Most possibly the only legit yoga asana out there

Thought that might get your attention.

This is Shadow Yoga. The reason why i say it is probably the only legit yoga asana out there is because it is based in actual real yoga not some flow stuff or something random that someone has made up. But in reality it is still just more of the market of sales of yoga as it is singularly focused in asana, just like everything else in the modern yoga world. The thing about it is that it works with prana where as all that other nonsense, even Iyengar and PJ’s Ashtanga does not.

It is based in correct prana or energy flow during the asanas, in understanding prana and its subdivisions. It is based upon correct biomechanics where as most forms of what we are calling yoga (is just asana) is based in Western exercise and Western biomechanics which is linear and not actually correct. Biomechanics and prana flow in the same way. They are actually nonexclusive of each other. They are the same thing. if we treat our bodies linear, prana does not function properly. It is also very much connected to breath. Breath and movement of energy are intimately connected and highly misunderstood if even taught in Western yoga, it is not as simple as breathe in, breathe out. This yoga asana would be comparable to chi gung or tai chi. Since i have studied little of Shadow yoga years ago and met Shandor, I can also say that nuances of what is found in the hatha yoga texts are found in Shadow Yoga, from correct understanding of bandhas (mostly) to the basic principles of it all. Not only all of that but it is simply graceful and beautiful to even watch. (In truth, it doesn’t go much further than that though and there is so much more)

Since biomechanics is my absolute forte of all the stuff i do, i can say that her biomechanics in this video are pretty flawless even to my eye, I could nit pick but this is by far the best form i have personally seen from anything in the modern yoga world. From the mechanics used in her ankles and pelvis (see how there is no three or four corners of the feet and lifting the toes or three middle toes, cause that ain’t correct at all. The foot doesn’t actually function like that, the ankle is locked when you do that) to proper weight distribution through the foot and toes. There is also proper positioning of joint in the connectedness of how all the joints work together rather than compartmentalized like in Western mechanics. Although this looks pretty advanced, because of its proper functioning of the joints and proper use and understanding of prana, the tissues would unwind in no time.

The body is a dynamic system and every joint moves in dynamic spiral actions, never linear. Even the elbow joint is called a hinge joint in western anatomy terms but yet when we step out of that paradigm we see that as the joint closes and opens the three bones that make up the joint actually simultaneously move with spiral motion to create space for the joint to function properly. Western biomechanics knows nothing of this, yes really. Not only this but western anatomy still believes that a muscle contracts from insertion to origin, look it up in anatomy and joint physiology books. This is far from truth of reality of the body and how it works. Pilates has even shown this to not be true. When a muscle is lengthened in its space and stabilized by the other muscles that work in symmetry with it, many more muscle fibers contract. Compared to the western idea that a contraction is a contraction is a contraction, leaving muscle fiber bunched, adhered and bulky where very few muscle fibers will contract in comparison.  A muscle can also contract at certain parts or certain areas of the muscle, obvious if anyone understands leverage and physics. If you look at the pectoralis major or psoas major, their fibers run like a japanese hand fan. Medial fibers contract at a different angle than the lateral fibers based upon the anatomical part moving. Within this realm of a completely different way of looking at things is where Shadow Yoga seems to exists. An example of “wrong” understanding of this in Western yoga is when in Pigeon pose the “hip fan” of the gluteus muscles is always stretch in the same route or channel when the same cues are given of having the foot in the front in the singular position ‘All The Time’, only a certain line of that “fan’ is ever moved into most of the time leaving the pelvis anteriorly rotated because of this. Yoga did not come from the west, it is not based upon what we know which is linear mechanics and linear material laws, it is based upon its paradigm which doesn’t match a western way of looking at the body in pretty much any way. As example, I just spoke to a Western doctor the other day and they were bashing chi and prana and saying that there is no scientific evidence that they exist. This is the world of Western knowledge.


9 thoughts on “Most possibly the only legit yoga asana out there

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I had been wanting to ask if there were particular asana practices and systems that you could recommend.

