I got a copy of David Swenson's Ashtanga Yoga : The Practice Manual over the holidays . It has proven to be an invaluable resource. My present work schedule no longer allows the gift of an almost daily practice that I had with my teachers.
This manual has helped with the creation of a road map for daily self-practice . David breaks down all the asanas & series and distills them so one can apply practice for 15 , 30 minutes or even an hour. It is spiral bound so you can lay the manual by the mat in order to practice the asana or vinyasa. Excellent -
I had mentioned to my primary teacher after his class today that David Swenson captured the RASA of Patanjali's Ashtanga ( 8 limbs of yoga ) in a MODERN treatment :
" Through regulation of practice, the eight limbs are nourished. Personal insights begin to manifest. We become aware of what we put in our bodies and how we interact with the world around us. From this type of introspection, the qualities of YAMA & NIYAMA begin to develop. ASANAS & PRANAYAMA grow when focused , awareness of the breath is applied while practicing each posture.As we keep the mind fixed on the sound & quality of our breath, the senses are encouraged to turn inward & the element of PRATYAHARA manifests.
As we improve our abilities of controlling the senses from wandering during practice, the subtle quality of concentration deepens in the form of DHARANA. In time, the practice moves further internally and refinement of concentration develops as our ability to remain present is enhanced. The practice then moves further into a deep meditative experience known as DHYANA. At this stage,we are creating greater potential to explore the finest realms of yoga known as SAMADHI, in which we realize the pure essence of all that exists. "
And this is why yoga TRANSFORMS . Can you call yourself an advanced practitioner if the above elements are missing?