willow shoot, a living breath of appropriate strength and core.
This “line” place could be visualized and felt as the path the breath takes, when doing an inhale. This may
be easier to feel lying down, when the body has the force of gravity more distributed. If your body has
enough space in it, enough lack of created tension, you can feel the breath up and down, especially in the torso.
You can also feel it down through the pelvic floor and down the inside of the legs into the feet. The feeling
of the arch of the roof of the mouth is also part of the functional “line”.
The centers of gravity of the major blocks of the body can have the line passing through them. This is a place
of equipoise, the place of strength and flexibility for thousands of years of martial artists to be from so that they can go any which
way they need or feel the desire to go without having to stop doing one way, like leaning to one side
or leaning back or leaning forward. They have tensional integrity to keep them in equipoise as long as they choose.
You think we need tensional integrity from the “line” to type this blog? You betcha. I got no screaming
carpals at the moment. (Knock on wood, movement referential to the “line”, lol.)