    I suppose the ultimate choice is for one to go where the teachers are if one is truly going to learn and incorporate such practices into one’s life. However, if that is not practical are we better off doing nothing? Or maybe better to say, in spite of earnestness, is the householder’s effort to do the best he can, perhaps even on his own, worth anything?


  2. Hi Donna. It is a touchy subject for sure. I would first tell you that 99.9 percent of what is being taught out there as yoga is far from the real thing. This really triggers people in so many ways when I state things like this. Even more when i back it up with experience and shastra to boot.

    If one wants to actually learn this stuff, whether it be ayurveda, jyotish, yoga, vastu, sanskrit, vedanta, kashmir shaivism, … and the list goes on…… you are not gonna be able to learn it from a modern book. Sanskrit we are lucky to be able to find in some universities like Berkeley. but the others, well, it presents a huge problem. Get the original texts of whatever you want to learn, if you need a list, give me your intrest and I can help. Knowing that the translations are usually pretty poor and without the actual paradigm being understood alot of the text will seem pretty ridiculous. But after time of reading it and reading it again, it will start to make sense. That and searching for real teachers. Just because they are indian doesn’t mean they know anything, don’t fall for that one. Check everyones references well, real well.

    This is just what we have here in the material spiritualized west. We live in a society that is financial gain based. So everything is a workshop for a certification and no real education or experience on the path. It really sucks for those who want the real thing. You can email me personally for references to books and teachers depending upon what your interests.

    A friend of mine said about the state of ayurvedic education here in the US… “We have to be careful what name/nama we give what form/rupa of education… Where I am coming from is that just because a person won’t be a surgeon doesn’t mean they can’t learn some CPR. A Yoga teacher needs to know ‘Dosha’ to give proper advice to their student, but they don’t need to know ‘Dasha.’ So the lower levels are for a person who wants to understand their own self-care through the lens of the Ayurvedic wellness system. Regardless, they can still get that education. And that is the point: some situations are like Grade School and some are like Grad School, and so a person can find the perfect school/teacher for them at that time in their lives. Yoga=Asana, Ayurveda=dosha, Tantra=sex, Jyotish=graha, Vastu=fengshui, Bhakti=bhajan, indeed, slippery slopes into diluted mediocrity abound and are amplified when teachers themselves are riddled with misunderstandings. Still, though I am a ‘Traditionalist’ I want people supported with this knowledge regardless of where they are at, even if that means a ‘Bubble Sort’ of sorts must begin, which of course, it will anyway. For me it is simple: I need to feed the ‘People’ empowering knowledge. So perhaps when telling someone something to know, we just have to make sure we also tell them what they do not know, yet. Perhaps that context will support the fullness of the Tradition becoming clear, and eventually attained by more.”

    They are wise words but he also won’t take action to do anything about the dissolving of the knowledge.

    I myself care much more than that. It speaks to your question and how are you to know the difference between what is actual and what is not. His way allows and tolerates anything being called yoga or ayurveda and shrugging the shoulders in his spiritual enlightenment as the actual knowledge disappears in the darkness. My way allows truth to be accessible to those without the lifetime of search to just be on the first step when it is found.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Truly, if you are a householder, then be one. yoga is not for householders. The texts state it even but it doesn’t mean you can gleen from it a gem or two. Plus there is a path for the householder as well. tantra is perfect for that. or there is a book i could turn you on to although the Bihar Yoga Guys give teachings to everyone and will say that yoga is okay for a householder, when it really gets down to the nitty gritty, it isn’t. Not in this day and age and in the western society. It would stand more of a chance in India though. is another book by them for women. I enjoy their books. They are easy reads for westerners and stick pretty close to the actual knowledge. They tend to be seem pretty advanced from the feed back i have received from others but they are very basic in all reality. This also states the paradigm of the mind of the West to me.

  3. I have appreciated your candor always – even if it has turned some ideas on their heads for me.

    Considering the life in which I am immersed, that is with a husband and animals to whom I am responsible and property to which I am obligated, I must admit to being a householder. Since I am unwilling to abandon this now, though as life continues I feel compelled to disentangle myself from that and not seek to keep that status quo, it seems that Yoga is not my immediate calling. I am not a very young woman (51) and I’m weary of frivolousness, so peace and simple living are what is important.

