No problem in a home practice of course, adapt and modify and Vinyasa Krama is ideal. In the shala one feels a little more inclined to toe the party line or at least keep some semblance of an Ashtanga series.
I tend to get into the shala a little before Kristina turns up, do some of the Vinyasa Krama tadasana, hand and arm movements, to loosen up and then that nice slow lead into to utanasana. Next I switch to Krishnamacharya's instruction for the asana that make up the Ashtanga Surynamaskara. For utanasana he has you fold on the exhalation, straighten the back for the inhalation and repeat (kumbhaka options) for up to ten minutes or so. I don't take ten minutes but I'll use this approach to work myself a little deeper into utanasana over five to ten breaths or so. I take five breaths in Chatauranga (again Krishnamacharya mentions ten minutes), five long slow breaths in upward facing dog and then ten long breaths in down dog, that seems to stretch me out enough to move on to tentative sun salutations. Kristina turns up for the opening chant and by half way through the Sury B's I've pretty much loosened up and can do a half decent practice.
And a lot of the time it is half a practice. For the first week I practiced full Primary and then switched to full 2nd series. It was mostly going OK, some good days where I ended up adding on half of 3rd, not so good days where I erred on the side of caution and went straight to finishing rather than risk the leg behind head postures.
This week, not so great. I'd had a couple of days where I again moved to finishing before the leg behind heads, no problem, breath is nice and slow have no problem with half a series. I missed Friday Led and with the Saturday rest day I'd had two days off. I was feeling pretty good Sunday, no pain at all, first time in over a month. All through practice I felt great, thought I'd try a tentative Eka pada sirsasana (one leg behind head), that went OK so thought I'd see how Dwi pada was feeling.....
Just as I was putting my second leg behind I felt something 'shift' in my back and felt a shudder go right through my body, bugger. Think this counts as my first injury from practice although I can probably still blame in the boxes of books.
Stupid, stupid, why did I do it, I know better, there is no way I would have done that in my home practice, I would have carried on modifying, probably a vague Ashtanga shape to a Vinyasa Krama practice, wouldn't have gone anywhere near those postures for months, have a look at kurmasana perhaps but that would be it.
Kristina is great (see update below for how great), she pretty much lets me get on with my own thing in my own way and at my own slow pace but in return I feel inclined to keep my practice as close to the shala Ashtanga as possible. I could have skipped the leg behind head postures, switched in a maha mudra/janu sirsanana and kurmasana before moving on but decided to stick with the series.
Yesterday (Monday) I got up at my usual time, walked down to the port to get my coffee and watch the sun come up, could hardly walk, stand or sit so messaged Kristina that I'd be practicing at home.
Explorative Vinyasa Krama practice, Some tadasana, light twists, supine and vajrasana subroutines, finished with some mudras and pranayama, nice practice in the end.
This morning (Tuesaday) I went to the shala, no utanasana to speak of really, never did loosen up. Standing was tolerable otherwise, no pasanasa or krounchasana. The shalabasana's were nice would have loved to do the full VK Bow sequence and be done, went as far as ustrasana and then moved to finishing except I couldn't really do the Shoulderstand variations (all forward bends). Kristina has opened up outside now as a finishing option so was able to go out there and do some pranayama.
UPDATE (my FB status Wednesday)
Back was so bad this morning and I was dropping so many postures in standing that I thought I was just taking up mat space. Rolled up my mat to leave after half an hour, to go practice VK at home when Kristina asked me where I was going, "It's chikitsa" she said, "therapy, go back ( to the spot I'd vacated) and do your (Vinyasa) Krama". Remarkable teacher, turned into a nice practice, VK Supine (Can bend my legs to my chest but not bend forward), Bow, some meditative/vajrasana postures..... feeling much more comfortable.
UPDATE 2 Friday.
Completely forgot which day it was, Friday! Primary, bugger. Quite a few forward bends in Primary series, not much else in fact. After utkatasa'ing through the Sury's I decided to go at Sharath DVD pace, (I clocked his DVD at 13 seconds for Janu Sirsasana, just over a second for inhalation and the same for exhalation) I possibly went even faster this morning, did I really practice like this (with the DVD )for half a year back when I started, useful at the time for allowing me to do a full practice back when I was only prepared to commit an hour before work and it helped me learn the names, the order, the count perhaps.... useful back then but felt pretty pointless this morning from the perspective of the breath
I think my Paschimottanasana bore a striking resemblance to Dandasana with Jalandhara bandha, I half expected Kristina to come up at the end and ask me why I had just spent 40 minutes in stick pose.
Rest Day tomorrow then back to 2nd, I can do much of the first half perhaps and breathe
Manju will be here Tuesday, I have no (Ashtanga) practice to speak of, no forward bends, no backbends, find sitting uncomfortable and probably cant give let alone receive adjustments, this I the lottery of booking workshops and practice trips in advance for such a physical practice.