Nṛtta Sādhanā

Rhythmic dance and its practice

It is important to understand the difference between Natya – Nrttya and Nrtta. The first two terms refer to theatrical performance while Nrtta is defined in the Abhinaya Darpana of Nandikesvara as ‘that dance devoid of any type of emotional mood’.

This corresponds exactly to the explanation of Abhava yoga given by Mahesvara (Lord Siva) in the eleventh chapter of the Kurma Purana. This states that Abhava Yoga is that yoga in which one contemplates oneself as void and without any shadow (manifestation) of anything, which therefore enables one to visualize the Self. Here, Abhava refers to a state free from any emotional support, also exemplified in Nrtta as defined by Nandikesvara.

The eleventh chapter of the Kurma Purana includes a detailed explanation of Pashupata Yoga. Nrtta formed a large part of the corrective Sadhana of the Pashupata yogins. This is clearly indicated in the eighth sutra of the first chapter of the Pashupata Sutras.

Out of the one hundred and eight karanas mentioned in the Natya Shastra, not more than thirty-six karanas are used for the purpose of self cultivation.

Most of the asanas used in contemporary Hatha Yoga schools are adaptations of the standing and squatting karanas. The important difference is that in the original practice the placement of the legs was achieved through the cultivation of the inherent energy of the legs whereas nowadays the legs are manipulated with the hands to achieve the same external shapes. Five of the karanas are responsible for restoring the body’s natural energetic responsiveness required for this authentic practice.

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.

The three forms of Nrtta are: Ashta Matrikas (the eight mother palms), Lasya (Kali’s creative dance) and Ananda (Samhara) Tandava (Shiva’s destructive dance).


Shadow Yoga

Yoga of the Shadow Man

The name Shadow Yoga is derived from the 6th chapter of the ancient tantrika treatise ‘The Shiva-Svarodaya’ (the birth of the breath of life revealed by the god Shiva). This chapter, entitled ‘Yoga of the Shadow Man’, deals with the intricate manifestations of the shadow and their significance both inside and outside the human organism.

The Ashtanga Hrdaya of Vagbhata, a primary ayurvedic text, also contains a chapter on the shadow which deals with diagnostic principles. There is also a story about Allama Prabhudeva, the initiating guru of Gorakshanath (one of the famous forefathers of Hatha Yoga), in which he describes the human body as nothing but layers of frozen shadows. According to Hatha Yogic anatomy the body is composed of three discrete bodies and five sheaths (coverings or shadows). The practice of Hatha Yoga has evolved with the purpose of dissolving these shadows.

The teaching of the Shadow School is based upon the ancient Hatha Yogic texts, which state that all fixed forms should be designed to develop the practice of freestyle. Freestyle is a necessary step in the cultivation of longevity and enlightenment.

The texts also suggest that the set forms should contain within them the following bodily positions and movements for the proper development of the vital breath.

Standing, Pumping, Sitting, Weighing, Lying (face-down, face-up, on sides), Forwards, Sideways (lateral), Backwards, Inversion, Spiral, Turning, Twisting

These twelve kinds of positions and movements have been adapted from the range of human activities including martial arts, dance and crafts of life, and from the plant and animal kingdoms. The appropriate combination of these activities with suitable rhythm and positioning brings about the unfolding of the inner powers hidden in the individual.




