“I’m a keen ‘Yoga Geek’ who wants to explore this Yoga tradition in more depth.”
What is Somatic Scaravelli Yoga?
Looking for a more advanced understanding of Somatics (in this context) refers to “the body as perceived from within”. It points to therapeutic practices which encourage listening into internal physical sensations and feelings as a direction for healing and bringing about integration.
The influence of somatic therapies on Modern Yoga (such as the Feldenkrais and the like) means that sometimes the practice does not always look like classical Yoga from the outside. Classical in sense of specifically recognisable asanas held for periods of time. Rather, the set of yoga asanas are taken as a framework for developing holistic ‘movement questions’. Questions that take the practitioner into a deeper understanding of their own physical presence, as it relates to their own psycho-somatic landscape.
Vanda Scaravelli was a highly influential yoga teacher who taught how effective and interesting yoga could integrate softer ‘natural body movements’ in relation to gravity. She has had a massive influence on the way Modern Yoga is taught. Yet few people outside specific Yoga Teacher communities know about her. One of the reasons for this relative obscurity is that she thought it absurd that people call Yoga anything other than Yoga, and so did not want a school named after her.
Scaravelli-Inspired yoga has a certain feel or texture to it, rather than it being a particular brand of yoga.
Quoted below is a fairly good attempt I have found online concisely describing the Scaravelli tradition:
“Scaravelli Yoga is a very gentle style of Hatha Yoga based on…her discovery that when one’s body is well balanced by gravity, the breath naturally flows along the spine like a wave, awakening and elongating it…Asanas are practiced with gravity (never against it) and from an inner intelligence: students are encouraged to be still – to hear and feel the breath’s inner movement – and follow the body’s direction and guidance. Emphasis is placed on poses for the spine, and it is important that all movements remain effortless and light to best remove outer tensions.”