Vanda Scaravelli

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Vanda Scaravelli
Vanda Scaravelli with B. K. S. Iyengar.jpg
Vanda Scaravelli (below) in a pose
with B. K. S. Iyengar (above)
Occupationyoga teacher, author

Vanda Scaravelli (1908 - 1999) is known for her contribution to the practice of yoga in the West.[1]

Vanda Scaravelli was born in Florence in 1908. Her father, Alberto Passigli, was involved in creating the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as well as the Orchestra Stabile which enabled Florence to have its own orchestra.[citation needed] Her mother, Clara Corsi, was a teacher and one of the first women to graduate from a university in Italy. At the age of three Vanda started learning the piano, and went on to train as a concert pianist, taught by Ernesto Consolo. She maintained her involvement in music throughout her life. The family home functioned as a salon for famous artists and musicians. World class musicians such as Pablo Casals, Andres Segovia and Arturo Toscanini were frequent visitors to the family villa, Il Leccio.[citation needed]

As a young girl, Vanda met the philosopher Krishnamurti, who became a family friend. He would stay at their home in Florence each year.[citation needed] Krishnamurti and the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, another friend of the family, invited Tirumalai Krishnamacharya to come to Scaravelli's home in Gstaad, Switzerland to teach them yoga. Krishnamacharya sent two of his students, B. K. S. Iyengar and T. K. V. Desikachar, to teach them.[2] In this way she took up the practice of yoga in her 50s.[2] When they left Europe she no longer had a teacher, and had to develop her own practice. As this progressed, she developed a focus on breath, gravity and the spine.[2]


  • Scaravelli, Vanda (1991). Awakening the spine : the stress-free new yoga that restores health, vitality, and energy. Aquarian Press (HarperCollins). ISBN 9781855381506. OCLC 877438335.
  • Scaravelli, Vanda; Howard, Rob; Iyengar, B. K. S (2015). Awakening the spine: yoga for health, vitality, and energy. HarperOne. ISBN 9780062428530. OCLC 939995733.


  1. ^ Long, Diane (2016). Notes on yoga : the legacy of Vanda Scaravelli. London: YogaWords Ltd., an imprint of Pinter & Martin Ltd. ISBN 1906756457. OCLC 919860033.
  2. ^ a b c Wishner, Nan (May 5, 2015). "The Legacy of Vanda Scaravelli". Retrieved 2018-11-17.