UPDATE: I received an email this from A. this week asking me how I started and I guess developed my home practice. I was going to direct her to the link to these Developing a home practice posts but it tends to link to the most recent first. This then is an attempt to put it all in the correct order. Bit awkward doing this so let me know if I've screwed up any of the links.
I was asked this in an email this week.
'By the way, did you start doing Ashtanga gradually or if not how? If it does not bother you that I ask I would be very interested in your first days and weeks. I am curious and I feel I could also learn from that'.
I think I pretty much dived in. My flat had been burgled in February 2007 and seven saxophones stolen. Although I managed to get five of them back I was angry about the whole affair and was annoyed with myself for being so angry about it. I decided to get back into Meditation, I'd practiced a little Zen years before. I came across the ZenCast podcast with Gil Fronsdal http://www.learnoutloud.com/Catalog/Religion-and-Spirituality/-/Zencast-Podcast/6825 and began to practice Vipassana meditation. Reading around the practice I found that a lot of meditators were also doing yoga so I picked up two books from the library. One was Total Astanga: The Step-by-Step Guide to Power Yoga at Home for Everybody by Tara Frazer I think it had looked the best laid out and the least embarrassing to take up to the Library counter.
The other was by Liz Lark ( a student of Derek Ireland).
Next: First DVD Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series Mark Darby