NEW Courses offered for 2016

Asana-angaharas (asana arrangements)
The word asana (body posture) is derived from the sanskrit root asa-bhuvi meaning to be, to stay, to exist. This suggests that the application of asana is not about ‘becoming’ something but discovering what is already present, not about ‘gaining enlightenment’, but redeeming the sahajawasta (natural state) which is the abode of the human soul. Of the many asanas some are dynamic and some static but all are physical methods utilised in the early stages of restoring this natural state.The term angahara refers to the sequential arrangements of bodily shapes as well as to the arrangement of the limbs within these shapes.
Over the last two decades we have introduced the chalanas (warm-ups), vyayamas (restraining drills), the prelude forms (linear practices) and the Nrtta Sadhana (swaying patterns of rhythmic movement). All these prepare the ground for the asana-angaharas which themselves form the bridge to the Samadhis (internal states of equanimity).
The asana-angaharas are used in two modes of application, linear and swaying in semi-circular or circular patterns.The linear modes of practice are carried out at sunrise when the energy is predominantly within the nerves and the aim then is to drive the prana into the blood through the exercise of the bones and joints. At sunset, when the prana is in the blood, the swaying, circular patterns are used to restore the prana in the nerves so as to overcome the stresses incurred in satisfying the demands of daily life. The skilful use of the asana-angaharas helps to maintain an equanimous state of the mind so that the health of the body is not reduced as a consequence of impulsive behaviour.
There are seven such asana-angahara forms and their secrets are now little known in the world of popular yoga. Each of these seven forms stems from a single seed asana. Inherent in each of these primary shapes is a pattern of evolution to be unfolded from its most basic form, through intermediate to the most intense, according to the ability of the practitioner. When the practice is carried out in this manner there is no room for goal-oriented mental projections. Instead the process relies on the intuitive responsiveness of the inner consciousness. Implicit in each asana-angahara is a corresponding mode of pranayama and corresponding mudras (karanas) that together can guide the swimmer safely to the other shore beyond the constructs and desires of the mind. For safe passage however it is vital that one proceeds with tremendous patience and perseverance and without greed.
In the morning sessions linear arrangements are taught and in the afternoon sessions the swaying arrangements.These formats will be taught either in group classes or on an individual basis.

Individual asana
Individual asana practice is open to all Shadow yoga students who study regularly with one of the teachers listed on the contact page of the shadow yoga website. From November 2016 participants will only be accepted for individual asana courses once they have attended the asana-angahara courses.

Weekend workshops will consist of general practice formats and will be open to all students with Shadow Yoga experience.

Primary Angahara one – Melbourne, Australia

August 7 – 14
Seven day course of Primary-angahara one
The seven day course will consist of the Primary-angahara one (morning Linear arrangement and afternoon Circular arrangement)
Starts Sunday 5pm. Classes daily 7-9am &4-6pm. Finishes Sunday 9am.

Costs: AUD1540 (includes GST)

Location for Lecture on August 7: yogamoves.org
Location for course: yogamoves.org
For further information about the area & accomodation please contact: Louise Goodvach: info@yogamoves.org

register now

Primary-angahara one – Lavenham, Suffolk, UK

September 9-16
Seven day course of Primary-angahara one
The seven day course will consist of the Primary-angahara one (morning Linear arrangement and afternoon Circular arrangement)
Starts Friday 5pm. Classes daily 7-9am &4-6pm. Finishes Friday 9am.
(*please note preference for registration is for UK & EU and surrounding region residents only)

Costs: EU1400

Location: lavenhamvillagehall.com
Link for Accomodation: UK Accomodation
For further information about the area please contact Karen Watson: info@islingtonyoga.com

Covent Garden, London: September 22-25: Seven class weekend of Nrtta Sadhana
*open to all shadow yoga students
Register with Karen Watson info@islingtonyoga.com

register now

Primary-angahara one – San Luis Obispo, California

October 2-9
Seven day course of Primary-angahara one
The seven day course will consist of the Primary-angahara one (morning Linear arrangement and afternoon Circular arrangement)
First class is 5pm. Classes daily 7-9am & 4-6pm. Finishes 9am.
(*please note preference for registration is for USA and surrounding region residents only)

Costs: USD1600

Location: yogashalaslo.com/#contact-us
Link for Accomodation: US Accomodation For further information about the area please contact Catherine Halcomb: breathe@catherineyoga.com

register now

Individual Practice – Melbourne, Australia

November 6 – 26
Individual Practice with Zhander and Emma
Course starts 5pm Sunday November 6 and Finishes Saturday November 26 at 9am
One class a day, start times from Monday will be 7am.  Space is limited.
*please note this course is open to all students who have completed the primary asana-angahara courses

