I was asked "Why Subroutines"?
Here seems as good a place as any to put my own thoughts on this.
Vinyasa' in the Ashtnga style of Pattabhi Jois tends to refer to the transitioning in and out of a posture, the jump back often referred to as the half-vinyasa but in Vinyasa Krama it has Krishnamacharya's usage as variation.
I seem to remember Ramaswami referencing Krishnamacharya as saying that asana without it's vinyasa is futile. Krishnamcharya writes on this in his Yoga Makaranda, p79 saying '...all the vinyasas should be followed'.
The subroutines are the vinyasas/variations of an asana, but also the stages that lead into and out of an asana. Krishanamacharya says too that the vinyasas must be practiced so that the prana circulates evenly. Ramaswami talks about the vast range of asana as allowing the blood to circulate to all areas of the body. I'm happy to link (loosely) prana to blood circulation. If we only practice a few asana we don't access our bodies evenly and completely.
This suggests that practicing a bunch of unrelated postures in a practice is less than ideal.
But of course we can only practice so much, so there's compromise
Vinyasa Krama recommends practicing a number of subroutines one morning and then different subroutines the following day and so on through the week or ten days so we reach all areas of the body in our practice.
Ashtanga has a wide mixture of postures and mini subroutines that you practice daily.
I like a subroutine will often lead up to a posture, give you variations that allow you to extend and develop the main posture and then finish with a counterpose, it seems to make sense. Plus if your going to do a posture, if we think that a posture has some value, some benefit then surely we should be milking it for everything it's got. Every slight variation of the posture has a different subtle effect on the body.
The sequences in the book are just groupings of postures, all the Supine postures, all the Bow postures. Standing gets split into three sequences both feet , one foot/leg and triangle which seems to form a grouping of it's own, then of course all the many postures in lotus and inversions etc. At the back of the book are a number of subroutines that don't seem to fit into any grouping.
Within that grouping, Asymmetric say, there are a number of key asana and it's around these that the vinyasas, the variations are built. Ashtanga has that with the janu sirsasana mini subroutine but it also has the one leg bent back posture, tiring mukha eka para paschimottanasana all on it's own. Vinyasa Krama has a whole subroutine built around that pose, the different possibilities it raises. Interestingly there is a nice variations but in fourth series ashtanga, with the other leg behind the head.
Some subroutines are more challenging than others and they would come later in that overall grouping of subroutines and some of those subroutines seem to lead on to each other others are complete and stand alone. It seems to make sense that Virabhadrasana subroutine follows utthita Parsva konasana but it's clearly different. The prasaritta subroutine (see tomorrow day 15), almost exactly the same as in Ashtanga, isn't a development at all and could probably go anywhere in the triangle sequence at the beginning, middle or end.
The motion from the first to the second picture is revolving shoulder joint action, a fluid almost circular motion. the same action comes up in the On your feet sequence in the haste variations from Day one.
Notice the difference between the third picture here and yesterdays parsva konasana, this is similar but with the knee bent. It's the bent knee that characterises virabhadrasana
As with parsva konasana the raising of the leg comes from the hip
Visualise a rope on you wrist and on your raised ankle stretching you
As with Day 12, Utthita parsva konasana we need to protect our one as we straighten and bend the leg
Be careful of your knees, use the back of a chair if necessary,
Don't go down too low at first.
Lowering is easier than coming back up. If necessary lower slowly but then put your hand and foot back down to come back up before raising your arm and leg and lowering again until your legs strengthen enough to come back up unsupported.
Focus on band has to help keep your steady and fix your gaze on a point on the mat.
In the final posture use the repeat approach at first going in and out of the posture on the breath a little deeper each time.
NB: These are practice notes that will be tidied up and put into the new edition of my Vinyasa Yoga Practice Book along with the current sequences and subroutines. The book can be freely downloadedHERE. There is a page on Facebook HERE with all the latest sheets and updates. This book is in no way a substitute for Ramaswami's Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga.