It's probably good to consider why I decided to stop practicing Ashtanga and take up The Rocket. I could get through all of Primary by now, though with the help of Swenson's variations, but it was difficult to see myself going much further. I didn't think I would ever get Marichiyasana D, or get my legs over my head in Supta Kurmasana. My legs were still, bent in all the forward bends, still miles from the floor and the Jump back just wasn't happening. There seemed no way to lift my backside off the floor far enough to get my legs through. Looking ahead in Swenson I couldn't imagine ever being able to do Intermediate. Wasn't I too old now for Eka Pada Sirasana or Kapotasana ( not at all, as it turned out).
I came across my John Scott DVD again, put it on and was just blown away. Here's a link to the Intro on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDWUjPUpbHo In his Primary he's practicing on a black mat in an empty, white studio. There's this big booming ujaii breath and a voice over giving the count and drishte. His gaze is fixed and he moves through primary with such Strength, and yet..... grace. It's a very powerful, controlled and focused practice. I watched Lino Miele's Practice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KAU3xNVTAE too and ordered the DVD, getting a similar impression. Inspiring stuff
The Rocket may have all these cool asana but it had nothing on John Scott doing his Primary. Yes he was throwing in some handstands and lifts but they made sense within the practice, they didn't seem out of place, unlike the core work in The Rocket. There was an integrity to the practice. It wasn't about being able to do cool poses or being strong and powerful. It was something about moving the body through space on the breath. Body, Spirit, Will.
Next : Returning to Ashtanga, turning Veggie and Sharath