The History of Rolfing® Structural Integration

Rolfing® Structural Integration is not massage; rather, it is a holistic modality that supports your body’s innate capacity to heal.  Here is some info about the founder, Ida Rolf:

Ida Pauline Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1920. Despite the resistance she faced as a woman in the field of science, she furthered her knowledge of the body through research in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute. Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation.

Throughout most of her life she was intrigued with & explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic & yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function & anatomical structure are related is the basis of many of these healing methods.

Dr. Rolf agreed that the body functions best when the bony segments are in proper alignment. She added her observations that lasting improvement in alignment and an overall sense of well-being required a closer look at the effects of gravity on our bodies. She believed that the imbalances in structure placed demands on the body’s pervasive network of soft tissues: muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments, thereby creating compensations throughout the body structure.

Dr. Rolf posed this fundamental question: “What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?”

Her life’s work was devoted to this investigation which led to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing®. In order to pass along her work to others and to make the education process accessible, she developed an expedient series of ten sessions, which came to be known as the Ten Series.

Dr. Rolf continues to be recognized as a pioneer and leader in soft tissue manipulation and movement education.

Since her death in 1979 at the age of 83, the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration has continued to share her work by certifying Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement® Practitioners, supporting research, and building upon her inspiration. Today, there are more than 1,950 Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement Practitioners worldwide

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Contemplative Guidance

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.

Contemplative Guidance is Personal and Spiritual Life Coaching from a Buddhist perspective that supports, health, well-being, self-awareness, spiritual sensitivity, financial security, and intellectual acumen.

Working with Soken through phone sessions, assigned readings, writing exercises, discussion, and meditation practice, you will learn how to realize worldly success without sacrificing the richness, meaning, and purpose of a well-lived human life.

It may sound simple, but to see one’s life clearly is difficult. Today’s world is complex, dynamic, full of unsettling change, and yet brimming with possibility! In this dazzling high-modernist landscape, faced by a bewildering array of choices – e.g. Should I have a child or pursue my career? Should I leave my firm to start my own business? What makes me happy? What’s the meaning of all this? –  it’s helpful to have a good guide.

Contemplative Guidance is a program based on Soken’s deep (25 year-long) study – as a Buddhist priest and spiritual practitioner – of ancient wisdom traditions.  As you practice this wisdom, by doing meditations that encourage you to simultaneously deepen your sensitivity, heal, purify your mind, and see things as they are, you will develop the skill and confidence to act warmly and compassionately in agreement with what actually is. In this way, the world opens up for you, nourished by love and truth, two essential ingredients for stability and peace of mind. Whether you are in the midst of a career change, seeking answers to questions about relationship, figuring out how to make your way in the world, or endeavoring to take your life to the next level, once you know how to live from wisdom and compassion, your life unfolds naturally and enjoyably. You become able to balance your needs with the sometimes difficult demands of your environment in such a way that you can thrive professionally and economically while enjoying rich human relationships and a deep connection to values that bring true creativity and spiritual meaning into your life.

Soken has helped many people do amazing things. To begin your journey of transformative growth, please feel free to reach out for your free one-hour Turning-the-Lights-on session by phone. Explore the many possibilities you have right now for a life of abundance, prosperity, contentment, and joy.

Schedule a Free Phone Consultation


By engaging with a particular meditation practice in pursuit of a noble endeavor, you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being.

With regular work and patience, these nourishing, focused states of consciousness can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energized experiences of mind.

Such experiences can have a transformative effect and lead to a new understanding of life.


Learn More about Cultivating Awareness

Mondays by phone | 9-10pm ET

Learn More about Cultivating Awareness


Contact us to sign up or to ask questions.
All classes meet by phone 4 times per month, one hour a week every week. Students work with homework assignments, and e-mail correspondence between classes to achieve their goals. Class sizes are limited to 8 students to ensure individualized attention for rapid progress.


