Now this is interesting, a couple of videos from Matthew Sweeney appeared on YouTube this morning. First one looks particularly interesting....
And yet I wonder who it's aimed at.
Excellent Mathew has those beginner versions of Sun Salutations, the stepping back, stepping forward, leading up to finally jumping forward but then he continues on up to floating back and floating up again to standing even via handstands. Same goes for jump back and jump through, beginner variations moving on up to advanced fancy Ashtanga.
It's a DVD for buying early in your practice perhaps and keeping hold of as you progress.
I was wondering though if it was for me.
I'm long passed those beginner variations and in a sense I'm passed all the fancy stuff too in that I'm no longer interested in a floaty stylised practice. These days I prefer to keep it simple, stripped back/down, my jump through of choice these days is Sharath's delicate little hop.
But then again perhaps it's not about being fancy, showy, there's a subtlety there in those floats up and back, a shifting of body weight, control rather than effort, craft. Perhaps it's time to revisit some of these, not for the showiness (whose to see anyway in my home practice) but for the subtlety, the delicacy and as my thoughts turn once again towards full vinyasa, for the conservation of energy.
So perhaps it is for me after all, very curious to know what else is on the DVD, not much on the website but it does say it's comprehensive.
Upcoming DVDs due in 2013
Vinyasa Unlocked (a comprehensive technique DVD)
The video reminds me of Mathhew's 2nd book Vinyasa Krama (not to be confused with Ramaswami's Vinyasa krama). Most of the book is taken up with the five alternative sequences, the Moon sequence for example below, but there is a wonderful section at the beginning where Matthew goes through the development of Jumping back and through, backbends etc.
Here's what he has to say about it on his Website Yoga Temple
VINYASA KRAMA: Five Unique Sequences
Experience the ancient method of Yoga retold in these five flowing Vinyasa Series.
They are called the Moon Sequence, the Lion Sequence, the Bound Sequence, the Flying Sequence and the Fifth Sequence. Each series emphasises different aspects of the body and mind to create an overall Yoga program for any level of ability. They progress through basic, intermediate and advanced asana. The first two series are a great introduction to Yoga for the beginner and the later series offer inspiring possibilities for the experienced practitioner. Alternatives are provided for each of the sequences with practical and safe guidance for adapting to many individual difficulties and injuries. Each of the sequences is linked to specific breathing and meditation techniques which are accessible and safe for all levels. In addition this book provides a comprehensive visual asana library displaying over 850 individual postures. Vinyasa Krama is an extensive one of a kind resource for teachers and students of any Yoga tradition.
This updated 2nd Edition of the book is now printed in an easy to use A4 portrait style, similar to As It Is. Most of the book has been updated, including some of the written text, the Mula Bandha section and some details on Pranayama. Each of the sequences has been refined and adjusted, in particular the sequencing and postures for Chandra Krama and Simha Krama have been changed and some small corrections to each of the other series. Vinyasa Krama is now greatly improved.
If you have a previous copy I do recommend purchasing the 2ndversion, unfortunately I cannot offer a discount through the website. Any student attending one of my workshops with a signed copy of the first edition (A3) can get a discount for the new version.
I reviewed the book briefly here a few years back (2008) , unfortunately I bought the huge A3 version, bit unwieldily, much better in the current A4 version I think .
There's also an excellent Asana dictionary at the back.
A video also appeared on Matthew's Moon Sequence this morning
Much more on his website about this one
CHANDRA KRAMA: THE MOON SEQUENCE[DVD]
This DVD is the first of a series of flowing Asana practices designed by Matthew Sweeney. Chandra Krama is intended as a support to your regular weekly Yoga practice, whether it is Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga or some other style or tradition.
The Moon Sequence is a gentle flowing Vinyasa form accessible for all levels. Although this sequence was originally intended for practice on the Full Moon, the New Moon and during the menstrual cycle, it is appropriate at any time for women and men.
This sequence emphasizes the hips, groin, lower spine and abdomen, which will feel awake and alive after moving through the postures. It takes pressure off the neck, shoulders and wrists and is useful as a regular alternative to the intensity of traditional Ashtanga Yoga. Whether old or young, this sequence is great for any age.
