Now I'm thinking more in terms of a month, working with either Sharath's stream, DVD or CD. Friday, Sunday and Monday was the stream ( look, I took a rest day Saturday, how born again ashtangi am I ) and this morning I practiced with the CD.
God, can't believe I used to practice at that pace every morning. When I first started Ashtanga I used the David Swenson 40 minute short form before work, but when I came across Sharath's DVD and CD I was able to squeeze the whole practice in. I must have practiced like that, Sury to Savasana in an hour, for a year or so. No wonder the long slow inhalation/exhalations and general pace of Vinyasa Krama had such a profound affect on me.
I actually thought my Ashtanga was still OK. I'd kept up Friday Primary all along and Saturday or Sunday straight 2nd as well. But I'd been tweaking it of course, Vinyasa Kramanising it, modifications here, extra postures there, longer and slower inhalations and exhalations, extreme bandha work and on top of that every fancy jump back and though under the sun. It was a delightful practice. I recently mentioned to Claudia that it felt like I was tending it (my Primary) like a bonsai tree that was, in turn, tending me.
But however nice a practice it was, it wasn't really Ashtanga anymore, that was brought home to me on Friday and again Sunday, on Monday too and doubly so this morning.
Claudia's just mentioned at her place that she doesn't think Ashtanga is hard ( please catch her post and comments for the context of that ). I disagree, Ashtanga IS hard. I've been practicing pretty much every morning for four years, I'm in good shape, but after just a year veering away from a straight practice, I'm really feeling it coming back. I can do the postures of course, I know the script, know what's coming but the sheer pace of it has me sweating buckets. Utthita hasta padangusthasana to utthita eka padasana, Navasana and utpluthi, they're killing me here.
And I'm absolutely loving it.
Ashtanga is a tapas practice and don't it just know it.
So a month of practicing with Sharath, probably his DVD. I worked out the difference in pace, from Sury to savasana....
JoisYoga Stream 85 minutes
DVD 65 minutes
CD 55 minutes
...give or take.
The main reason is just to tighten the whole thing up, make it clean, at that pace there's no time for fussing. Straight forward lift up and jump back and just the straight leg jump through too.
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Then we can see about doing the same with my 2nd.
As for Vinyasa Krama, I just want to stop blending them for now, keep them separate, Ashtanga and some pranayama in the morning and then an hour to an hour and a half of Vinyasa krama practice after work, twenty minutes of VK subroutines as preparation for Pranayama and Meditation.
I was going to post a little segment of the stream, DVD and Cd to compare them but while looking I came across this video. I'd only seen the Kapo and Karandavasana in colour before, this, if you haven't already, your gonna want to see.
Do I miss those fancy poses at the end with my new honest primary, not tempted to roll out the mat and try Kandasana nahh, not a bit... OK perhaps a bit.