Yoga practice for bad backs

Scaravelli yoga was developed by a scoliosis-sufferer to help

by Bernadette Fallon

A yoga style that is based on ‘doing less’? I liked it already. Having a dodgy back – scoliosis compounded by years of sitting hunched over a computer – I’ve started steering away from the more vigorous forms of yoga. But I was very interested to find out that Scaravelli yoga was developed by a fellow scoliosis-sufferer. And, coming late to yoga myself, it was also great to find out that founder Vanda Scaravelli didn’t take up yoga until she was in her late 40s. Not to mention how cheering it was to see photos of the woman in her 80s standing on her head!


I went along to a Scaravelli-inspired class led by yoga teacher and former dancer Catherine Annis last week. And discovered that where my previous yoga experiences have been all about holding poses rigidly, this one is about being easy on the body, keeping poses soft and not forcing. Vanda said ‘Yoga must not be practised to control the body: it is the opposite, it must bring freedom to the body, all the freedom it needs’. More good stuff I liked to hear.


I’m going to try a weekly session to see if it helps with my back pain and loosens my spine. It would be good to stop contorting myself into weird and wonderful sitting positions to be comfortable. There are regular classes at London’s Triyoga and Life centres; if you’re outside London you could look into weekend breaks or retreats in the UK and Turkey, for information visit Catherine’s website at For more information on Scarvelli-inspired yoga and Vanda Scaravelli visit You could also read Vanda's book Awakening the spine: yoga for health, vitality and energy, find out more and buy here.

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Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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