Shadow Yoga, as developed by yoga master Zhander Remete, makes use of the methods and practices common to classical Hatha Yoga and the self-cultivating arts (both martial and dance). Great importance is placed on preparatory work as the foundation for real progress. Three prelude forms are utilized for training. These forms combine strong stance work with round, spiraling movements, rhythmic breathing, and bandha. This skillful, systematic preparation frees blockage in the Marma System (Vital Junctions), leading to the unobstructed circulation of the life force. This sets the stage for the inner work of asana, mudra, pranayama, and meditation.
Emphasis is placed on building the Kanda Shakti (Vital Power) and Jathar Agni (Digestive Fire). Classical Hatha Yoga views the increase and balancing of these energies as instrumental to good health and personal transformation.
Foundations of Shadow Yoga Workshop or Course: Open to all students, these teach the basics in a systematic, progressive manner. This is the starting point for new students.
Balakrama: “Step to Strength” – this prelude develops legs from the root. Strong joint and bone work builds the agni and blood, leading to a better quality of breath – increased strength and stamina follow. Students with prior yoga experience can begin with this prelude.
Chaya Yoddha Sanchalanam: “Yoking of the Shadow Warrior” – this prelude develops better integration of the limbs to help free the movement of the life force.
Kartikeya Mandala: “Garland of Light” – this is the most advanced of the forms and helps to free the spine from the imposition of the limbs. Marma is cleared from the shoulders and side ribs, groins and hips, preparing the body for the more challenging asanas.
Once a Prelude Form has been learned, the Individualized Asana Courses adjust the practice for the unique needs of each person. Students learn to practice in a self-directed manner, cultivating discipline and sensitivity to personal rhythm – an essential step in a maturing practice. In addition, the teacher provides hands-on adjustments to release stress from the marma system and bring greater ease and freedom. As proficiency comes, the practice is adjusted accordingly. This is the traditional way of learning, and is rare in these days of large group classes with generalized instruction.