|Old Shala - http://ashtanganews.com/2006/03/06/mysore-style/|
Mark and Joanne Darby talks about their first year in Mysore, India. They stayed for a period of 4 years studying with yoga master Shri K Pattabhi Jois at the old and famous Lakshmipuram shala. This interview was recorded in May 2014 where Darby was teaching mysore classes at www.astangastudio.dk.
Mark Darby's DVD
from my old 2009 post Developing a home practice Part 2
I was now thinking about Ashtanga rather than Yoga and wanted a video and a mat. I remember feeling a bit sheepish going to an exercise shop and looking at the yoga section. I bought a box that had a purple mat and some blocks and wanted to say at the counter that it wasn't for me but a present for a friend. But I loved that first mat (still have it). I remember reading Elsie's blog (that I miss, by the way) where she talks about 'old blue', that's how I felt about my purple mat. As soon as I got home I rolled it out and threw down a few Sury A's.
I can't remember how came across the Mark Darby DVD http://www.amazon.com/Ashtanga-Yoga-Primary-Mark-Darby/dp/B0006I036C but I still think I was really lucky to choose it and that it's THE best beginners ashtanga DVD. I lent it to a friend and still haven't got it back. I think it starts with a little Demo of Mark doing his own practice, a mixture of 1st 2nd and Advanced I think, very very cool. Could I ever do that, loved the jump back and the handstand/arm balances even then.
The video has Mark Darby doing the standard Ashtanga Primary but his student Nicole Bordeleau practicing alongside, but doing some simplified variations and explaining them in her French Canadian accent...I'm still madly in love with Nicole Bordeleau. Presenting it this way the practice didn't seem dumbed down for beginners but rather just making allowances for an individuals flexibility. Here was a simplified Jump back or rather step back allowing you to link the poses. I began to get the hang of the Ujjayi breath. I remember it being described somewhere as constricting the throat and trying to sound like Darth Vader. I was skeptical about the Bandhas (no change there then).
If I'd started by going to Shala to learn Ashtanga I guess I would have been given one pose at a time and not allowed to progress past the current pose until it was... acceptable. I didn't hear about any of that until much later, and was, (still am) very surprised by it. I was only constrained by time. The video was an hour and a half, I would just do Standing and finishing on a work day but follow the whole video through on my day off and on Sundays. So within a month I was practicing all of primary, though using variations throughout.