I haven't seen a full Led primary from Manju on Youtube before, bit of a treat so worth popping out of blog retirement for
Note the different levels in the class, Manju tends to encourage students to continue through the practice/series rather than be stopped (at Marichiyasana D for example), there are arguments for and against this of course, in my own case I kept working through the series modifying as I went. Modifications can often be given allowing one to continue working on a posture while continuing with the series.
Manju teaches an integrated practice, Asana followed by pranayama followed by chanting.
Ramswami mentions that Krishnamacharya encouraged an integrated practice Asana, pranayama followed by a meditative activity, that could be a regular Sit, chanting or perhaps even study of worthy text. Asana and pranyama are said to put one in an ideal (satvic) state for such an activity.
It's unfortunate that this post follows one in which I question Sharath's new honorary Paramaguru title. It's a coincidence, I've been posting less. This shouldn't be read as a my teacher is better than your teacher thing or pitting Manju against Sharath. I practiced with Sharath's DVD for several months early on in my practice and I credit him with moving me from a David Swenson short form to the full series. Later I came back to Sharath's DVD and due to an appreciation of the efficiency, the economy of his practice I dumped my half handstand Kino inspired jump throughs and went with a gentle Sharath (almost) hop through. Sharath's lack of (obsessive) focus on alignment, anatomy, energy explanations and general simplicity of practice has as much, perhaps more, influence on my current practice than Manju who I credit with restoring an enjoyment of practice, taking it somewhat less seriously, and an awareness of how gentle an assist/adjustment can be, more of a support than a crank.
I credit Ramaswami with getting me over my asana madness while providing more context to the asana I practice and the options for modification and extension, slowing my practice right down via the breath and encouraging a fully integrated practice along with close study of Krishnamacharya's primary texts and his focus on longer stays, the employment of Kumbhaka as well as a better understanding of Yama/niyama and Yoga philosophy in general.
I respect all of the above but personally see no need to refer to any as guru or even as 'my' teacher, teacher is in itself a respectful term and feels quite sufficient and appropriate.
It's said you can't learn Yoga from a book or DVD, I would argue that it makes little difference (depending on your temperament) whether the input /inspiration for this practice comes from a book, DVD.... or teacher (1%), whether you practice in a shala, studio or at home, we learn from practicing, we learn what is most important from years of practicing (99%).
This turned into a blog post after all
A quick note on the new blog header photo. I reluctantly took down the old ankle grab Kapo in my living room 'shala' photo. I've been thinking about it for a while. Sseeing as I only practice the first half of Ashtanga second series once or twice a week now my kapo has suffered and is a toe grab at best. The old Kapo photo no longer reflected my practice. I do want to stress the integrated nature of practice, asana (proficient primary), pranayama, pratyahara and a decent Sit thus the new photo(s)