“…It is better to live as a burning torch for one minute than a flickering light in the dark for a thousand years.”
Guru Sundernath (Shandor Remete).
Extract from Nataraja: The Lord of Multiple Forms by Ms Emma Balnaves.
Matilda dedicates her life to the teachings of Guru Sundernath (Shandor Remete) and teaches Shadow Yoga, the school of Hatha Yoga he established.
The Shadow school is grounded in Guru Sundernath’s life-long practice and mastery of Nrtta Sadhana and Hatha Yoga. He sheds light and reveals true wisdom and understanding of the ancient Hatha Yogic and Tantric texts.
One foundation of Guru Sundernath’s school is in his wisdom that such texts assert that correct activity undertaken in fixed forms establishes freestyle. This cultivates the natural unfolding of an individual’s latent powers.
The Shadow Yoga Preludes
The Shadow Yoga Preludes reflect the rhythm and forms expressed in the martial arts, and in Katakali and Bharatanatya (traditional dance forms of southern India), all of which draw on the intelligent patterns and shapes found in nature.
The first Prelude, or Balakrama, means ‘Stepping into Strength’, thus indicating the importance of developing a sound foundation via correct activity. The Balakrama is therefore appropriate for people of all levels of experience and is the starting point for all students new to Shadow Yoga. The Balakrama relieves the peripheral system of stiffness, builds the strength of the blood and bones, and in turn purifies the respiratory system.
The second Prelude is Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam, or ‘Churning the Shadow Warrior’. This Prelude works warrior stances to further develop co-ordination and the leg strength procured by consistent practice of the Balakrama. Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam effectively works to free the shoulders and hips of obstructions, thereby further strengthening the quality of respiration.
The third Prelude Kartikkeya Mandalam, or ‘Garland of Light’, can be considered once proficiency in Balakrama and Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam has been cultivated and maintained for some time. Kartikkeya Mandalam is characterised by deep spiralling movements. This Prelude facilitates the development of asana practice and cultivates a deeper awareness of the movement of breath.