We offer specialized courses in Hatha yoga based on the teachings of Shandor Remete, founder of the Shadow School of Hatha Yoga. We present the first Shadow Yoga teachings in Canada.
We began teaching in 1998 in Vancouver, BC under the name 'The Wandering Yogi Studio'. Our name was changed to 'Hatha Yoga Shala' in 2010 when we relocated to Montreal, QC.
In Spring 2004, after years of experimenting with various yoga styles, we found our teacher, Shandor Remete, and discovered what we believe to be the most efficient and effective method of practicing Yoga.
Hatha yoga, 'the forceful Yoga', is described by Georg Feuerstein "as a form of Yoga that is focused on developing the body's potential so that it can withstand the onslaught of transcendental realization, which can have profound effects on the body and nervous system. The practitioner wants to construct a 'divine body', a body of light, to enjoy the manifest universe. He or she seeks to alter and transcend the limitations of the body and mind to obtain union with the highest spiritual realms."
Raja yoga is a synonym for Samadhi, which is the highest state of attainment in yoga. SriNivasaYogi in his Hatharatnavali states that without the practice of Hatha yoga, Raja yoga cannot be accomplished and without Raja yoga as an objective, Hatha yoga cannot be perfected.
Although the body is worked with intensively, the goal is to become less bound up in the body and to gain a greater perspective of it. Working properly with the body in this way cultivates an objectivity, which permits the neutral observation of the body and mind as it assumes each position and gradually, over time, leads to increased freedom from our perceptions that limit us physically and mentally.
"Hatha yoga is a system of self-cultivation by which the individual frees himself from the burden of the world and its bondage."
© 2006 Zhander Remete, 'Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga'
Yoga can be seen as a state of complete absorption (laya) in non-duality. Understanding unfolds gradually with consistent practice as the aspirant (sadhaka) gains insight into the deeper aspects of his or her Being.
It has been stated by Rishis (Seers) and Sages for thousands of years that we already possess the knowledge of this practice, we have only forgotten, we have fallen asleep in some respect in life and therefore it remains hidden. Hatha yoga helps us 'wake up' and re-discover. This process takes time, dedication and an authentic yearning for this to occur.
According to the anatomy of Hatha yoga the body is encased in five Koshas (frozen shadows). These 'shadows' trap and limit the potential of each person. The practice of Hatha yoga has evolved with the purpose of dissolving these shadows to eventually be liberated from a life of entrapment.
"The problem that beginners encounter today is the premature exposure to difficult asanas. The struggles that result excite their minds but blind them to the natural order of progression in the asanas. Failing to build a foundation, they fall short of their goal. Their impatience is born of ignorance of the simplicity of the system."
© 2006 Zhander Remete, 'Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga'
Shadow yoga presents three forms based on practical fundamentals of hatha yoga and the knowledge of Marmasthana (the 108 vital points of the body). The use of warrior stances release obstructions in the peripheral body while sun forms build energy in the spine. Preludes, as they are known, developed as the necessary preparation required to lead a practitioner into unobstructed asana work.
The configurations of movements of the preludes are used to stabilize the joints, free muscles from tension and synchronize breath. They are worked progressively and primary asana up to advanced asana are introduced when the work of the preludes becomes understood. The demanding sequences address the blocks (marma) in body and mind and can take several years to master. Forms include prelude (preparation), asana-vinyasa (main component), and conclusion.
The principle fixed forms are:
1. BALAKRAMA – STEPPING INTO STRENGTH
Shadow Yoga's forms have ultimately been designed to lead the practitioner to the practice of freestyle, a practice of improvisation based on inner guidance and appropriate response to the needs of the moment. Rather than operating from a conditioned reaction of likes and dislikes, the advanced student allows themselves to be moved with fluid spontaneity and grace.
Shandor Remete (Surendranath), founder of Shadow Yoga, author of Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga
To purchase Shandor's book and DVDs or to find out more about Yoga of The Shadow School visit www.shadowyoga.com
"This invaluable book introduces the reading public to the full scope of the practice of genuine hatha yoga. Full of hints that veteran practitioners can follow to revolutionize their practices, it should be read by every serious student of yoga."
Various Articles on Shadow Yoga
"The movements of the mind are clearly expressed in the external forms and actions of the physical body. But for the individual these movements of mind are hidden in the consciousness like a moving shadow. Because of this, the mind is in a constant state of wandering, changing its attachment from one thing to another and slowly depleting the life force. In the practice of Hatha Yoga the energy of the mind is turned back in on itself and the life force cultivated. The inner intelligence grows and begins to reclaim the center, which the mind has seized.The mind, the source of our habitual patterns of thought and movement fights to preserve the old regime. This struggle can manifest in many kinds of reaction - emotional, mental, and physical. Only by persevering with the practice will these difficulties be overcome. This process is the hidden yoking, the yoking of the shadow. Then our illusory feeling of separateness disappears and we regain the living wisdom that comes from standing in the light."
© 2003 Zhander Remete