The yogis surrounded their teacher for a closer look at a pose that defied gravity and common sense."Should I leave now?" one woman had asked at the beginning of the sold-out class in shadow yoga, after she learned how difficult it would be. "It's up to you," instructor Scott Blossom said. "It's not going to be dangerous, though. I won't bend your spine or anything."
Blossom did not ask them to copy the most difficult pose, in which he extended his body parallel to the floor, held up only by his hands. But he led them through more than an hour of bending, twisting, squatting and breathing during the session at Yoga Journal's recent annual conference at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.
Blossom, who teaches in Berkeley and San Francisco, is one of few masters of the form, which he studied for nine years with founder Zhander Remete - a Hungarian native who is said to have begun practicing at age 6 - before being allowed to teach. Based on the traditional hatha yoga system, shadow yoga incorporates elements of South Indian dance and martial arts and has roots in ancient styles, poses and ayurvedic texts that Remete synthesized.Read more »