Vanda Scaravelli was born in Florence, Italy in 1908. Her father, a successful businessman and music lover, created the Orchestra Stabile enabling Florence to have its own orchestra. Her mother, Clara Corsi, a teacher, was one of the first women from Italy to graduate from the university. Together they created a salon for some of the century’s greatest artists: Arturo Toscanini, Arthur Schnabel, Federico Fellini, Bronislaw Hubermann, and Herman Serkin, to name only a few, often visited the family’s villa, Il Leccio. Vanda herself trained as a concert pianist under the tutelage of Ernesto Consolo.
Vanda married Luigi Scaravelli, a philosophy professor and scholar; they had two children. After World War II ended, and her husband died unexpectedly, violinist Yehudi Menuhin introduced her to B.K.S. Iyengar whom he had invited to Gstaad, Switzerland, where Vanda rented a chalet each year. Iyengar taught daily classes to J.Krishnamurti who spent his summers there giving annual talks. As Vanda explains, Iyengar “was so kind as to give me a lesson in life each day as well.” And so it was, in the middle of her life, that Vanda Scaravelli discovered yoga.
The excerpts above are taken from article ‘Awakening the Spine’ by Esther Myers and Kim Echlin.