    What has attracted me to Yoga/Ayurveda has been foremost as a guide to mind control and non-attachment and philosophy. That there is science behind it all is also attractive to me. I have hardly been keen on the asana craze, though I eventually delved somewhat into the K. Patahbi Jois Ashtanga lineage. Believe me, I have seen the flaws, though it is a tradition that at least acknowledges prominently that there is more to Yoga than asana, so I thought it was a step in the right direction. Of course, I still have not had a teacher because of where I live. (There is more to all of this and my motivations, but I will email that to you so as not to hijack your blog with my personal story. Then I will welcome other reading as you might consider helpful for me.)

    Thank you for those book recommendations, so far. They actually sound like a great place to start.


    • Donna, You are so welcome. I see your situation as you have explained. It is common. I congratulate you for seeing beyond it as well and looking for what is rather than just floating if you know what i mean.

      What I have seen out in the world here fits much of the dilemma that you are witnessing in yourself but you are addressing it. What is your path, rather than just doing as the sheep do. I honor your being for the ability to have discernment and continue the curiosity. I have experienced most “yogis” as just floating. Not actually living or knowing the path and identified to being a yogi instead of being in the wonder of what is and in that finding what is their alignment and path. We are so in a fear box in America and hold on to the templates to the point that it is imprisoning and stop us from having actual spiritual experience and therefore growth. Then tere is the other fear box of having any template or knowledge at all and those are the ones that really get triggered by my blog posts. So your appreciation of my candor is appreciated right back at you. 🙂

      Look forward to your email and don’t worry, your never hijacking the blog. I would wish everyone be as courageous as you to start a conversation to connect rather than have their ego triggered and react and not have any consciousness of it.

      As a dear friend wrote me earlier… Response as you would have it, takes a very mature being …. and if one is not there,…. there is no there there

      and to be responsive it takes consciousness, to react is unconscious.

      May we all have the blessing of doing it in a loving way.

      Spiraling love and light

  4. The interesting thing about the Shadow Yoga Prelude movements is that they are more reminiscent of Chinese martial arts movements such as the ones found in earlier Qigong forms such as Baduanjin, Yi Jin Jing and the various forms of 5 animals.
    In the classical Yoga texts ,that I’ve read, you don’t find much about gross movements, but mostly static seated poses and internal cultivation. Shadow Yoga, in the early stages, focuses a lot on preparing the body and mind for the seated poses, and draws a lot from South Indian dance forms, martial forms such as Kalaripayttu, as well as various martial forms from China.
    I find it concerning when yoga methods move quickly into complicated asanas that require a certain amount of strength and flexibility in the joints that most of us Westerners haven’t developed in our younger age. Then we wonder why we get injured trying to pull off these postures in our adult years.

    • Thank you for you comments. Yes, I would agree completely. Shadow Yoga is not yoga as well, bottom line. What is though? Nothing being taught out there is. Stable seat, that is what Patanjali states. Nothing moving. So simply obvious to anyone that understands foundational underpinnings. Yoga is not about the body, it is about moksha. Dance forms, martial arts, they are all not yoga, not meant to be either or they would also be called yoga.

      I don’t think you need to be concerned about Shadow Yoga and injuries. If you understand those fundamentals, you would see that most of what is being taught out there as yoga is highly disease forming from a yogic lens. Why not be concerned more that what is being touted as yoga has nothing to do with it and cannot give the results or the intended path that yoga does?

      We simply focus on an external and physical side of everything don’t we?

      Check out the next month of posts.

  5. Yours is probably one of the most inspiring blogs out there.
    As I try to decolonize myself and try to learn about my traditions, it is blogs like yours that give me hope that all is not lost.
    May the blessings of Shiva be always on you.

    • Ajandhyalaji, Thank you for your kind words and blessing. I do my best but the waves of Kali Yuga are very much against that direction. It is what is to be though, is it not? So no worries about what is lost, nothing is ever lost in the higher levels of it. It is all just cycles. Blessings to you. thx.

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