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.


Courses Offered 2018

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 – prelude forms) 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).

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.

In 2018 Asana-angahara courses will be introduced as full practice formats with Inversions and Nadi Suddhi Pranayama. 

NOTE: For Asana-anghara level 2, full Padmasana is required to register. 

Individual practice courses
In the individual practice courses the participants are taken to their natural limit based on the sequence of the Asana-angahara they are currently working with in their daily practice.

To qualify for Individual practice participants must have completed a recent Asana-angahara course of Circular or Linear activity and be maintaining a personal practice.

Shadanga-yoga retreats
In the Goraksha Shatakam (his invocation of power in one hundred verses) Goraknath does not refer to Hatha-yoga or Raja-yoga: nor does he mention the terms yama and niyama as these accomplishments are assumed. Instead he sets out the system of practices under the title of Shadanga-yoga (six-limbed yoga).

In the first section on asanas, Goraknath mentions only two: Siddha and Kamala (Padma). This indicates that a practitioner prepared for this stage must already have done a great deal of serious work and is in complete control of the physical organism. Furthermore this implies that mind control is the central objective of the practices to be described under the heading of the six limbs. These six limbs are Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, Kundalini-Udbodha (awakening or the Shakticalana mudra) and the Shatchakras.

Siddhasana is used for the development of Maha-mudra, Nabho-mudra (Khecari), Uddiyana, Jalandhara and Mulabandha. Baddha-padmasana is used for the development of the refined Pranayamas and for Shakticalani-mudra. Viparita-karani-mudra is used for the implementation of Pratyahara and Pasini-mudra is employed in the internalising of the withdrawn energy and for bringing the respiration to a standstill. This marks the beginning of the various stages of Samadhi.

All these practices are interwoven with different modes and types of pranayama. In its essence therefore, Shadanga-yoga is a process of pranayama. As clarity develops, one grasps that control of the physical organism leads to mental steadiness; this leads in turn to the reversal of the flow of mental activity. Then, through this reversed mental flow, the mind eventually dissolves into the higher self so that the Yogi experiences a state of non-duality on the high spiritual plane. This state is a fulfilment of the Upanishadic ideal of Being.

Weekend workshops
Weekend workshops will consist of general practice formats of Shadow yoga or Nrtta Sadhana. Open to all levels with Yoga experience.

2018 Courses



February 3: Hatha yoga lecture with Shandor @5pm
Location:  buddhahouse.org/tara-hall
Register: shadowyoga.com

*Classes are Monday to Saturday.
Feburary 5-February 17
Location:  yogashala.com.au
Accomodation listing: PDF attached.
Register: shadowyoga.com
*This course can be attended for one or two weeks, beginning on Mondays. Time slots for Indiviudal practice will be emailed prior to course commencement

November 5-December 1
Location: buddhahouse.org/tara-hall
Accomodation listing: PDF attached.
Register: shadowyoga.com
*This course can be attended for one, two, three, or four weeks, beginning on Mondays. Time slots for Indiviudal practice will be emailed prior to course commencement.

Linear & Circular full practice format with Inversions & Pranayama
April 8 – 15: level 1
May 6 – 13: level 2
*Sunday 5pm starts with lecture.
*Monday-Saturday 7-9am & 4-6pm, and Sunday 7am last class.
*Asana-Angahara level 2 applicants need to be accomplished in full Padmasana
Location: buddhahouse.org/tara-hall
Accomodation listing: PDF attached.
Register: shadowyoga.com

March 23-25: Auckland – Shadow Yoga with Emma
Register: yogawithjaymin.com

April 27-29: Melbourne – Shadow Yoga with Shandor
Register: yogamoves.org

May 18: Hatha Yoga Lecture with Shandor
May 19-20: Sydney – Shadow Yoga with Emma
Register: hathayogadesha.com.au

September 22-23: Melbourne – Nrtta Sadhana with Emma
Register: yogamoves.org

October 26-28: Adelaide – Nrtta Sadhana with Emma
Register: yogashala.com.au


June 8: Hatha Yoga lecture with Shandor (Sundernath)
June 9-10: Shadow yoga with Emma
*open to all levels of student with yoga experience
Register: dragonyogashala.com


Linear & Circular full practice format with Inversions & Pranayama
June 17-24: level 1
July 1-8: level 2
*Sunday 5pm starts with lecture.
*Monday-Saturday 7-9am & 4-6pm and Sunday 7am last class
*Asana-Angahara level 2 applicants need to be accomplished in full Padmasana
Register: shadowyoga.com
Accommodation Listing: PDF Attached

Teachers workshop
June 30 – Saturday 8-10am & 4-6pm
Register by email contact@shadowyoga.com
Accommodation Listing: PDF Attached

South-west France
July 30 – August 11
*Classes are Monday to Saturday. *Space is limited.
*Please note this is a non-residential course and participants will need to source their own accomodation. Practice will take place daily at the Barn.
Register: shadowyoga.com
Accommodation Information: PDF Attached

Shakticalana Pranayama (FULLY BOOKED)
Retreat: August 18 – 25
*qualifying is Baddha padmasana
Register: shadowyoga.com


Registration for all courses organised by Shadow Yoga
For payments made in full when Registration is confirmed, there is a 10% Early Bird Discount. Please note the early bird discount only applies for registrations made and paid three months prior to course commencement. Amount is shown in brackets. Not applicable to Retreats.

