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Vanda Scaravelli

‘Scaravelli’ inspired yoga has arisen from an extraordinary woman named Vanda Scaravelli, who initially studied yoga with and was a friend of B.K.S. Iyengar, the well renowned yoga guru from India. Vanda, from Italy, was a pianist who came to practising Yoga through her love of the lightness and natural rhythm of music. She was also a personal friend of J. Krishnamurti, an Indian philosopher and many references in her book ‘Awakening the Spine’ has echoes of his wisdom.

Vanda discovered a way of practising asanas (yoga postures) that encouraged the spine to awaken. She found that as one ‘lets go’ into gravity tension is released from the body and a light and spacious opening and uplift (levity) happens.

This is a very mindful way of approaching yoga practice, helping one to stay attentive and is often referred to as ‘meditation in movement’. As one moves through the postures, connecting to the breath, softening, widening and releasing the body/mind, areas that are dull and asleep can wake up and bring a sense of aliveness through out the whole body. The breath becomes a powerful vehicle for awakening and transformation and helps to free the soul’s physicality, so that there is more space for one to truly feel alive and free.

As one’s awareness deepens natural movement re-awakens and the body's own intelligence shows us how to move safely and creatively, meaning our habitual holding patterns and emotional blockages can consciously be released. From this place a wonderful sense of stillness, contentedness and peace arises.

Who was Vanda Scaravelli?......well there have been many interpretations of her yoga teachings……She was famous for her back bends, which she continued practising daily until she died in 1996.

My teacher, Diane Long, was

a student of Vanda’s for 23

years and tirelessly inspires

many students around the

world who wish to journey

into the world of natural


Please refer to Diane’s


I am eternally grateful for her presence, guidance and inspiration my in life.

Vanda wrote a wonderful book called ‘Awakening the Spine’ (Harper Collins) a beautiful book for any yoga student or those interested in simplicity, truth and freedom.

Diane has also recently published a wonderful book together with teacher Sophie Hoare called 'Notes on Yoga'; The Legacy of Vanda Scaravelli. A really helpful practical manual for both students and teachers wishing to explore Vanda's principles of Yoga.