Yoga Students Practicing Yoga doing different things in the classroomYoga and Gentle Curiosity

Classes with Philippe are suitable for anyone, from people who think of themselves as ‘too un-bendy’, right through to real yoga-fans who might be interested in exploring different movement traditions.

To find out more start here:
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Joining a Class

woman lying in supine yoga pose with spine in rotation

“I’ve never done any yoga before and I need some essential information before starting a class.”

Joining a Yoga class can be daunting. When teachers try to encourage those who have not yet tried a Yoga class, they will sometimes reply with “I would love to, but my body is sooo inflexible and un-stretchy”. The natural response of the teacher might be “this is precisely why Yoga could be perfect for you”.

Do I have to be ‘Good at Yoga’ to do Yoga?

The perception that Yoga is only full of fit, young people with perfect bodies that bend at will can be hard to shake, it is all over magazines and television. This stereotype is simply wrong. It can encourage the false perception that even starting Yoga is an unachievable goal. Don’t believe the hype! Yoga can be awesome and is completely available for people with ‘real bodies’ just like yours.

The classes offer an open, friendly and non-judgemental safe place where you can start to explore whether Yoga is a thing that you might benefit from and enjoy. Every body is different, and the approach of the classes are personal and highly individualised, responding to what you need in the class. No movement is ‘too difficult’ as each one can be explored at different levels.

What do I bring to yoga class as a Beginner?

You don’t need to buy any particular Yoga outfit or kit. Just come with an open mind and loose fitting or stretchy gym clothes that allow you to move about freely.

Beginner students who come to classes who struggle with their bodies on some level (aches, pains, past injuries, anxiety and stress) have found the classes particularly beneficial if they stick with it for a little while. Your body is beautiful with all its imperfections just as it is; this is most importantly what you bring to class.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact me.

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What Style?

Woman in prone yoga pigeon pose

I’ve tried a few different classes in different styles and want to know more about this style of learning yoga.”

Teachers are often told “I just tried [insert brand here] yoga and it was bizarre/impossible/weird…what kind of yoga do you do?”. This is a challenging question to answer if the teacher doesn’t belong to an easy to recognise brand of Yoga. My own answers change depending on the context, but the short answer is “Scaravelli Inspired Somatics”.

Comparing different flavours of Yoga

The word yoga is attached to a wide variety of different experiences: A well respected Yoga teacher Pete Blackaby has said there are loosely three types of yoga:

1. Gym Workout Yoga 2. Authentic Hindu Yoga and 3. Modern Somatic approach to Yoga. These three types of yoga are not particularly hard and fast categories but describe a certain direction a teacher or tradition will gravitate toward.

Venn Diagram describing three types of Yoga, Traditional, Gym Workout and Modern Somatic

The Scaravelli Somatic style of Yoga falls within the more Contemporary/Modern approach. This approach emphasises the internal felt sense of the body, mindfully exploring the interplay between the body and mind. The feel of the class can seem like a Restorative Yoga class, or a standard Hatha Yoga class. However, instead of being instructed to perform a certain task, you will often be asked to tune into how a movement feels as you explore its possibilities. For this reason, it is a way of exploring Yoga which emphasises personal, individual internal experiences. It can be loads of fun, and so useful to ‘simply listen to the body’.

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Yoga Geek

Photo showing Yoga students feet

I’m a keen ‘Yoga Geek’ who wants to explore different Yoga traditions 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

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.”

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