Many thanks to Satya for passing on his translation of part of the table from Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu outlining a division of 'Primary' and 'Middle' series asanas
From Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu
'5. ClassificationThis yoganga sadhana has been divided into three series: power (strength) series, treatment series and the spiritual series.
- The power series is further classified into mind and body
- The treatment series is divided into kosha (sheath) and Nadi (pulse)
- Spiritual is only one
First series requires many yogasanas and some pranayama
Second series needs some easy asanas and three pranayamas
Third series requires pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi
Later a table is shown that includes these'.
What I find most interesting in all this is not so much that we find the essentials of the modern Ashtanga system, in Krishanamacharya's Yogasanagalu and Yoga Makaranda, the 'tristana', we'd suspected as much already, but rather that early Ashtanga and Vinyasa Krama existed side by side.
Since encountering Vinyasa Krama through Ramaswami's teaching, two years ago, I've sought to reconcile and reintegrate what I'd thought of as the early and later teaching of Krishnamacharya. What we find in Yogasanagalu (already), the Yoga Makaranda and the 1938 video suggests that there was no division between early and later periods, that Krishnamacharyas teaching was perhaps consistent throughout his life, rather it was the situation in which he was teaching which accounts for any difference in focus.
Modern Ashtanga has perhaps tightened (simplified/narrowed?) the approach, the number and length of breaths, the breath retention in certain postures, a reduction in vinyasas and less focus on pranayama and the other limbs but this too was perhaps more a result of the teaching situation and encounter with the west.
If we watch the 1938 documentary footage of Iyengar and Krishnamacharya we see Iyengar performing many of the postures familiar to Ashtangi's and outlined in the table above in the 1941 Yogasanagalu, but we also see Krishnamacharya demonstrating many vinyasas in shoulder stand and headstand that are familiar to those who have studied Krishnamacharya's later teaching through Ramaswami and Deskichar.
In the Yogasanagalu we also find many photographs of Krishnamacharya demonstrating vinyasas (variations) of postures very much in line with Ramaswami's Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga, representing how Ramaswami was taught by Krishnamacharya from the 1950's-80's.
Hopefully more attention will now be given to Krishnamacharya's major works
Yogasanagalu ( partly translated)