Flower, Years, Yoga, Vanda Scaravelli, Sandra Sabatini, book

Like a Flower: My Years of Yoga with Vanda Scaravelli

by Sandra Sabatini

A heartfelt and moving recollection by Sandra Sabatini, the author of the classic Breath, of her encounters and training under the guidance of Vanda Scaravelli, whose book Awakening the Spine inspired generations of yoga practitioners. With photographs by David Darom.

∗  Hardcover: 128 pages
∗  Publisher: Pinter & Martin Ltd.; 1st edition (21 Nov. 2011)
∗  Language: English
∗  ISBN-10: 1905177291
∗  ISBN-13: 978-1905177295
∗  Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.3 x 20.9 cm

Reviews for Sandra Sabatini's Book

Yoga International

A vivid memoir... Those who wish to understand more about the subtle spiritual benefits of an intimate student-teacher relationship will thoroughly appreciate Like a Flower.

Yoga & Health

Sandra Sabatini, Like a Flower: A most beautifully illustrated and presented account of the very personal and organic teaching methods of this unique figure in contemporary western yoga. A labour of love and a delight to read.


This is a lovely, powerful small book written with great love and respect on the part of the author for her years spent with Vanda Scaravelli. Not a yoga manual as such, in careful prose it nonetheless reveals some of Vanda Scaravelli’s key teaching principles and approach to yoga, such as careful attention to the breath.

Accompanied by beautiful, crisp photographs of nature, I would recommend this moving and evocative book to all yoga practitioners and anyone with an interest.

J Carter

Sandra Sabatini has a distinctive focus on the breath and its role in encouraging an unfolding of the body & mind. “Like a Flower” is an extended celebration of Sandra’s teacher Vanda Scaravelli. Specific points, such as Vanda’s habit of gently pushing her fist into a students belly to encourage muscular engagement there was something of a surprise - other students of Vanda I have been taught by did not emphasise this, but it does fit well with a spontaneous engagement in the belly that I feel when practising in a Scaravelli inspired way.

The playful, eternally curious approach Vanda had to yoga comes across clearly. "Like a Flower" uses the flower as both metaphor and source of beautiful imagery to support the text. Given my rather varied background (Richard Hittleman’s hatha yoga, Iyengar, Ashtanga vinyasa mysore style, Vinny, Inner Yoga Trust, Scaravelli and Gokhale Method influenced practice) the open, almost poetic style of “Like a Flower” is very supportive.


Wonderful perspective of yoga and the yogic way of coping with day to day life.


This is a wonderful little book, suitable for all yoga practitioners. It takes us in to a more quiet inner way of working and is a moving account of Sandra Sabatini's work over many years with Vanda Scaravelli. Highly recommended.

About Sandra Sabatini

Sandra Sabatini started to study yoga in Florence with Dona Holleman in 1975 and was part of her group of yoga teachers for some years, which met at Bacchereto, where Dona lived and Sandra soon moved. It was a wonderful time of discovery. Some years later she met Vanda Scaravelli and began a journey under her guidance which has not ended.

In those years many teachers were seeking a wise and intelligent voice able to instill the fascination of sensing and listening into yoga. Vanda reawakened the intense passion for practice in her pupils that also animated her.

In 1986 Sandra was invited to London by Mary Stewart to show her many pupils the approach Vanda had developed in teaching yoga. 'No ambition and infinite time', she often repeated, to keep the practice utterly simple. Later, in retreats offered by Thich Nhat Hanh, Sandra discovered the walking meditation again which Vanda had practiced all along the road to Fiesole, and brought this into her practice. For more than thirty years

Sandra has been teaching in Germany, England, Finland, Israel and most recently in India. She now lives in Campiglia in Tuscany, a beautiful medieval village near the sea.

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