I have to admit, despite having had Matthew's Vinyasa Krama book for, what, five years, I don't think I've ever tried any of the alternative five sequences he presents. As fixed sequences, Ashtanga Primary, Intermediate, Advanced A and B always seemed plenty. I bought Matthew's Vinyasa Book back then for all the Ashtanga info at the beginning and especially the jump back and back bending progressions.
Perhaps because I never got on with the size (A3) of the first edition, I'd be tempted to practice along with the DVD or go to one of his Moon Sequence workshops just to see what it's like, how it feels, some I hear swear by it.
I wonder if the video has instruction, if it's led with a voice over calling the postures etc., tricky to practice with otherwise, oh and can you turn the ruddy music off, can't be dealing with noise while I practice.
Some more details on the moon sequence DVD in comments to this post
Shira Fisher19 May 2013 16:02
"I'll have to check my Moon Sequence video to see if you can turn of the music (just checked it and couldn't turn off the music). There is instruction through the asana practice and I have to say the music and Matthew's voice don't turn me off in fact they are incredibly relaxing and don't take away from the practice at all like some of my videos that I have had to disregard because of the intolerable voice and music. The music is much more subtle than the video you posted above less instrumentation and chanting influenced. I also like that the video opens and closes with the ashtanga salutations. My practice is strictly Ashtanga Primary and the moon sequence. I am opening up more with all the hip opening of the moon sequence, back bends etc it really is complimentary to the Ashtanga practice in my bodies view of things. I recommend the moon sequence as it really feels like a natural fit to my Ashtanga practice".
Thanks for filling in the gaps, I'm tempted to try it.
Heard from somebody else that the music is "very much not in the background" and that "you can't turn it off" and that while they like the Moon sequence the music puts them off using the DVD.
Ashtangi's, we don't tend to like music when we practice.....or would you disagree?
I should mention Matthew's first book while I'm at it.
Ashtanga Yoga As It Is
This book is a comprehensive guide to the first four sequences of Ashtanga Yoga: Primary, Intermediate, Advanced A and Advanced B as taught by Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois. To date this is the only book available which details all of the first four traditional sequences of Ashtanga Yoga.
The third edition of Ashtanga Yoga As It Is contains an extensive range of new material, providing many relevant techniques on breathing, Asana, Bandha and Drishti. It offers insight into the practical application of Yoga philosophy including information on the Chakra, Granthi, Nadi and the Yoga sutras of Patanjali. The photographic section of the book visually depicts all of the postures, movements and breaths of the first four traditional sequences. It also presents the correct Sanskrit transliterations and the traditional Vinyasa counting for every posture. The first two editions of the book (which are currently out of print) are a simple and beautiful visual presentation of only the Asana for the traditional series.
Ashtanga Yoga As It Is provides an exploration of both the physical and psychological aspects of the practice. It aims to shed light on some core Yoga concepts and relevant self development principles. It covers the main points of the Ashtanga tradition including many previously unwritten rules advocated by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. This is a one of a kind map to the traditional Vinyasa method.
Printed on black and white satin durable paper, the book is presented in an A4 (29x21cm) landscape format. It is spiral bound which makes it ideal for placing beside the Yoga mat.
This is An Ashtanga blogger's essential text, mine is falling apart,
Writing a post and need to check the spelling of a posture, Matthew's your man, quick and easy to find. It also has another section with all the vinyasas, the count etc. I've been taking this back and forth to the shala and the Mac for years, I need two copies. One propped up in the shala, perfect size to double check the sequence if your revisiting 2nd or Advanced after a period of time or learning them at home (perish the thought) and another copy beside the mac. Essential text.
And lastly seeing as this as turned from a quick share of the two videos into a Matthew Sweeney post, mention again of Matthew's recent Article on Love Yoga Anatomy
The Evolution of Ashtanga Yoga 50 comments
and the follow up
Ashtanga Yoga 70 years or 2000? 19 comments ( inc. a couple from me)
and my own post on this
Did Krishnamacharya teach Ashtanga Primary Series? Matthew Sweeney and the Origin of Ashtanga, Yoga Korunta and Vinyasa?
and one more, a guest post by Marie HALLAGER Andersen
Guest post - Ashtanga Yoga: practice with discipline but practice smart, a response to Matthew Sweeney's recent article