“Nrtta is that Sadhana through which the sadhaka (aspirant) rediscovers the rhythmic life currents hidden in the body’s folds and limbs by means of unimposed natural positioning” – Shandor Remete
Nrtta Sadhana employs the karanas described in the Natya Shastra, a treatise on the performing arts attributed to the Sage Bharata between 200BC and 200AD. Karana is described as the simultaneous movements of the hands and feet. According to Bharata, Karana consists of Sthana – a posture of the body, Nrttahasta – a hand pose, and Kāri – the movement of the feet.
Of the 108 karanas described, no more than 36 are said to be appropriate for the cultivation of inner energy or yogic practices, making a clear distinction between the way the karanas are used for different activities.
The rhythm of the Nrtta Sadhana practice arises from the coordination of these parts and prepares one for the deeper practices of Hatha Yoga.
The preparation for the practice of Nrtta Sadhana lies in the 3 prelude forms of Shadow Yoga which cultivate coordination of the body and its limbs. The aspirant should have a thorough grounding in this practice before attempting Nrtta Sadhana. The Shadow Yoga preludes employ broader stances, while the karanas are narrower and more restrictive in nature. By working within a more restricted space one dissolves the deeper layers of conditioning and learns to access the inner energy through unimposed activity. Only with such an attitude is one able to progress to the deeper practices of Hatha Yoga.