Having fallen in love with Yoga at 19, 30 years ago I have always had an interest in self-care and wellbeing. I discovered Ganga White & Tracey Rich and Ashtanga Yoga when I was first began to practice and had a strong practice when I was in my twenties, and then over the years I tried many different paths and styles, Kundalini, Iyengar, Bikram & Power Yoga.
In my early forties I found Vanda Scaravelli’s book “Awakening the Spine” Vanda only took up Yoga in her forties and described yoga as an effortless dance with breath and gravity. Vanda’s idea of effortless yoga was born of her training with two of this generation’s yoga luminaries, B. K. S. Iyengar and T. K. V. Desikachar. She was introduced to yoga when her friend J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, and the violinist Yehudi Menhuin invited T. Krishnamacharya from India to teach them yoga at her summer home in Switzerland. Krishnamacharya did not travel, so he sent two of his own students, Iyengar and Desikachar, in his place. Vanda, nearly 50 years old at the time, received daily private lessons along with her guests and found through practice that “a different life begins and the body expresses a happiness never felt before. She continued studying with Iyengar and Desikachar for several summers and then began to work on her own in her native Italy; she was fond of saying that yoga eventually pulled her up “by the hair” and made her do it. Vanda’s style was not to focus on executing the poses, but instead to cultivate a set of conditions that allow the body’s natural intelligence to awaken; in addition to “rest” and “undoing,” these conditions include a sense of rhythm, which has a coaxing quality. Kind of an intuitive approach.
This inspired me to seek out some of Vanda’s personal students as I wanted to learn more about this curious approach to Yoga. Diane Long & Sophy Hoare both studied with Vanda in Italy and I attended workshops with them a few years ago gaining a greater insight into the teaching of Vanda. I have also worked with John Stirk, Sandra Sabatini, Bill Wood and Pete Blackaby all heavily influenced and inspired by the wonderful teachings of Vanda.
And so my journey continued with the BWY completing the Foundation Course followed by qualifying with IYN & Yoga Alliance Professionals being awarded the 200 hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training certificate.
Like the seasons change, our bodies change and our Yoga must adapt also – now in my 50th year I practice and teach mindful Hatha Yoga inspired by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli. Yoga to me is a way of life. “If you are kind to your body it will respond in an incredible way”
“Movement is the song of the body”
I look forward to seeing you on the mat
Vanessa Pitrik - Yoga Teacher