It was pointed out that Philippa's Advanced B was different from the Advanced B in the 1973/74 Syllabus Pattabhi Jois gave to Nancy Gilgoff and David Williams.
In 2006, Philippa established and ran Triyoga Soho’s Ashtanga self-practice programme in London. She taught there for five years before moving to South India, to build her own shala (on a coffee estate in Sakleshpur, in the Western Ghats). ASHTANGA NIRVṚTA is a stunning homestay yoga retreat, which aims to bring Ashtanga yoga to all levels of practitioners, in nature (I've seen pictures, stunning). Full Bio HERE
Yes, the Advanced B above is indeed different from the 'original' 1974 syllabus below.
I wonder if the change happened in 1994 when Lino tried to pin Pattabhi Jois down on what actually constituted Advanced A and B. I should check carefully the video we have of Advanced in a garage that Clifford posted, I suspect it might be closer to Nancy and David's 73/74 syllabus than Lino's.
I don't think Pattabhi Jois knew what to do about Advanced series ( or perhaps this is where we see him come into his own).
Primary and Intermediate are close to Krishnamacharya's Primary and Middle asana list that we find in Yogasanagalu but Krishnamacharya Advanced Asana list seemed to be more a case of lumping advanced asana into one list.
We know from the Iyengar 1938 video that Krishnamacharya was teaching more advanced asana than was in the list (suggesting Krishnamacharya may well have got that list of asana from somewhere else (his teacher? a text....yoga korunta?) So Pattabhi Jois, knew all those Advanced asana (whether he actually practiced all them or not) but didn't really have a well constructed list to base them on, he seems to have played around with several different versions.
So we have Krishnamacharya's lists and Iyengar demonstration dating back to late 30s early 40s, then we see Pattabhi Jois' 1974 list that he gave to Nancy and David that Clifford learned from and is teaching you. See the new version of Lino Miele's book Ashtanga Yoga - The yoga of breath
In 1994 we have a new Advanced A and B from when Pattabhi Jois sat down with Lino and then at some point ( and I'm trying to find out which year this happened) the early 1974 list and the later 1994 list being reordered into Advanced C, D, E and F (possibly around 1996) later reordered again perhaps into 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th (around 1999?). Third and fourth seem to be pretty much Lino's 1994 A and B list but some of the asana from the 1974 syllabus seem to have turned up in 5th and we don't really know what's in 6th.
There also seems to be a period when Advanced A and B were practiced together, there's a poster that Derek Ireland had (http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/.../old-illustrations...)
|Advanced A and B asana practiced together|
It shouldn't be a surprise perhaps that some of the early practitioners practiced Advanced A and B together, we know several of Pattabhi Jois' students practiced Primary and 2nd series together so why not Advanced A and B. Joanne Darby mentions in my review of Pushpam that she practice Primary, 2nd And 3rd together in around three hours and Rolf Naujokat mentions he practice Advanced A and B together for 28 years ( http://tinyurl.com/gm7je32)
from my Pushpam magazine review and Ashtanga and ageing
I particularly enjoyed this section on Ashtanga and the Autumn of Life, how practice matures ( I have my own page on this topic HERE). It's not just that you can perhaps no longer approach practice as you used to but that you begin to see it for the attachment it is (to advanced asana) and are more ready to let go. Joanne Darby was asked if she misses the practice she used to have ( She used to practice Primary, Intermediate and Advanced series in three hours every morning), no she says "I replace it with pranayama". Rolf Naujokat replies to the same question "Create a practice out of your understanding from what you have (already) learned in order to nourish your body-mind organism in a loving non-violent way" and remember he says "Everything comes and everything goes". The writer of the article and editor of the magazine, Genny Wilkinson Priest concludes the perfectly punctuated piece (in joke) with "For all these older practitioners, Ashtanga continues to support them and shape them they wouldn't dream of quitting and will go on practicing whatever form it takes". She quotes Pattabhi Jois: "Yoga is internal the rest is circus"
There is a part 2 article on practice and ageing from Philippa Asher, I have a friend who is constantly mentioning what an excellent teacher Philippa is, she will be delighted to see this article from her teacher. here are a couple of quotes from Philipa's article.
"I now also know that the length of my practice in late thirties was too long. Before I was split between Advanced A And Advanced B, it took nearly three hours and i did not menstruate for three years. I should have told my teacher obviously. Ladies' holidays are important and if we women are not menstruating they need to explore why and then address the problem. The practice is all about finding optimum spiritual, physical and mental well-being".
"Growing older makes practice even more interesting."
"It may be possible to sustain my practice through my forties, but I'm guessing that with each subsequent decade I might be inclined to drop half a series".
It's unlikely I think that Pattabhi Jois practiced any of those Advanced series as series in whatever version. see http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2015/08/did-pattabhi-jois-practice-some-or-all.html More likely I think Pattabhi Jois practiced Advanced asana with Krishnamacharya just for demonstration as Iyengar did.
To sum up. Pattabhi Jois it seems based his Primary and Intermediate series (with minimal rearrangement) on Krishnamacharya's list (no doubt the one that turns up in Yogasanagalu ( my visual representation below)
Krishnamacharya's advanced list/group doesn't seem to have any coherent order, just a place to randomly list Advanced asana.
Pattabhi Jois then, seems to have arranged that list and perhaps other asana he and Iyengar were taught by Krishnamacharya into two series Advanced A and B that were occasionally practiced together.
Later, Advanced A and B seem to have been simplified and perhaps turned into Advanced A to D and later still arranged into 3rd to 6th.
Primary and Intermediate and the asana thrown together in Krishnamacharya's Advanced group with their vinyasa and kumbhaka may go back further than Krishnamacharya, back to his teacher Ramamohana Brahmachari or perhaps to a table in a text (Yoga korunta anyone?) or he may have come up with it himself (personally I'm guessing a text) but Advanced A and B, or 3rd to 6th are clearly recent.
Pattabhi Jois may have come up with Advanced A and B for the third and fourth year of the Yoga course he was teaching at the Sanskrit college in the late 1930s but 5th and 6th series are surely no earlier than the late 1990s.
When it is pointed out that Sharath is the only person to practice 6th series (does he still, I suspect not) all it's saying perhaps is that he's practicing a sequence thrown together in the last twenty years.
Are 5th and 6th series anything other than carrots dangled in frount of us?
Pattabhi Jois supposedly said that Primary was for everyone, Intermediate for teachers and Advanced only for demonstration.
I practiced Advanced A and also B for a short while (and like you Ricky I think I had no place practicing Advanced B, I certainly didn't smile through it like Philippa Asher does in the video below), for me personally, now more than ever, Primary and perhaps the first half of 2nd seems quite sufficient for my purposes and 'history' too feels less important than it used to be (but may bemore important than ever - links to 60+ post below).
I asked Krishnamacharya in a blog post to convince me why I should practice Advanced asana, he does have a response, see this post
This is probably an Ashtanga yoga Ashtanga Yoga Confluence question, when those earlier practitioners are sitting around together and can share notes about when the names of the series and what constituted them was tweaked this way and that.
Ashtanga History page
Saturday, 6 July 2013