“The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star.”
|Pattabhi Jois - Samastithi|
|Pattabhi Jois - Surya namaskara 1st Vinyasa|
|Pattabhi Joi - Surya namaskara, 2nd Vinyasa Uttanasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Surya namaskara, 3rd and 7th vinyasa|
|Pattabhi Jois - Surya namaskara, 4th Vinyasa Chaturanga Dandasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Surya namaskara, 5th vinyasa, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Surya namaskara, 6th Vinyasa, Adho Mukha Svanasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - 2nd Surya Namaskara 1st Vinyasa, Uttkatasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - 2nd Surya namaskara 7th Vinyasa Virabhadrasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Ardha baddha Padma Paschimattanasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Garbha Pindasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Setu Bandhasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Sarvangasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Sirsasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Baddha Padmasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Mayurasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Vasisthasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Visvamitrasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Galavasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Astavakrasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Purna Matsyendrasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Viranchyasana A|
|Pattabhi Jois - Viparita Salabhasana|
ADVANCED ASANA FROM JOIS YOGA STUDIO
|Pattabhi Jois - Adhomukhavrkasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Adhomukhavrkasana|
|Pattabhi Jois - Durvasana, Galavasana, Viranchyasana|
In my posts this week I've been looking at Pattabhi Jois' early asana photos and speculating on what if anything they can perhaps tell us about Pattabhi Jois' own early practice.
In the first post I raise the suggestion that Pattabhi Jois himself may not have practiced the different Ashtanga series as series in the manner in which he taught them for that long a period, if indeed at all.
In the second post I take a closer look at his early advanced asana postures and question if he ever practiced Advanced series asana daily as series
2. What does Pattabhi Jois' Advanced A/Third series Visvamitrasana photo tell us about the development of his Ashtanga Vinyasa syllabus.
In the third post I ask if the above matters and conclude that it doesn't, that what was most important was the example of his teaching.
3. Should it matter if and how long Pattabhi Jois may have practiced the Ashtanga 'methodology' himself
In this final post in the series I'm posting early photos of Pattabhi Jois in asana. I feel like I'm worrying a bone, that there is a truth here that I can't quite get a bite on.
Most of these pictures seem to have been taken in the early to mid 1940s, around the time that Pattabhi Jois seems to have first written out the Ashtanga Syllabus based on his teacher Krishnamacharya's asana table ( the demonstration and teaching photos being the exception, most likely from the early 50s, I include them because for me they display a dignity and the suggestion to me of a deep and profound practice).
It strikes me that there is such poise and facility in the Primary asana that is lacking in the advanced postures. I watch the demonstration by Pattabhi Jois' peer BKS Iynegar in 1938 ( see post 2.), just a couple of years before these photos are taken, and am in awe of Iyengar's technique in his Advanced asana ( this is in no way intended as a criticism of Pattabhi Jois' own practice, quite the opposite in fact).
How do we explain this when Pattabhi Jois practiced asana with Krishnamacharya for so many more years.
The only conclusion I come to is that Pattabhi Jois personally was perhaps never that concerned with Advanced asana, that he saw them mainly for demonstration as he was to tell his later students. I'm reminded of Pattabhi Jois's son Manju telling me that the memories he had of his father practicing was of long stays in asana, seeking to master them completely.
Why bother too much with Visvamitrasana when there is Samastithi to truly master, the key asana of Paschimattanasana, Maha mudra/Janu sirsasana, Mayurasana, Baddha Konasana, Sarvangasana, Sirsasana..... Padmasana
.... let alone the other neglected limbs.
And yet when we asked for more asana and more and more, he gave them to us?
ON PROFICIENCY (MASTERY) OF AN ASANA
Did Pattabhi Jois get this from his teacher Krishnamacharya also ( see The Ashtanga Rishi series).
"When one is able to stay in the posture (E.G. utkatasana) for three to six breaths, then one should slowly increase the time to complete a stipulated number of breaths. Thereafter, one should remain in the posture for a predetermined number of breaths chosen by the practitioner or teacher, or for a fixed persiod, say three to five minutes. Then one's practice should be aimed at reducing the number of breaths while remaining in the posture for the same duration. for instance one may take a total of twenty breaths while in the posture. Later on, it may be possible to remain in the posture steadily and comfortably (sthira and sukha) for five minutes with perhaps only ten breaths. This is one method for attaining asana siddhi (perfection in posture) that one can test of oneself. Having achieved this level of comfort in the posture, one can then introduce the band has, which will increase the time taken for each breath".
(student of Krishnamacharya for three decades)