What to Expect ~ the Benefits
The Philosophy of the School
personal journey towards liberating and embodying their essential selves through Yoga.
About the Teachers
Course workshops are generally facilitated by Marc J. Acquaviva and assisted by Abigail Peck with regular teaching and hands-on support from previous AcquaViva graduates that are continuing to expand their yoga and teaching experience, sharing their exceptional skills with new students of the Course.
We also build workshops into the course with Marc's most significant teachers, such as Pete Blackaby, Diane Long and Sophy Hoare. more...
About 'Scaravelli inspired' Yoga
is that you let go of tension into the earth, and in that let-go there is a responsive wave of release that travels from the ground up through the entire body and spine away from the ground that continues to support you... more...
Why do I practice?'
What to expect...
... We need to eat less, because we assimilate more and therefore there is a loss of unnecessary weight. We become more beautiful, our faces change and our walk gains in elasticity.
Our way of standing is steady and poised, our legs are firmer, and our toes and feet spread out, giving us more stability.
Our chests expand, the muscles of the abdomen start to work, the head is lighter on the neck…
To watch these enchanting changes is amazing. A different life begins and the body expresses a happiness never felt before. These are not just words; it actually happens.
~ Vanda Scaravelli
the Course Benefits
Regular mentoring and private tuition by course facillitators and assistant teachers is an integral part of the program (Skype tuition can also be filmed for personal access).
Certification requirements can be met at any time...
as long as there are sufficient contact hours. This makes love of the practice the central protocol, and those that decide to teach, can simply put the work into the assignments when they feel inspired (and have the time) to do so.
Workshops are generally facillitated by Marc J Acquaviva ....
...and assisted by Abigail Peck with regular teaching and hands-on support from previous AcquaViva graduates that are continuing to expand their yoga and teaching experience, sharing their exceptional skills with new students of the Course.
We also build workshops into the course with Marc's most significant teachers, such as Pete Blackaby, Diane Long and Sophy Hoare
Marc is Director of Studies and founder of the AcquaViva School of Yoga. He is the author of the course content and of the proprietary AcquaViva approach to this work (Creating the Conditions ©). Marc has been passionate about yoga since his early childhood, and from 1991 he has been studying and practicing exclusively with people that have worked directly with Vanda Scaravelli, such as Diane Long and Sophy Hoare, as well as with the highly respected osteopaths and anatomists that have been called to further understanding of her work, such as Pete Blackaby and John Stirk.
"To my understanding the word 'yoga' means to bind, to put back together, to reintegrate. It has nothing to do with achieving postures by distorting the body, but it has everything to do with creating the unique condition of unconflicting (ie. natural) relationships between 'different' parts of ourselves.
When this synergetic state is achieved, there is tangible arrival into 'the yoga'...a homeostatic state in which the body quite naturally self-repairs. The balance allows the mind to calm and centre in the heart & spine, and the body, relieved of conflict with itself, suddenly becomes capable of moving in extraordinary ways with simplicity and grace...." more...
Abigail is Co-founder of the School, Director of administration and Co-facillitator on the course. Having delved deep into other trainings, including; the Esther Myers School in Toronto, pre & post natal pregnancy yoga training, Doula work, as well as a MSc in Engineering, Abigail brings her own extensive experience, intelligence and deeply nurturing skills to the course. She helped found the School so that she could go through a training with Marc herself, and has been working side by side with him ever since to develop and bring to fruition the vision that they both hold for this Yoga and for the School.
"Yoga is my soothing, my challenge and my pleasure. My delight is to guide students in their own practice so that they listen and trust in their own body wisdom. Once they tune into their own yoga, the stripping away of unnecessary noise and fight allows the body’s magnificence to be revealed." more
Returning AcquaViva Graduates ~ mentoring & ongoing support
Acquaviva Graduates of previous courses may apply to continue their yoga journey under the auspices of the School and extend their teaching experience (and level of qualification) in the process. There are a limited number of places for these positions, so the Teachers that ask and are invited to return are a highly valued resource of the School. They become an integral part of the AcquaViva team and inevitably influence the ongoing evolution of the course itself.
