"Yoga is a system of self-cultivation by which the individual frees himself from the burden of the world and its bondage."
(Shandor Remete Shadow Yoga p16.)
Shadow Yoga is a specialist approach to Hatha Yoga and has been designed for modern students. With a simple, direct and systematic approach.
“Preparatory forms are essential for the learning of and the unfolding of the energetic principles of the yoga practice.”
(Shadow Yoga; preface.)
The preparatory forms come in two types, preliminary and prelude.
The preliminary work is designed to remove obstructions from the peripheral system, (arms and legs generally, but also neck and shoulders). It can be deceptively simple; it is not tai chi, but work taken from an old system of yoga described in a text and done to make the life force flow freely in the body without strain.
The preludes develop power and openness in specific parts of the body. For example; the aims of the Balakrama prelude are to strengthen the bones, purify the blood and give awareness of the first chakra. The stances focus on beginning with the feet as a source of energy. It is the consistent work on the feet, shins and thighs that make Shadow quite different to other schools of yoga.
Shadow Yoga takes quite a different view of “flexibility” compared to the traditional yoga schools who treat flexibility as muscular, instead “the flexibility of the whole body can be achieved through the proper manipulation of the ankles, wrists and neck.” (Shadow Yoga p.17)
Another key point of difference is the time it takes to practise; a beginner need only take 24minutes. This is the time it takes for energy to cycle freely through the inner organs beginning with the lungs and ending at the liver.
The benefits include: a quieter more stable mind, much stronger legs, purified bloodstream, relief of spinal ailments including lower back and neck, slower, deeper, steadier breath, and much better access to the traditional yogasanas.
It is best to approach the yoga out of love, joy, maybe curiosity, but not in order to "get something".
Join Trevor for his Shadow Yoga Course starting Saturday 25 June 2016. To register head to elixr.com.au/shadowcourse
The last time I was in lockdown was in 1969, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, because racial riots broke out...