Intro to Intoku… and Shadow Yoga

Yogis of Zurich are really privileged, that’s a fact. Not just because they have so many yoga options to choose from, but also because there’s always something new to explore! And I don’t mean just a new location, but also new styles and interpretations of the yoga practice.

Intoku is one of those brand new studios which doesn’t just offer “same old” in a better, nicer, fancier setting, but a truly authentic and holistic menu of experiences. From yoga, pilates and qi gong, to ayurveda, therapy and coaching – this is a place where you can get a full package of services for your wellbeing.

By the way, this is not just me rephrasing what I read on their new website, but what I saw and learned about from Julia, who runs this lovely place. We had the chance to meet in person at a Sanapurna workshop, just after she graduated her teacher training and right before I started mine. I’m very glad we kept in touch, and it’s always beautiful to connect with passionate people who build new things and share them with the world – that’s exactly the vibe I got from Julia when we met at the Intoku Open Day on 9 November.

The Open Day was actually a 2-day weekend event to introduce yogis to the different types of classes and styles offered at Intoku. Here you’ll see a mix between hatha yoga (mainly taught by brilliant Sanapurna-minted alumni like Bryanna), meditative yoga, and energizing yoga classes. This latter type I got to experience “live”!

Michal’s energizing session was truly new – even for me 😉 For 60 minutes, she introduced me and fellow yogis to the concept of Shadow Yoga: a hatha yoga variation that aims to dissolve the shadows of our being, in order to give way to our true self. Nicely anchored in the concept of the 5 layers / koshas of the body, and combined with open spirit / freestyle, this yoga class was mindful, powerful, fluid.

We worked with quite a few moves that I recognized from qi gong: flowy, undulating arm movements, and mainly standing poses that tested weight distribution and balance. The individual postures and sequences carried sanskrit names I recognized, and one could see a nice mix between traditional alignment-based yoga principles and free movement practices.

One of the parts I really enjoyed was Michal’s relaxed and clear teaching style: demonstrating as well as aligning verbally and physically, without disturbing the flow of the practice. To me, what was truly innovative in this class was the new interpretation of sun salutations, from the traditional front-facing and rather binary movements, to the multi-dimensional twists and turns from the front to the back of the mat – certainly something I struggle to describe with words, better experienced “live” 😉

This class was indeed just a glimpse into Shadow Yoga, this innovative yoga variation that certainly did justice to the name of the session: “energizing yoga flow”! I left the beautiful studio room with fresh energy, a new reading suggestion, and a healthy appetite for the apéro that followed the class 🙂

Maybe I have come one shadow closer to my true self, maybe not. At any rate, I had a beautiful experience with inspiring people in a new, authentic community!

Thank you for the intro, Michal, Julia and the Intoku team!

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