Returning graduates take on more of a 'mentoring' role as part of their own teaching journey, although we settled on calling them 'yoga sisters' or 'brothers', to step away from any of the misleading hierarchical implications of the word 'mentor'...
They immerse themselves in the workshops in the same as everyone else, but are also sometimes asked give short classes to introduce the weekends. They are available for suggestions or hands on help at any time, and they will be there guiding some of the small-group activities... As a course participant you can get some 121 time with them, and they can offer some excellent advice - not only on the yoga and the teaching itself, but if you make a good connection, you may also feel to take them up on the 'sister' title and share some of the more personal aspects that arise for you. These heart-centred and genuine people have been through the course process themselves and are quite familiar with the rhythms that you will inevitably go through on your own yoga journey.
We are very proud of the way the developing structure of the course allows for this deeply helpful dynamic between newcomers and those that have been on the AcquaViva journey for a little while...
the Visiting Teachers
Yoga Teacher, Osteopath, Naturopath & Author of 'Intelligent Yoga', Pete was the first of Marc's significant teachers when he came back to yoga as an adult. Every year, the School hosts a workshop for Pete at each of the venues so that he can share his highly investigative and common-sense look at functional movement within the context of yoga practice with AcquaViva trainees.
"Yoga is a broad church, spanning many styles and belief systems. The approach I am working with at the moment has its roots in a humanistic philosophy. To understand as clearly as one can the rationale for yoga practice, and then to encourage practice with attentive curiosity. So that practice becomes your own, and you grow to be your own teacher."
"I've also taken issue with some of the modern asanas than I feel may cause harm if practiced regularly. Many of these asanas are part of the lexicon of modern yoga, and have remained un-critiqued for over 50yrs. It is time to re-evaluate, and that is what I have started in 'intelligent yoga'.
Marc has worked regularly one to one with Diane (whenever she came over to the UK during his formative teaching years) and he considers that some of his 'Patterning' methodology to be sourced at least in part from some of the deeper connections that he made as a result of these private sessions.
So Marc invites Diane to teach a workshop on the yearly autumn AcquaViva intensive retreat (in Sabina - Italy).
Diane Long has been developing and refining yoga for most of her life. While living in Florence, Vanda Scaravelli invited her to become her student. She was a devoted student of Vanda's for the next 23 years.
This meeting with Vanda introduced her to a new form of consciousness in the study of yoga and body/mind awareness. At Vanda's urging, Diane began teaching in the late 70's in Italy and later in Canada, England and the United States.The intuitive yoga of Diane Long is a progressive physical practice with the intention of leading one to the vital core, the spine, and is based on the concept that the spine divides at the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae.
" It is here that strength grows into lightness. The base of the position is where one is rested and anchored into the earth. Refining the awareness opens the vision to wholeness and harmony, guided by this intention and concept. This becomes a way of being, a form of meditation, which allows for new sensation and a different approach to asana. "
Sophy is one of the few renowned 'Scaravelli inspired' teachers to have worked directly with Vanda directly. Also one of the teachers that Marc considers as having a deeply significant part in his own yoga journey. The School regularly invites Sophy to teach a workshop for our students .
"In 1991 I met Vanda Scaravelli who invited me to become her student. In my first lesson I knew immediately that Vanda was offering me this key. After that I visited her in Italy once or twice a year to learn how to work with the principles she had discovered in her own practice. At Vanda’s house I met Diane Long and recognised in her practice the same freedom that I saw in Vanda. I invited Diane to teach me and my students in London and since then we have been meeting regularly to practise and teach together
"The emphasis is not on achieving postures but using them to undo tension and find integration. The practice is an ongoing exploration of the relationship between the parts of the body and between our movements and the breath, the ground and the space around us. Gradually a new network of muscles is brought into use. Then our movements come from the spine and bring us back to the spine and the whole body pulls together. We train our attention so that we can feel more, impose less, and allow the intelligence of the body to reveal itself."
What is 'Scaravelli inspired' yoga?
...is that you let go of tension into the earth, and in that let-go there is a responsive wave of release that travels from the ground up through the entire body and spine away from the ground that continues to support you; dividing and separating the body at the centre of the waist, opening at the heart, and elongating the spine and body in the process ... we grow taller, more centred and stronger as we release tension, whatever the posture.
