Balavidya: what it is and what it is used for

Balavidya: what it is and what it is used for


Balavidya is a motor re-education practice conceived by Barbara Barbarani that combines yoga and theater. Also based on the observation of the movements of felines, with balavidya it teaches again how to manage one’s body. Let’s find out better.

>   1. Origins and description of the Balavidya

>   2. What is Balavidya for

>   3. A typical session of Balavidya

>   4. Who can operate in Italy



Origins and description of the Balavidya

Re-education merges with Eastern knowledge and here is Balavidya . Let’s start with the meaning of this word, which has roots in Sanskrit and is dense with the integral philosophical depth of yoga .   

“Bala” means “Force” , and imagine it as the force that can be impressed against something, the force with which one can say what we really want to convey. A force that expresses itself and creates reactions.  

“Vidya”, on the other hand, is a term used in Yoga which is translated as “Awareness”. A type of awareness that passes through experience and permeates the way in which reality is lived. A form of enabling the right to proceed in the days that is adopted, in fact, by living, keeping oneself open and listening.

We could therefore collectively translate as  Balavidya as  the force consciously exercised, mastered and used efficiently.

Not only yoga, mainly Hatha yoga , but also actor work and animal observation  converge in this discipline Believe it or not, the technique has a lot to do with the domestic feline, as its creator Barbara Barbarani , researcher and contributor of Yoga Journal Italia, over fifteen years of experience has condensed the actor’s training for the stage, Hatha Yoga and the observation of the cat, an animal that has always accompanied his life.

On the official website of  Balavidya you will find information, handouts, insights on origins and practice, and an interesting space dedicated to female symbolism, the study of cat physiology and symbolic astrology. 


What are the benefits of theater?


What is the Balavidya for   

Essentially, this method is used to stay in one’s body while maintaining a centrality that conveys the gesture. Through a series of guided movements and breathing , an internal consciousness is developed which leads to “inhabiting the body” differently. You learn again  to move, breathe and manage your body.

The orientation of the work is towards the development of a “Central Body”, opposite to the Peripheral Body. “  While the second is entirely external, based on the mere use of surface muscle strength, the first exploits the deep muscles , the a close to the bones. 

It is an excellent practice for the release of the joints and for the psychophysical balance . It removes the energy blocks that hinder the relationship with the Other from oneself. 


A typical session of  Balavidya 


The baggage of practices that Balavidya includes is very large and the lesson changes a lot depending on who leads the session. Basically, however, the tools available to the guide are: 
  • Sensory training (self-manipulation and passive movement);  
  • Guided breathing (work on the diaphragm and global re-education of respiratory movement); 
  • Stretches (to get to use the deep muscles, the superficial one stretches well);
  • Deep stretches; 
  • Strengthening (Long held positions and slowed movements);  
  • Views. t

We work in small groups , we practice barefoot , the lessons are measured on the identity that the group gradually assumes. 


Who can operate in Italy  

Beware of improvised operators. To check if a guide is really enabled, you can contact  the Balavidya Ashram, which is based in Milan. The Balavidya teacher must have developed a certain capacity for observation, such as to allow him / her to see the group as a single organism that moves with one of its own identities on which to settle specific exercises and training. 

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