Category Archives: Books, DVDs & Film

See Krishnamacharya (and Iyengar) on Video

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the BKS Iyengar video

Three very old videos have surfaced on YouTube.com, the main site for video sharing on the internet. Apparently, they were shot in 1938, and MCPetruk, who uploaded them, told me via email that he obtained them as part of the footage from an Iyengar Institute VHS.

Thank you to Dipita for the tip and to MCPetruk for sharing.

Links to the 3 films (one of the actual films is at the end of this post):

  • Krishnamacharya in inversions, nauli and various advanced pranayama techniques (4:32)
  • BKS Iyengar part 1 (3:11)
  • BKS Iyengar part 2 (3:26)
  • After hearing and reading so much about him,

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    Krishnamacharya at 50

    it is amazing to see Krishnamacharya on film. And what a film it is. In these short 4 minutes, you get a glimpse of a total mastery of the body, the postures and the breathing. The stories about Krishnamacharya stopping his heart become much more believable. His legendary strictness is apparent, too.

    I tried to remind myself as I was watching that Krishnamacharya was 50 years old when the film was shot. He does not look a day over 30.

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    Iyengar in Upward Dog
    in the middle of a vinyasa (!)

    Iyengar is also very impressive doing what seems to be a modified version of the Advanced A Series of Ashtanga. He is actually doing vinyasas! He must have been around 20 years old during that time, before he decided that vinyasas were “too much jumping”.

    Krishnamacharya practicing yoga in 1938

Something for Everyone: THREE New Books on Ashtanga

There’s been a surge in Ashtanga-related products lately, R. Sharath Rangaswamy’s Ashtanga Primary Series practice DVD, Mysore Style, a book of beautiful Ashtangi photographs, and the Guru, the documentary about Sri K. Pattabhis Jois by Robert Wilkins (available on DVD).

And now we have THREE new books:

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A detail from
Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy

  • Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy by Gregor Maehle, a teacher based in Perth, Australia. Yoga: Practice & Philosophy “integrates Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali as an organic whole, presenting them as two sides of the one coin”. The book also includes information on “the mythological background and yogic context” of specific postures in the Ashtanga practice, which sounds especially intriguing.
  • Ashtanga Yoga by Petri Raisanen, an Ashtanga teacher based in Helsinki, Finland. From the online content page, there’s several sections of the book I would love to read: History of Ashtanga Yoga and Impacts of Poses (the book is currently only available in Swedish and Finnish, though an English version is in process). The website also includes lots of photos from the book, including 85 stunning, clean photos of Petri practicing various Ashtanga postures by photographer, Alexander Berg.
  • Ashtanga Yoga As It Is by Matthew Sweeney,
    “the only resource that fully details the primary, intermediate and advanced A and B series of Ashtanga Yoga”. A classic, re-released. Photos along with lots of text about the practice.
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Matthew Sweeney’s Classic Book

I’ve gotten hold of Matthew Sweeney’s book so we’ll be reviewing it soon.

I remember the days in the nineties when there were only two or three books on Ashtanga – in a decade! It’s great to see so many high quality publications come forth to spread the knowledge.

And now for some beautiful photos from Petri Raisanan’s book…

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Navasana

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Setu Bandhasana

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Petri Raisanen jumps through