Hatha yoga in Shadow yoga style
According to one of the forefathers of hatha yoga, Allama Prabudheva, 'The appearance of this body is nothing but layers of frozen shadows.' Sundernath / S.Remete
Shadow yoga introduces a practice built upon the ancient principles of hatha yoga. It begins with introduction of simple movements, that are followed up by a dynamic standing practice (at times resambling a thai-chi, martial arts or an indian dance sequence) and ends up in seated activity - from outside towards inside, from gross to subtle, from body to (body-)mind.
Its goal is that a person can eventualy practice in a so-called free-style manner.
If done properly, yoga can take care of our health, a strong body structure and a stable mind. If done incorrectly, it can cause injuries, organ damage and psychological instability.
Shadow yoga introduces a practice built upon the ancient principles of hatha yoga. This 'style' does not isolate one aspect of yoga (for ex. dynamic, contemplative, breathing, kundalini focused etc.), but integrates all yoga elements (or limbs) in order and progression that gradually prepares the physical structure and refines our energy for centralized activity. If done properly, it takes care of our health, a strong body structure and a stable mind.
Distinctive about this practice is that it reintroduces important preliminary activities in order to release the blockages of the energetci body prior to introducing asanas. These activities protect the practitioner from injuries, which can occur due to their stiffness, age, ill health or inapropriate mind-set. They are simple in nature and common to many Eastern practices of body and energy cultivation. Besides estabilishing a good mind-set, they also prepare the responsiveness of body tissues, tone the muscular-sceletal system and activate the joint function.
Another specific aspect of this practice is the reintroduction of knowledge of marmas (energetic points), nadis (circuits) and vayus (winds) in the body.
All of the above is of vital importance for understanding what we are actually doing during the practice (estabilishing an unobstructed flow of our life force) and for our practice to bear fruit.
The practice does not excessively depend on yoga-props, but it rather aims at learning the necessary practical tools and awakening the intelligence, which allows the person to understand what to use, when to use it and how much of it to use in order to adapt to everyday life changes and challenges.
The utimate goal is that a person can practice in a so-called free-style manner.
The preparatory activities are given in form of different types of squats (to activate the basic rising and lowering of energy in the body), joint circulations, (semi)seated postures and three introductory sequences or preludes, which at times might resamble thai-chi, a martial art or an indian dance sequence.
Balakrama (Stepping into Strength) is the first prelude and it is the key to building strength, stability and flexibility of the body and mind.
Chaya Yoda Sankalanam (Churning the Warrior) is the second one. It further develops weightless hand coordination and rhythm of movement and affects a person's memory.
Both preludes also introduce simple seated postures to further relieve stiffness.
Kartikkeya Mandalam (Garland of Light) is the third sequence, which introduces a full body circular and spiral activity to access and relieve deeper seated bockages.
All of the preparatory activities integrate at the fundament the rhytm of breath.
After the practitioner has adapted the body through the preparatory activities, Nritta Sadhana (Shiva's dance), Asana Angahara (Asana arrangements) and other practices are introduced. More hereover on www.shadowyoga.com.
I am Mojra Vogelnik Škerlj, originally Slovene, since 2010 based in The Netherlands, last years in Breda. Although an architect by degree I have been for the past 12 years active in the international field of contemporary dance and performing arts. The last 5 years have been marked with transition to motherhood with the birth of two boys. Studying physical evolution of a newborn to a toddler through many one posture and movement touched upon in the yoga practice (in a reversed order) enriched my understanding of the yogic processes.
Hatha yoga practice has been a part of my life for over 20 years, I owe my gratitude though to Nicolet Montanus, who introduced me to Shadow yoga in 2014. After I began studying in London Islington yoga, under the wakeful and sound presence of Karen Watson in 2015, a deeper intuitive understanding started to emerge. In 2018 I began studying with Shandor Remete and Emma Balnaves, the founders and directors of Shadow yoga and in 2019 I have been given the trust to start sharing the basics of the knowledge I've received so far.
For any further information, particular booking requests or other questions please get in touch at mojra[at]yogan.yoga or fill the form below. You can also send a text message on 0031 647567212 (NL) or 00386 30407410 (SI) and I will call you back.
Would you like to keep up to date about upcoming classes, workshops and intensives? You can subscirbe bellow.
Agniyogana. Lower the Head and Invoke the Fire - a beautiful documentary by Emma Balnaves, co-founder of Shadow yoga