The Line

Dr. Rolf’s teaching emphasizes the concept of the personal line of vertical intention, the “Line.” The Line passes through the centers of gravity of the body’s vertical blocks. The Line, in our concept of the Structurally Integrated human, does not pass through bone, except at the top of the head. In actual fact, this weight-bearing line does pass through bone in all but the most exceptional human structures. Indeed, it was Dr. Rolf’s observation that our species had not yet successfully completed its journey to uprightness. The Recipe is designed to offer personal assistance in this evolutionary voyage. The emergence of the unstressed vertical, the Line which passes only through soft tissue is evidence of progress toward this goal. The Line being defined as a set of theoretical points in space is not real, but experiential, and it can be, perhaps, must be, intentional. The horizon is the horizontal reference for the Line. The shoulder girdle and the pelvic girdle must contain true horizontal balance to define and support vertical extension. The Line goes through the top of the head and through the bottom of the feet to infinity. The Line forms a relationship between the field which is man and the field which is earth, the field of gravity. The Line is transcendental, it relates the realm of material particles, of basic physics to the non-material, the world of energy fields. While Dr. Rolf’s metaphysical hypotheses concerning the Line are not original, her use of the Recipe as a tool for exploring them is unique. The idea of using a vertical line of extension to integrate one’s personal energy field with the energy field of the earth is a compelling idea with both practical and visionary implications. The Guild recognizes the singular importance of the Line as raison d’ etre for the recipe. We believe that effort to clarify and develop a clear sense of vertical extension should be a path for personal growth. And further, that instruction concerning the Line is an essential educational aspect of the practice of Structural Integration.