Messy, Luminous, Being Yoga Podcast
Yoga Podcast Episode 034: Your own process & moving through it with Scaravelli Inspired yoga teacher Catherine Annis
"Sometimes connecting to yourself is possible, and sometimes it's not. Sometimes all we can do is get through it. But we can find a place...a yoga mat, or whatever your place is. And in that place we can find time and space to sit with how we're really feeling & what's really going on inside of us."
These are some of the beautiful insights from my conversation with Catherine Annis in this episode.
What is Scaravelli Inspired Yoga?
The style of yoga Catherine teaches has been inspired by the pioneering approach of Vanda Scaravelli. This is a gentle yet demanding form of Hatha yoga, which focuses on developing core strength through releasing tension and creating length in the spine.
Scaravelli inspired yoga is a stress-free yoga that benefits everyone. Classes are suitable for all ages and all levels, from beginners to those with many years of experience. Regardless of your level of fitness, you will discover a longer, stronger and more flexible spine, a calmer mind, and begin to enjoy increased energy and ease of movement.
It uses the breath and gravity to allow the spine to unfold like a wave, allowing the uninhibited opening and energising of the whole body. As Vanda explains in the opening page of her book “Awakening the Spine”:
“There is a division in the centre of our back, where the spine moves simultaneously in two opposite directions: from the waist down towards the legs and the feet, which are pulled by gravity, and from the waist upwards, through the top of the head, lifting us up freely”.
Vanda’s teachings are miraculously simple. She encouraged her students to do less, feel more. To unwind, release unnecessary tension, and begin to simply be. “You must only undo. The more you undo, the more you are and the more things come to you. Don’t try to become; you are.”
I highly recommend Catherine. She is a quite exceptional teacher no matter where you are in your yoga journey. Catherine has guided me to a yoga which has fired my curiosity and sensitivity to observe the movements of my body, mind and consciousness. I hope that doesn’t sound too ‘heavy’, but isn’t that what yoga is about? She has helped me to observe the knots of physical, thinking and emotional habit that seems to create those tiresome cycles of discomfort and dissatisfaction. The way Catherine teaches shows that she trusts us to develop our own natural intelligence in sensing and feeling, so that postures unfold when they are ready and are never forced. But while kind, gentle and frequently humorous, Catherine’s yoga is not ‘floppy’. It is also demanding of attention and right effort. I am very glad that I found her. Your body and mind will thank you.
Catherine is a highly experienced teacher and a keen student of anatomy. She has a sense of humour, is always well-prepared and treats her class as adults with a minimum of yoga jargon. Experienced yoga practitioners can learn from her and beginners will not be intimidated. Highly recommended.
Thank you Catherine, that was a beautiful online yoga class.
Will try and get another class in before I get drawn into the real-world next week.
More people should try Vanda's style of yoga. I think they would be pleasantly surprised.
I have been practising yoga with Catherine since 2014. Mostly in person and more recently in her live online classes. Moving and breathing with Catherine is an invitation to feel, to sense and to just be. Her presence is warm, attentive and feels endlessly supportive. The subtle observations of the body and the clarity of language comes from years of her own movement explorations. I find practise with Catherine to be very nourishing and soothing, which is much needed during the unsettling time of the pandemic.