Yoga with Hilary Totah

Scaravelli Inspired Yoga

Vanda Scaravelli was an inspirational teacher, who came to yoga relatively late in life. Her teachers were Iyengar and Desikachar - two of the world's foremost yoga masters.

Scaravelli was an exception in the yoga world - an inspirational woman teacher, who had a profound influence on the development of yoga in the west. She came to yoga in her forties and living to be over ninety she brought her own unique insight and creativity to yoga. Her focus was on giving up the urge to 'do' the posture or the breath and instead, encouraging the body to 'undo'. She brought the feminine aspects of connection to the earth and letting go to her teaching, working with gravity, rather than against it - a contrast to the more regimented teaching of Iyengar.

Through her own explorations she realised something so simple yet almost impossible to fully understand: that the force of gravity and the balancing force of the ground are what supports our upright posture, allowing us to move away from the no-pain-no-gain paradigm towards a more Taoist sensibility of letting go and allowing a natural flow.The less we try 'to do' the postures and give up wanting a perfect or 'right' posture, the more effortless the postures become.

Yoga isn't just for the fit, the beautiful and the extraordinary people - it can become a gift of transformation for anyone that chooses to step on their mat and begin listening to their own body and yielding to gravity. As we listen to our body, yoga then becomes an open-ended exploration of our inner and outer worlds connecting us to the possibility of freedom of movement and a deep sense of inner calm.