My Yoga Story
Yoga drew me in from the start, and gradually became an established practice. Eventually, it felt obvious that it was time to share what I knew of this rich, holistic practice.
Yoga has been transformative. It was challenging in a way I’d never experienced, and my limitations were not an obstacle but simply part of the process, part of who I was on that day. There was no competition, a novel idea for me as a competitive skater and basketball player. The main instruction from my wonderful and highly skilled teacher, Sravanya, seemed to be: “Breeeeaathe!”
Over time, my enjoyment and practice evolved until the next step became clear: I wanted to share this ancient internal art. Eight years after I came upon yoga, I trained to teach hatha yoga.
Soon after I started teaching, I was introduced to Shadow yoga. It was as if an important question, one I hadn’t even formed yet, had been answered. I had understood intellectually that yoga is an internal art; Shadow yoga helped me feel it. The skilful application of simple, effective techniques combining breath, bandhas and mental focus pulled me inwards like never before.
Shadow yoga became my personal practice but it was another 15 years before I took the next step: Training to teach this hatha yoga form. I am grateful for the expert guidance of Karen Watson (islingtonyoga.com) and for the rigorous training sessions with Sundernath and Emma Balnaves (shadowyoga.com). I now teach introductory Shadow style hatha yoga and the first Prelude forms, and welcome beginners and improvers to learn this unique expression of a deeply traditional yoga practice.
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About Shadow Yoga
“The final goal is to differentiate the soul from everything that is not the soul” – Shandor Remete, Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga.
Shadow yoga is a form of hatha yoga developed by Sundernath (Shandor Remete) and Emma Balnaves.
It creates a progression through three Prelude forms to dissolve restrictions and ignite the inner fire, agni, in preparation for meditation. The Prelude forms develop particular aspects of the individual’s practice.
- Balakrama – literally “strength sequence” and more elegantly translated as “Stepping into strength” develops stamina. The dynamic sequence teaches us to lower and raise our energy, quite literally through the gross physical form, as a preparation for later advanced practices that deal more directly with prana, the life force.
- Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam – the second prelude refines the coordination of breath and movement and activates the vayus or winds that carry our energy, working forward bend variations and warrior forms.
- Kartikkeya Mandalam – the third Prelude form provides strong work for the waist, spine and arms, releasing deeply held restrictions.
“Hatha Yoga is a system of self-cultivation by which the individual frees himself from the burden of the world and its bondage. This cannot be achieved through superficial work. One must begin at the root and grow slowly, grow with patience, and grow through persistence. Boredom is overcome by paying keen attention to the activity.”
Shandor Remete, Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga Pam teaches the foundations of Shadow yoga, see → classes.