I’m a Scaravelli inspired yoga teacher, what is my yoga philosophy.
All my life experience shapes my Yoga philosophy. With two teacher training courses, a dozen fantastic teachers, countless workshops, retreats and running a Yoga studio. I’m comfortable to identify with Yoga. Above all, though, because of nearly 25 years of Yoga practice.
The richness of life weaves a pattern that forms my ideas and beliefs. It is not all about Yoga. So how do they mix?
My perspective has evolved with my age, practice and teaching influences. Becoming a Scaravelli inspired yoga teacher was as much a decision about wanting to be a more informed teacher as knowing my body felt okay with “doing yoga” within the framework of ideas Scaravelli Yoga presents.
Consider this; human beings are organisms; we have evolved in a relationship with our environment; we do this through our nervous system.
And it is this constant interplay that shapes us throughout our lives. We form musculoskeletal patterns that are like our individual blueprints.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga can help reveal these patterns if we can approach our yoga practice mindfully and intelligently. One principal I work with is that yoga Asana or posture should not be a form over function. Do the poses resemble normal human functions? If not, you have to ask yourself, why do we practising them?
As we mostly practise Hatha Yoga in the West, modern postural Yoga is not as old as its commonly claimed. The early 20th century Indian Yogin’s who developed the styles of Yoga we are familiar with were influenced as much in part by Western Physical Culture as they were a tradition of ascetic’s austere practices and Hindu philosophy. India was heading for independence from British rulers. Yoga became political.
Functional movements, like bending down or standing, walking, reaching up, running, are habituated through repetition. As we grow up from childhood to adulthood, we continuously repeat them until we can perform the task at hand. Later in life, if we are less active, complications can arise.
A Scaravelli inspired Yoga practise can help:
- If we practise Yoga, intending to re-habituate these movements that resemble standard human functions.
- We should not experience discomfort in Yoga; if it hurts, you must ask why!
- What we practice is not an extreme movement.
We can immensely benefit from Yoga if our practice complements the movements we do in our everyday lives.
How to work with me
Online Yoga Classes
In my Yoga classes, there is no pressure to perform, to achieve significant stretches. I encourage students to feel what they are doing. The feeling of movement, of how we notice ourselves is very advanced Yoga. You don’t need to be flexible to be a Yogi, beginner or advanced.
The power of yoga to benefit the practitioner seems to arise- at least in part from nothing more complicated than the release of physiological and psychological tension and the quieting of the mind.William J. Broad
William J Broad concluded this in his excellent book The Science of Yoga (Washington Post Review). I completely agree with his findings; yoga should release tension, and my Scaravelli inspired yoga approach to teaching yoga has the central aim to do this.
An example of Functional Yoga
Seated Side Bend to Down Dog
Humans evolved to sit on the floor. Sitting on the ground or floor is a fundamental physical process often overlooked in our developed society. We choose comfort over functionality. When we move from the ground to standing and sitting, we move through a range of beneficial and essential movement patterns. It is precisely these patterns we need to function well for optimal mobility and health.
Sidebending is very beneficial for our spines. This pattern we have inherited from a long time ago in our evolutionary chain. Sitting like this, we enable inward and outward rotation of the hips and a gentle side bend opening one side of the body and contracting the other. The spine is stable, and we can notice if there are tensions and release with the breath.