I take it back, I take it all back! That Ashtanga, and Primary in particular,....don't mess with it, don't tweak it, don't fiddle with it, doctor or accommodate it, don't tease it, bother it, worry it, don't do as the Romans do....
it's just dandy as it is.
Just practiced with Sharath's led from Friday's Joisyoga stream again. Much much better this time, better prepared. Managed to fit my breathing to his count, to play in time. Worked out where I was screwing up the vinyasa, basically stuck with a straight leg jump through throughout. All flowed more smoothly, glorious practice. Thinking about it I haven't practiced like that since the stairwell on the Vinyasa Krama course at 5am before the 3 hour asana class.
Nothing kicks raja butt like Ashtanga and that's kind of the point isn't it.
I still have some issues with the breath.
If it's a breathing practice, then why no time to breathe?
But it was, of course, a led class. In a mysore solo practice I imagine everyone takes it a little more slowly no? But then that pace is important and while lengthening my breath in my own practice this last year I've lost something of the dynamism of Ashtanga, it's tapas aspect (?). I'd want to slow it down just a little, a smidgin, but not too much. It would be OK if you did a good Pranayama session afterwards, really hope that Sharath will encourage/reintroduce that soon.
So back to basics, Primary for a month with this Sharath led ( I captured the stream ), strip it back down, tighten it up and then think about doing the same to my 2nd.
And in the evening my Vinyasa Krama, twenty minutes of the odd VK subroutines, twenty minutes pranayama and twenty minutes meditation.
I might not want to mess with my primary at the moment but still think it's so important to have the VK tool chest if and when you need to ( injuries).
Vinyasa Krama still makes more sense to me as a practice, mainly because of the length of the breath and variety and range of asana, it's integration of Pranayama and meditation. Plus there's the flexibility and adaptability, Ashtanga's not going to be everyones cup of tea.
But for now, in the morning's at least, it's my Lapsang souchong.
Ashtanga, it is what it is and is all the better for it.