Mondays | 9-10pm | by phone

Cultivating Awareness meets by phone on Tuesdays starting on the first Tuesday of the month.  Class sizes are small, so that you will get the individual attention you need to progress faster. Experience the class that has helped so many people cultivate new, more positive ways of being.


You will be introduced to three meditations, as well as supported and guided in developing the transformational practice of awareness. Pointers, books and meditations from various spiritual traditions will help you develop the ability to sustain and nurture spiritual activity in the midst of daily life.


We cultivate awareness to clearly perceive the events in our daily life. To see clearly is to see the truth of what is: the perfect activity of love.

Although Soken is a Buddhist Monk, Cultivating Awareness is not affiliated with any religion. This class was created by Soken for people of all faiths and belief systems to support body-mind health and true peace of mind.

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About Soken

Rev. Soken Paul Graf is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and monastically trained Buddhist priest under Zen Master Seikan Hasegawa. He divides his time between New York City, Kyoto, Japan and the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, where he continues to study with his teacher in a hermitage for Buddhist study and practice. Having started Bodhi Heart Rolfing and Meditation in San Francisco in 2009, he currently works in the city of New York.

Deeply influenced by contemplative practice and years of monastic study, Soken’s treatments support your body’s innate capacity to heal.  Sessions can help to keep you feeling grounded, balanced and at ease while flourishing with simplicity and grace in an increasingly complex world.

The Cultivating Awareness Program was developed in direct response to clients’ questions about maintaining composure amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Clients who experienced the relaxed state of mind, gentle awareness, and sense of flow after a Rolfing session, wanting to carry this experience into their lives, asked Soken to teach a class about how to do so. Soken responded by developing the Cultivating Awareness Program, and upon a further request from those who wished to go deeper, he developed the Contemplative Guidance Program.

Contemplative Guidance and Cultivating Awareness are awareness-based meditation programs born out of the same principle as Rolfing with faith in a fundamental intelligence that only needs to be recognized, nurtured and developed for the body and mind to heal. Because mind and body are profoundly related, by establishing one’s self in the steady awareness that clearly perceives cause-effect relationships, as well as states of gratitude and a spiritual orientation to life, it’s easy to leave the nervous system’s ‘fight-or-flight’ mode behind for more efficient, rewarding, positive states of mind. Both of these programs have developed from Soken’s work as a Rolfer and his extensive training as a Buddhist monk.

Soken obtained his degree as a Certified Rolfer in 2006 at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado. Thereafter, he studied under Dr. Jeffrey Maitland, an internationally recognized Advanced Rolfing Instructor, innovator and author of Mind Body Zen. In 2010, in Vienna and Berlin, Soken attained his degree as a Certified Advanced Rolfer with an emphasis on energy medicine.  He is also the resident monk and founder of the Maha Bodhi Zen Center.

Additionally, Soken is trained in Visceral Manipulation,  Craniosacral Therapy, energy medicine, and holds an advanced certification to practice Cold-Laser Therapy, an FDA approved intervention for cellular health. As an advocate for complimentary medicine, Soken continues to study, work and learn with doctors, healers and scholars in the Eastern and Western medical traditions.

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Contact Us

(917) 231-6712 •

Everyday except Wednesdays • 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM

New York 
80 5th Ave, Suite #906
New York, NY 10011

Please visit us in the city! We no longer offer sessions in Brooklyn.

Yes! We accept all major credit cards. American Express, Visa, Master Card, Discover, etc.

Cancelation Policy

48 hours advance notice of a cancelled or rescheduled appointment is required to ensure that you will not be charged for the appointment. You will be charged the full price of a session for a cancelled or rescheduled appointment with less than 48 hours notice.


We are very sorry, but we are not a preferred provider with any insurance company. Nor do we assist with auto-accident claims. We simply do not have the staff to process the paperwork, e-mails and phone calls that come from insurance companies investigating such claims.

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