sunnuntai 19. joulukuuta 2021

Sri Krishnamacharya's Early Astanga Yoga Blog


Sri Krishnamacharya's

Early Astanga Yoga Blog

This is a link to Anthony Grimm Hall's blog about the origins of ashtanga vinyasa yoga which is a form of physical yoga made popular by Krishna Pattabhi Jois. I am sharing the link to Hall's blog through my blog because Facebook doesn't allow posting the direct link.

The reason why I think Hall's blog is wonderful is because he has not only looked into the historical foundations of ashtanga yoga through Krishnamacharya's early presentations but also has brought a very creative and in a sense fearless presentation of asana and pranayama practice into the world of yoga postures and energy work.

This early, I would say original, spirit of ashtanga gives practitioners much more freedom to practice the postures in a way they want. This is according to the spirit of yoga because it is empowering.

-Kim Thubten Lingpa, 19.12.2021

Grimmly2007-YouTube with hundreds of videos

Vinyasa Krama Yoga-blog

Anthony Grimm Hall's interview 

About Anthony Grimm Hall

After spending five years traveling and working my way around the world in my early twenties (see Susan Griffith's book Work your way around the world) I returned to the United Kingdom and studied Philosophy. After a few years as a Philosophy of Arts teaching assistant at Kent University I taught at a preparatory School before moving to Japan to teach English and work as a teacher trainer for five years. After taking up the Saxophone in Japan i returned to England to study as a Woodwind Instrument Repairer.

My 'Yoga story' is outlined in Kiri Miller's book, Playing Along published next month (Feb 2012) by OUP.

'Grimmly is an ashtanga (and later Vinyasa krama) student without a teacher--an impossible contradiction to many practitioners, but one that is getting more possible all the time. He lives in the United Kingdom and works as a repairer of woodwind instruments. In early 2007, Grimmly's flat was burgled and seven saxophones were stolen. This incident made him so angry, and then so irritated with his own anger, that he decided to take up some form of meditation. In the course of reading about meditation practices, he learned that "a lot of meditators were also doing yoga," so he looked for a yoga book at the library and found Tara Fraser's Total Astanga (Fraser 2006). As an overweight 43-year-old man, he was a bit embarrassed even bringing the book up to the circulation desk. On his blog, he wrote, "Going to a yoga class wasn't something I even considered. A guy here, outside London, might think about going to a gym to get in shape but not a Yoga class, probably not even an aerobic class".

Grimmly began learning the sequence of asana from the book, practicing every morning before work, and soon began to order instructional DVDs and search for YouTube videos to help him develop his practice. He started his yoga blog (Ashtanga Vinyasa krama at Home) in the summer of 2008, after about a year and a half of practicing at home alone six days a week. His posts often invoke a growing community of hidden "home ashtangis" like himself.

As Grimmly developed his home practice, some of his choices posed challenges to ashtanga orthodoxy. For instance, when Grimmly blogged about his decision to begin learning the second series of asana, one commenter told him that he should not be learning any intermediate asana before he could stand up from a backbend: "Then and only then you start to add intermediate to your existing primary. Your teacher would give you each new asana as he saw your progress. . . . Traditionally in India, yoga has been learned from teacher to student, not from a book or video. It's really not right to decide to give yourself postures".

After a year and a half of home practice, Grimmly finally decided to try attending an ashtanga class at a shala. He went two Sundays in a row and was "blown away" by the physical adjustments he received from the teachers there. But a week later, he explained that he doubted he'd go back: "All the time it's just been me on my mat, alone in a room early each morning, my practice...Somehow now, after visiting the Shala, it feels a little like I'm practicing for someone else...I feel more distant from my practice, less involved" (Grimmly 2008b). It's clear from other posts that Grimmly developed his practice using books, famous teachers' DVDs, YouTube videos, other students' blogs, and any other media resources he could find. He often writes about insights gleaned from these sources. Nevertheless, the "live" teaching at the shala somehow alienated him from his practice. While he benefited from the physical adjustments he received, he was willing to forego them in order to maintain a sense of agency and responsibility for his own development: practicing for himself instead of a teacher.

Grimmly and his fellow cybershala practitioners are creating new transmission modalities for ashtanga yoga, from reflective writing to side-by-side slideshows that might reveal hidden traces of corporeal knowledge".

from Playing Along, Kiri Miller (Oxford University press 2012)

In June 09 I came across Srivatsa Ramaswami's 'Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga' and spent the next year working out how best to combine Vinyasa Krama with my Ashtanga practice. I attended Ramaswami's 200 hour Vinyasa Krama Teacher Training course at LMU, Los Angeles July/Aug 2010. I now practice Ashtanga in the evenings and have an integrated Vinyasa Krama practice, asana (based on subroutines), Pranayama and Mediation in the morning. Last year I made home videos of each of Ramaswami's Subroutines and produced practice sheets. Over the last three months I revisited each subroutine, one each morning, writing up practice notes to accompany the subroutines in the evening. These subroutine practice sheets and practice notes form the core of my book, Vinyasa Yoga at Home Practice Book