Shadow Yoga offers a methodical approach to the learning and practice of Hatha Yoga. Success, in any endeavour, requires a sound foundation and a clear direction towards the intended goal. The foundation of the Shadow Yoga practice is developed through the three preludes, the Balakrama (Stepping to Strength), Churning of the Shadow Warrrior (Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam), and Garland of Light (Kartikkeya Mandalam). The practices develop coordination of bodily movements with the rhythm of the breath in progressive stages.
The first stage, the Balakrama builds strength, develops resilience and cultivates flexibility. Here, the practice of uddiyana bandha is introduced. The second prelude, Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam, develops a deeper coordination of movement and breath through both static positions and dynamic turning movements.
These first two preludes lend themselves to the practice of the seated postures which are suitable for beginners to remove stiffness and tension from the gross parts of the body.
The third prelude, Kartikkeya Mandalam, introduces more spiralling movements to further refine the level of coordination and release more deeply held restrictions, allowing the student to progress towards more complex asana practice and preparatory work for the inverted postures.
The complete practice is termed full practice format and includes prelude, seated activity and conclusion. Through all these stages the Shadow Yoga practice develops a rhythm of movement and breathing that leads towards the goal of yoga which is to suspend the breathing process and hold the awareness without imposition. This is a process that requires patience and sensitivity. The preparatory stage of the preludes leads to the next stage of practice, Nrtta Sadhana.
Class levels at Islington Yoga reflect the progressive nature of the preludes.
Please click here to see the timetable page for more information on class levels.