Payments can be done with Credit Card or Direct Bank Transfer and details will be sent when confirming your Registration.

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.  Full course fees must be paid 6 weeks prior to course commencement date.




Sundernath (Shandor Remete) and Emma Balnaves

Nrtta Sadhana App

Now available on iTunes.

The Nrtta Sadhana app is a learning aid. Animations of the Ashta Matrika, Lasya, and Ananda Tandava forms are given as well as supplementary information that will support the student’s understanding of the practice. This app is intended to complement direct instruction from one of the teachers qualified to teach this subject listed on the Shadow yoga website. shadowyoga.com

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: Robert Balnaves for wholesale pricing.

Nataraja – The Lord of Multiple Forms is a rich exposition  of the five faces of Shiva through image and iconography. Each face and the cosmic act it represents is explored  through a visual narrative, drawing on the practice of the Nrtta Sadhana which embodies it. Each chapter begins with the prayer to the relevant form of the deity, followed by a concise explanation of the nature of each act, the principles that underlie it and their application for those on the Yogic path.

With Postage


Shadow Yoga App


The Shadow Yoga app is an aid designed to help in learning the Shadow Yoga Preludes. The app contains animations of the Caranas and all three Preludes. Instructions are also included that will support the student’s understanding of the practiceThis app is intended to complement direct instruction from one of the teachers qualified to teach this subject listed on the Shadow yoga website. shadowyoga.com

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.

We have sold out of our copies. Individual copies can be purchased through Amazon.

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)

With Shipping


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.

  • Nrtta Sadhana App

    Nrtta Sadhana App

  • 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


Nṛtta Sādhanā and Shadow Yoga network

Sundernath (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 co-founder and director of Shadow Yoga and Nṛtta Sādhanā.


The following list of the Shadow yoga teachers also teach the Nrtta Sadhana forms.
Their emails can be found below under the Shadow Yoga teachers listing:
Australia: Natasha Almeida, Peter Ujvari, Gary Mills, Louise Goodvach, Tanya Levy. Israel: David Malka. Europe: Karen Watson, Alexandra Gilbert, Daphne Strothmann.
United States: Matt Pesendian, Scott Blossom, Mark Horner, Andy Matinog, Chandra Easton, Catherine Halcomb. New Zealand: Jaymin Gansell.

Below is a 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. Listed in alphabetical order of Country.


Kobe, Japan
Akiko Ueda: yogadojokobe@icloud.com

Tokyo, Japan
Koyu Terasawa: yogashuhari.jimdo.com

Sapporo, Hokkaido
Yumiko Obata: shadowyoga.jp


Gary Mills: yogashala.com.au

Louise Goodvach: yogamoves.org
Tanya Levy: whitelotusyoga.com.au
Peter Ujvari: cityoga.com.au
Lara Thornton: laraythornton@gmail.com

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

Narelle Lullfitz: palmyrayoga.com.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


Vienna, Austria
Sabine Irawan: www.hathayogamandapa.com

Paris, France
Alexandra Gilbert: dragonyogashala.com

South-West France
Valérie Carretero: hamsayogashala.fr

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

Dusseldorf, Germany
Michael Calignano: yogabhyasa.de

Amsterdam, Holland
Nicolet Montanus: shadowyoganederland.nl

Moscow, Russia
Andrey Galitskiy: sarpa.ru

Podolsk, Russia
Boris Voronin: yoga-podolsk.com

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

Barcelona, Spain
Amelie Strecker: yogaroom-bcn.com/en


Haifa, Israel
David Malka: dudiyana@gmail.com

Telaviv, Israel
Ronen Cohen: ronenchi@gmail.com

Telaviv & Herzliya, Israel
Noa Gottfried: noa.g.yoga@gmail.com

Istanbul, Turkey
Defne Suman: defnesumanyoga.com


Mark Bouckoms: markb@cyberxpress.co.nz

Jaymin Gansell: yogawithjaymin.com

Natalie Smith: nataliesmithyoga.com


Los Angeles, California
Matt Schwartz: goldenmonkeyhealing.com
Cindy Lee: cindilee@me.com

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

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

Santa Barbara, California
Matt Pesendian: bodhimanda.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


Video, Stills
Umut Gunduz

Alexandra Gilbert

Website Developer
Red Crow Yoga Shala

Shadow Yoga