I am a final year PhD student at University College London specialising in Particle Physics. After practicing yoga regularly for 3 years, and with my thesis deadline looming I decided to begin my teacher training. With the huge number of teacher training courses on offer, it was 6 months before I chose the 200+ hour Intelligent Yoga Teacher Training with Catherine Annis and Tanya Love as core teachers. As a scientist my approach to yoga is to learn from modern research and to remain constantly curious. This can involve challenging popular approaches and alignment queues and coming back to our bodies natural intelligence. The 18 month course began in September 2018, and I started teaching my first regular classes in November of the same year. Whilst training to become fully qualified I am insured to teach by the British Wheel of Yoga.
I first came to yoga in 2015. At the time I was dealing with depression and anxiety brought on by a traumatic event in a previous job. Yoga seemed like a good way to introduce some gentle exercise. What I did not expect at the end of an hours’ class was the quietening of the mind. It was the first time I had felt settled in over a year.
This feeling was what kept me coming back to yoga. Initially I found it very physically challenging, but as my body became more accustomed to movement I was able to appreciate more the awareness and stillness that can be found.
In these first few years of my practice I tried many styles of yoga, beginning with Jivamukti, Hatha, and Vinyasa. With the help of my teacher Barbara Antonino I began to get more interested in slow movements and how the body felt rather than aesthetics of the poses. Classes I attended focused on improving mobility and self awareness, but also exploring and having fun.
When I first discovered Scaravelli inspired yoga it felt like a natural progression for my practice. You are invited to move into poses with a greater awareness of the body as a whole. It is a very considered and relaxing approach where the key is to move with the body and not try to control it.
Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose. Do not look at your body like a stranger, but adopt a friendly approach towards it. Watch it, listen to it, observe its needs, its requests, and even have fun…To be sensitive is to be alive.
- Vanda Scaravelli.