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3.8 out of 5 stars
Awakening The Spine
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2000
There have been a number of reviews of this book already. Why add one more?
Well, the existing reviews seem to fall into the "love it or hate it" category. I read just about the whole of this book in a very understanding bookshop in Sydney. I did not buy it then; I was looking for more "instructional" books. But I remember more of the content than I would have believed possible on so short an acquaintance, in fact I was quite sure I had bought a copy until I had gone through everything we shipped back from Australia. Alas it is not currently available, otherwise I would certainly be buying a copy right now.
The book is valuable for its reflection of a life inspired by yoga, and as a demonstration of what can be achieved by someone who came to yoga relatively late in life. Her anecdotes of meetings with the 'giants' of modern yoga underpin the theme that finding the correct teacher is crucial to a student's development. And none of this is presented with the self-serving egotism which, I'm afraid, disgraces many well-known writers on yoga (even some of the best).
Not a book to buy if you are short of cash, but certainly one to read - and to lend to your friends.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2002
This is the single book of a singular teacher. It has the impact of a condensed truth, worthy of being met again and again. The truth is that yoga is not a sport, there is no score, there is only an inquiry and a resounding experience of the self.
I met this book in the guestroom of a friend, where I browsed the remarkable pictures and felt immediately the freedom and relaxation of this teacher. Vanda Scaravelli rose to the occasion of writing her one book by packing it with myriad moments of access to her life vision, especcially the possibilities of old age. Any page is worthy of repeated attention, and can serve as a breath of inspiration during a busy day.
The text can be read in one sitting. The book does not take your time, it gives you a way of being in time that floats above the ordinary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2003
This is not so much a technique, how-to book. It is more about the spirit of yoga. It's beautiful pictures and wonderful meditations on the meaning or intentions of the poses illustrates and deepens an understanding of yoga and meditation. There are three parts to the book. The first part takes up the majority of the book (125 pages). It's called "the Story of Stories" and is about the philosophy of yoga. The second part called "The Asanas" is about 34 pages. It is where the poses are illustrated through drawings and photographs and described in short paragraphs. I would not recommend it as the sole source for beginners, however, it would make a great supplement to a yoga class or videotape/dvd. The third section is called, "Breathing" and is 8 pages long. It has excellent pictures that illustrate the concepts described in this section. A list of references and an index greet you at the end. The reference lists 32 books. Ranging from "Disc Regeneration" by O.J. Ressel to Deepak Chopra's "Quantum Healing," to "Symbolism in Greek Mythology" by Paul Diel, to " The Revival of Qui." by Kunio Miura, to F.J. Bueche's "Understanding the World of Physics," and Elisabeth Ripely's "Leonardo da Vinci. A Biography."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2001
This is the only book I own which I never lend out. I never know when I'm going to need a boost in my yoga practice and in my consciousness. Scaravelli was an extraordinary women. Her grace and intelligence permeate every page of this book.
I would not recommend this book for instructional purposes, except as an addition to ones practice. Scaravelli's techniques are unusual, but they are the techniques I find myself returning to over and over. This book makes sense on many levels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2001
This book is the only one Vanda Scaravelli has written. Her work has been appreciated as well as influenced by Iyengar and Desikarchar. Although few asana illustrations are included, it is a masterpiece in understanding how the breath and gravity and the spine are centerplace to our work in yoga. We have lost Vanda but this book is a fine connection to her brillance. Bravo!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2010
Awakening the Spine has been re-released...Thank goodness. Vanda Scaravelli wrote the most beautiful and informative book about yoga and life...and maybe death. She has left this earth and her book has left behind the essence of what she had to share with others. Reading this book, I discovered much about the physical side of yogic practice, and even more about how to live a life. Don't miss this book, if you are interested in the yogic life.
However, if you are interested only in an instructional book for Hatha (physical) yoga poses, this book may not be for you. I am one of those who has chosen yoga as a way of bringing peace to my body and thus my life. In this quest, Vanda S. teaches beautiful and useful lessons. As we align our bodies, we align our spirits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
Awakening the SpineHalf way through a two-year yoga teacher's training program, this book is on our book list for the second year. My Teacher and fellow students are passionate about this book and about Scaravelli's expertise on the subject. If you are a yoga student, teacher or interested in the importance of the spine in every aspect of our physical well-being, this book is a requirement.
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on January 23, 2012
I own a LARGE number of books on "Yoga". This is one of the most worthless books I've ever read. If I had not paid for it I never would have finished reading it.
Vanda Scaravelli may have been a wonderful person but I found this/her book neither informative, inspirational nor meditative. Anything of potential value was piece meal. The most interesting page you can read for free on Amazon's "Look inside" Introduction. It does not claim to be a book on yoga and rightly so.
For a book on Yoga Read; Ray Long, Mark Stephens, Michael Stone, Sarah Powers, Bernie Clark, Donna Farhi, Gary Kraftsow, Judith Lasater, Desikachar..
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on March 13, 1997
This is a beautiful and thoughtful book inspiring to those of us that are looking for more in life and realize that being happy and healthy usually does not just happen -- but must come from within ourselves. Ms. Scaravelli physical condition is amazing. She binds together the physical, mental and spiritual pursuit of yoga in a concise, readable text with photographs to connect us to the ever present outside world. A must for those asking themselves if yoga might be the thing for them
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2010
THe book had really good points, but I guess I was expecting more! I would recommend the book.
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