Would you try to learn 3rd Series via DVD?
Kino MacGregor’s DVD focusing on 3rd Series is out — or at least she’s suddenly promoting it more heavily on her website — and I’ll be honest about two things:
- I’m not quite sure what to make of it.
- I don’t really have to think about it, because 3rd ain’t coming in this lifetime.
Still, having friends who recently were given some of the 3rd Series poses, I know it’s an intense practice (which part of Ashtanga isn’t). And it makes me wonder whether there comes a point when having a real, live teacher there working with you doesn’t become critical.
Kino, who in her writing always gives major nods to both Guruji and more recently Sharath, seems to suggest as much:
This DVD provides three useful tools for everyone. The Introduction explains the philosophical basis of the Third Series as well as Ashtanga Yoga. The How to Work segment gives helpful tools on the development of core strength, the illusive “bandhas” and many key postures of the Third Series. The Practice disc is a flow through the postures of Third Series in traditional Vinyasa Sanskrit count. It is not recommended that you practice along with the DVD but instead use it as inspiration. When embarking on the yogic quest it is crucial to have a teacher as your guide.
3rd Series, of course, isn’t the “embarking” on the quest. You’ve slayed some dragons, rescued some prince(sse)s and found some gold by the time you get there.
I know Rose a little while back asked whether 3rd was becoming the new 2nd. (She noted the beginning of Kino’s promoting of the DVD, so maybe I’m right that it is recently available.)
I wonder, too, whether anything more significant than just a DVD coming out is happening here. Does this signal that today’s Ashtangis are more intent on moving ahead in the practice? (Well, other than those very first Ashtangis, who seemed to crank on through a bunch of the series, under Guruji’s eye, in a few months.) Does it reflect the changing nature of how many Ashtangis (and other yogis) relate to and do their practice? And by that I do mean the addition of the Internet, on top of such things as David Swenson’s seminal book and other early videos.
More to the point: Would you try to learn 3rd Series this way?
Here’s the trailer; it’s been viewed more than 30,000 times, which is part of what makes me unclear on when the DVD came out:
Posted by Steve