Yoga must not be practiced to control the body: it is the opposite, it must bring freedom to the body, all the freedom it needs.” ~ Vanda Scaravelli.
Vanda Scaravelli, born in 1908, was introduced to the practice of yoga through BKS Iyengar in her forties. She was reluctant to have her approach turned into a “method” – so you will often see the style described as ‘Scaravelli-inspired’ or ‘In the Spirit of Vanda Scaravelli’.
Waves and spirals
Helen Noakes, EkhartYoga teacher, explains what makes Scaravelli-inspired yoga so special:
Scaravelli-inspired yoga is revolutionary. It is a never-ending, continuous exploration of the miracle that is our body. Scaravelli-inspired yoga guides you through a beautiful journey of waves and spirals which can encourage a slow and safe release of tension, and enable you to experience a new and profound way of moving.
This style helps us to become more centered and grounded by creating a strong connection with our feet. Like the roots of a tree our bodies need to continually be grounded and authentic movement comes from the earth through the body. Surrendering to gravity and listening to the breath and the body’s natural responses can initiate a release in the spine and a deep felt-sense of freedom in the body.
Spontaneity and softness
The most amazing thing about this approach to Hatha yoga in the spirit of Vanda Scaravelli is that there are no “methods”. Like love itself, yoga has a texture. When we can immerse ourselves in our own personal sensations, and pay attention to them, then there is space for spontaneous and integrated movement to reveal itself when practising postures or breath awareness.
When we immerse ourselves in our personal sensations and pay attention to them, then there is space for spontaneous and integrated movement to reveal itself.
This manifests so easily that the body begins to respond in the form or waves or spirals. This can be very relaxing on a deep level; it also gives space to dive into our tension with the idea of softening it rather than fighting it.
‘Movement is the song of the body.’ ~ Vanda Scaravelli