Costs: AUD1320 (includes GST)

Location: yogamoves.org
For further information about the area & accomdation please contact: Louise Goodvach: info@yogamoves.org

register now




Seven day course
Melbourne, Australia
August 7 – 14: Seven day course of Primary Asana-angahara one

Three week course
Melbourne, Australia
November 6 – 26: Individual practice
*please note this course is open to all students who have completed the asana-angahara course this year


Seven day course
Lavenham, Suffolk
September 9-16: Seven day course of Primary-angahara one
*Course FULL, now taking waitlist registrations

Seven class weekend
Covent Garden, London
September 22-25: Seven class weekend of Nrtta Sadhana
*open to all shadow yoga students


One class Lectures
San Fransisco, California
September 29: Hatha Yoga A lecture with Shandor
September 30: Yoga for Women with Emma

Seven day course
San Luis Obispo, California
October 2-9: Seven day course of Primary-angahara one
*Course FULL, now taking waitlist registrations


Surendranath (Shandor Remete) and Emma Balnaves

The Lord of Multiple Forms

A Limited edition book available for sale exclusively on shadowyoga.com
*for bulk orders of five books or more please contact: bert67@icloud.com for wholesale pricing.



Yoga for Women

Shadow Yoga
Yoga For Women
by Emma Balnaves.
8 pages, colour photos.

Free download

Shadow Yoga –
Chaya Yoga

By Shandor Remete (Natanaga Zhander.)
108 pages, full colour photos.




Now available for sale through these sites:

… Shadow Yoga by Shandor Remete (Surendranath) provides a gateway to understanding the potential of yoga. The handbook gives a theoretical foundation, in clear and simple language, that is a rediscovery of yoga’s dynamic roots.

Shadow Yoga DVD

Shadow Yoga
Revised Prelude Forms
& Nata Yoga
$25.00 (AUD)



This DVD is for the revision of the Shadow Yoga prelude forms, it is for those students who have undergone the study of the forms under qualified teachers in the existing schools listed on the Shadow Yoga website.

Nrtta Sadhana is the prelude activity for the acquisition of the static seated Mudras of Hatha Yoga that are the bridge between the practice of asanas and pranayamas. On this DVD only glimpses of the Nrtta Sadhana form are shown as one can only learn this directly from the teacher.

DVD features All regions

Enquiries for back orders and bulk orders at wholesale prices for book and DVD’s, direct to –
Robert Balnaves: bert67@icloud.com

  • NATARAJA – <br />The Lord of Multiple Forms

    The Lord of Multiple Forms

  • Shadow Yoga APP

    Shadow Yoga APP

  • Yoga for Women

    Yoga for Women

  • Shadow Yoga – <br />Chaya Yoga

    Shadow Yoga –
    Chaya Yoga

  • Shadow Yoga DVD

    Shadow Yoga DVD


Your registration will only be confirmed once we receive a minimum 25% non-refundable deposit or payment in full. Cancellation policy: a fee of 50% will be charged if cancellation is made within 3 months of course commencement date. After this time period the payment is non-refundable.







Please select the course(s) you would like to register for then click the register button:

 Niseko Yoga Retreat in Hokkaido, Japan: July 3 – 10, 2016 Primary Angahara one – Melbourne, Australia August 7 – 14, 2016 Primary-angahara one – Lavenham, Suffolk, UK September 9-16, 2016 Primary-angahara one – San Luis Obispo, California, USA: October 2-9, 2016 Individual Asana – Melbourne, Australia November 6 – 26, 2016


Nṛtta Sādhanā and Shadow Yoga network

Surendranath (Shandor Remete) is the founder of Shadow Yoga and Nṛtta Sādhanā. He is also an initiate of the Goraksha Sampradaya of the Kanpatha Yogis.

Emma Balnaves is the director and teacher of Shadow Yoga and Nṛtta Sādhanā.


