I find it useful to look at Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda (1934, 2nd edition 1938 ) the Krishnamacharya/Iyengar documentary footage (1938) and Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (1941) together.
In Yoga Makaranda we have 40+ asana described in detail
Yogasanagalu has 25 asana described in detail but these seem to be the same as those in the Yoga Makaranda.
Yogasanagalu has the table (see yesterdays post) listing 200 asana, their vinyasas and the focus of the breath in the posture
The table is divided into Primary, Middle and Proficient groups of asana.
Perhaps the most striking difference between Krishnamacharya's 'original' Ashtanga and current practice is that the Proficient (Advanced) postures don't seem to have been turned into a recognisable series in the 30's and 40's but are rather jumbled together as we find in the list.
While the Primary and Middle groups are not described as a series it does seem reasonable to assume that they were practiced in the rough framework of a series, this is suggested by the similarities in the order in which they are described in Yoga Makaranda (1934), listed in Yogasanagalu (1941) and found later in Pattabhi Jois' Yoga Mala, there seems to be consistency.
The proficient group of asana were perhaps then learned and practiced as extensions to the postures in the Primary and Middle group and this would reflect how Ramaswami was taught by Krishnamacharya in the 50's-80's, E.G. janusirsasana moving through akarna dhanurasana to eka pada sirsasana and on into kasyapasana, skandasana and durvasana.
Michael Gannon relates in his DVD ( Heaven and Earth) that Pattabhi Jois told him the Primary series was for everyday, the Intermediate series for teachers and the Advanced postures for demonstration.
In the 1938 documentary film footage below we find Krishnamacharya and his family, including Iyengar demonstrating asana. Krishnamacharya is mainly seen demonstrating the shoulder stand and headstand variations almost exactly as I was taught them by Ramaswami suggesting a continuity and consistency of practice that stretches back further than when Ramaswami was taught them in the 50's-80's but back at least as far as the 30's, the Mysore palace years.
Iyengar is mostly demonstrating the Proficient group of postures most of which we find in the list from Yogasanagalu but with some others that have been overlooked or deliberately left out. Kandasana for example is not in the list but Iyengar relates how Krishnamacharya asked him to perform it for the first time in a demonstration in 1938 (same year as the movie), "Bring both feet together towards the chest, as if you were doing namaskar a with the feet". (from My yoga journey in Vol 1 of Astadala Yogamala).
The 1938 demonstration, then, gives us a look at how the proficient postures were approached in demonstration in this period and shows us that there were many more postures that Krishnamacharya was teaching at that time that did not appear in the Yogasanagalu table of asana.
The 1938 demonstration also reveals that the approaches we think of as the modern ashtanga of Pattabhi Jois (reflected in the Iyengar section of the movie) and the Vinyasa Krama of Srivatsa Ramaswami (Krishnamacharya's own demonstration of head and shoulder stand vinyasas), and also of the viniyoga of Desikachar (the demonstrations by Krishnamacharya's family (?)), existed side by side right from the beginning, they were, just that, differences of approach dependent on the situation, the students and the short term as well as long term goal of the practice.
This perhaps suggests that in our own practice it is not a question of switching from one style of asana practice to another but rather of bringing in other aspects of these different approaches as our practice develops. Exploring Longer inhalations and exhalation, kumbhaka (breath retention), adding or switching different variations of a posture into our practice, considering longer stays and finishing our practice with pranayama as well as perhaps a meditative practice such as chanting perhaps, japa (mantra) meditation and the study of 'appropriate' texts. For those of who practice a slower approach and a wider range rotating rather than fixed asana, perhaps occasionally narrowing the range of asana, fixing a framework and practicing with equal inhalation and exhalation for shorter stays may also be an option to explore.
Screenshots from the Krishnamacharya documentary footage of 1938
List of above asana (asterisk indicates found in Yogasanagalu list)
*Ekapadasirsasana A. *Eka pada sirsasana B. *Kasyapasana. *Bhairavasana.Chakorasana. *Durvasana.Skandasana.*Astavakrasana.*Aandha bherundasana B.Ghandha berundasana C.*Ekapada viparita dandasana. Koundinyasana A. Koundinyasana B. *Urdhava kukkutasana. Pingu kukkutasana. *Eka pada bakasana B. *Bakasana. Supta bhekasana. Kandasana. *Vashitasana. *Viswamitrasana.* Kukkutasana.Gandha pindasana. Ardha badha padma kapotasana. *Yogapitha. *Dhanurasana. *Parsva dhanurasana. Padangusthasana dhaurasana A. Padangusthasana dhaurasana B .Ardha vashitasana. *Hanumanasana. *Supta trivikramasana. *Natajarasana. Parivritta natajarasana. Supra hasta padangustasana. *Viparita dandasana. Parivritta eka pada dhanurasana. Eka pada dhanurasana. Bakasana variation. *Mayurasana (from sirsasana). Parivritasana. *Pincha mayurasana. *Vrishikasana. Eka pada vrishikasana. Urdhva dandasana. *Vatayanasana.