For more than twenty-five years, until her death at the age of 91, Vanda Scaravelli was transforming bodies and lives with her innovative approach to yoga through the proper alignment of the spine. She listened to the body and worked with instead of against it. She used gravity, grounding, and breath to achieve dramatic improvements in health and well-being. Scaravelli reminds readers that if you are kind to your body, it will respond in an incredible way. Awakening the Spine offers a gentle way to achieve and maintain overall health and a naturally supple spine at any age.
Lovingly revised by Vanda's daughter Paola Scaravelli Cohen, based on the extensive notes Vanda left behind, Awakening the Spine is published for the first time as the author intended.
With a new foreword by B.K.S. Iyengar, this is the definitive edition of one of yoga's all-time classics.
With photographs of Vanda Scaravelli by Rob Howard
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Pinter & Martin Ltd.; 2nd Revised edition
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905177267
- ISBN-13: 978-1905177264
- Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 19.3 x 1.5 cm
Though she came to yoga later in life, her subsequent 50-year practice and teachings have made a profound impact on hatha yoga. The daughter of artistic Italian parents, wife of a professor of philosophy, and an accomplished pianist, Vanda Scaravelli was accustomed throughout her life to meeting creative artists, intellectuals, and literati. The Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti came to stay at the Scaravelli's villa overlooking Florence every year.
When Scaravelli's husband died suddenly after World War II, she soon began spending summers with her children at a chalet in Switzerland, where she hosted Krishnamurti during his lectures there. B. K. S. Iyengar would come every morning to teach him yoga; he introduced Scaravelli, then in her 40s, to the ancient discipline, and "a new life came into my body." Thus began her ongoing exploration of what she called allegrezza, "the intelligent heart." From T. K. V. Desikachar she learned breath awareness; she later formulated her own approach to yoga (in which "you become intelligent and at the same time you are happy") and began to teach others.
Her book Awakening the Spine became a classic. Since her death in 1999, at age 91, several teachers have carried on her work, amongst them Toronto-based Esther Myers. "I practice because it is natural for me to practice," she told Myers in a 1996 YJ interview. "There is no other reason."