The following list of the Shadow yoga teachers teach the first form – Ashta Matrikas (the eight mother palms) of Nrtta. The emails can be found below under the Shadow Yoga teachers listing:
Australia: Natasha Almeida, Peter Ujvari, Gary Mills, Louise Goodvach Israel: David Malka, Europe: Karen Watson, Alexandra Gilbert, Torsten Westermayer, Daphne Strothmann, United States: Matt Pesendian, Scott Blossom, Mark Horner, Andy Matinog, Chandra Easton, New Zealand: Jaymin Gansell

The following is an alphabetical list of recommended teachers of Shadow Yoga. These individuals have shown an understanding of the basic principles of Shadow Yoga and are practising and teaching its forms with integrity.


Kobe, Japan
Akiko Ueda: akiko@yogadojo.net

Tokyo, Japan
Koyu Terasawa: blog.zaq.ne.jp/yoga-shuhari

Sapporo, Hokkaido
Yumiko Obata: shadowyoga.jp


Gary Mills: yogashala.com.au

Louise Goodvach: yogamoves.org
Tanya Levy: tlevy70@gmail.com
Peter Ujvari: cityoga.com.au
Matilda Tehan: artofhathayoga.com

Natasha Almeida: natashaalmeidayoga@gmail.com
Penny Cuthbert: hathayogadesha.com.au
Trevor Tangye: trevor.yoga@gmail.com
Juliet Willetts: Juliet.Willetts@uts.edu.au

Narelle Lullfitz: momaya@iinet.net.au


Montreal, Quebec
Radhasri: hathayogashala.com


North London, England
Karen Watson: islingtonyoga.com
Tim Cummins: timcumminsyoga.com
Paulene Morphett: dalstonyoga.co.uk

South East London, England
Samantha Sculthorp: hathayogalondon.com

West London, England
Caterina Hadjilias: yogaangarupamarga.com

Falmouth, Cornwall
Kate Haxton: haxtonkate@gmail.com


Vienna, Austria
Sabine Irawan: hathayogamandapa.com
Torsten Westermayer: nagayogashala.com

Paris, France
Alexandra Gilbert: dragonyogashala.com

Gütersloh, Germany
Daphne Strothmann: tulayogashala.com
Michael Dolan: tulayogashala.com

Dusseldorf, Germany
Michael Calignano: yogabhyasa.de

Amsterdam, Holland
Nicolet Montanus: nicoletmontanus@gmail.com

Dublin, Ireland
David Curtis: vinyasayoga.ie

Moscow, Russia
Andrey Galitskiy: sarpa.ru

Podolsk, Russia
Boris Voronin: yoga-podolsk.com

Novi Sad, Serbia & Kiev, Ukraine
Andrey Rozhnov: arozhnov@gmail.com


David Malka: dudiyana@gmail.com

Istanbul, Turkey
Defne Suman: defnesumanyoga.com


Mark Bouckoms: markb@cyberxpress.co.nz

Jaymin Gansell: yogawithjaymin.com


Los Angeles, California
Matt Pesendian: bodhimanda.com
Matt Schwartz: goldenmonkeyhealing.com

New York City, New York
Andy Matinog: redcrowyogashala.com
Maya Smeloff: redcrowyogashala.com

Portland, Oregon
Lita Batho: litayoga.com
Mandy Kruger: mandykruger.com

San Francisco & Bay Area, California
Scott Blossom: shunyatayoga.com
Chandra Easton: shunyatayoga.com
Mark Horner: horneryoga.com
Judy Yu: horneryoga.com

San Luis Obispo, California
Catherine Halcomb: catherineyoga.com
Shelley Massa: into-balance.com

Creative Credits
Film & Sound Editing
Umut Gunduz: umutgunduz.com

Coneyl Jay: coneyljay.com

Nrtta Illustration
Caterina Hadjilias: yogaangarupamarga.com

Alexandra Gilbert: thanhngalex@gmail.com

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