This is perceived as radical, simply because it is the opposite of most people's experience. But if you have had the great fortune to experience this through your own practice, or with the guidance of a good teacher, the feeling is undeniable.
Marc J. Acquaviva (fka Marc Woolford)
This is not re-inventing yoga....
... it is the fundamental principle of ahimsa - non-conflict. If you practice with the intent to experiment with this basic principle, and work out what actually allows this to happen; if you are prepared to re-evaluate everything you know and do, until 'letting go' leads to this experience; in the process you will naturally rediscover everthing that was ever written about yoga from 4000 years ago, all techniques, all 'secret' practices, all descriptions of the experience of yoga from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika to Patanjali's sutras - it is all there waiting to reveal itself to you spontaneously, as you practice in earnest to remove conflict in your actions, with honesty, whole-heartedness and authentic self-inquiry (all described by the yogic codes of practice - Yamas and Niyamas).
And what is truly significant is that because it is about undoing what has been imposed on the body by misunderstanding, injury, history, habit etc., it is entirely available to ANYONE that is interested in working this way – physical restriction is no obstacle... in fact, as a point of focus, intending to change things until you find a solution to a particular restriction can be a truly valuable - probably more valuable than the desire to achieve a posture.
Any pain or restriction in the body can be used as a way of discovering the body's relationships with itself, and perhaps even the mindset behind it. And there is empowerment in the fact that once you have become aware of a conflictive relationship, you can change it, because it is literally a relationship you have with yourself. And in the process you are working to eliminate the source of the limitation.
Having a postural issue or injury, however long-term, can serve to illustrate the effectiveness of working to find the whole body relationships that remove local conflict... for the very flexible, problems caused by hypermobility in certain areas can be resolved in precisely the same way - by changing the whole body's relationship to the the part that has become hypermobile.
Even in the absense of some basic imbalance to work with, the postures offer you the same challenges in every part of your body and self, so it is equally suitable for experienced yogis, dancers and athletes as it is for those with postural or health issues to resolve.
The Philosophy of the School
personal journey towards liberating and embodying their essential selves through Yoga.
This way, each teacher that comes out of the school will be entirely authentic in their teaching.
The process that naturally unfolds through the course structuring and the supporting information offered, furnishes each student a direct physiological/ somatic/paradigmatic experience, leading to a direct understanding of the work, which then can be shared in their own equally direct way.
Through this process of directly liberating and embodying, through practice, all functionally pleasant postural choices, there is a developing understanding of other people's body types and physical responses. It leads to a deeply informed way of working with people that is highly 'intuitive', and the immediacy of its effectiveness can be surprising.
The main skill to develop, is the skill of communication. So the work is to find your own voice... And this is precisely what applying yourself to the course process can do for you.
The 'Scaravelli inspired' approach to yoga is defined more by the word 'inspired' than 'Scaravelli' (she would not have had it any other way)... and I believe the only people that can really teach it are those that are truly inspired by their own process of applying themselves to the work. This is the basic philosophy of the AcquaViva School...
Authentic practice makes for authentic teachers.
The course is a carefully crafted (and ever-evolving) process that requires dedication to the PRACTICE of it in between workshops... it is suggested that you have a minimum of 1hr per day set aside for practicing the themed content of each workshop, at least for the week following each workshop. As time goes on and the principles become more present in your natural consciousness, practice naturally extends to mindful awareness in your day to day life.
Then dedicated practice on the mat becomes more something you are drawn to do simply for the pleasure of it, to investigate a theme that has been presented to you, or to make deeper progress in the unravelling of some physical history you have noticed.
But mostly just for the sheer pleasure of it.
The Yoga necessarily brings you to a place of greater authenticity, and to my mind it is authenticity that makes for the most inspiring teachers. I also think that people engaging authentically with their practice is a very beautiful thing to see. I believe that this work can only really be taught by those that enjoy the process of conscious evolution, and are truly inspired to share it with others.
for more detailed information about the yoga visit www.yogawithmarc.com