Review of David Swenson First Series.
David Swenson is another teacher from the old lineage and although the video must be at least three decades old judging by his clothes, his teachings are still invaluable. The video starts with a thorough introduction on what Ashtanga yoga is, what the important elements of the practice are and how to do the Surya Namaskaras and Vinyasas. Very useful for beginners.
Interestingly enough he skips the opening mantra and counts only in English, instead of the traditional Sanskrit. He gives plenty of options for beginners and instructions how to get into the poses, possibly even more than John Scott. Also David likes to stretch his arms out and jump in between standing postures which makes me think that this must have been the way in the old days. This and also lifting the chest and chin on the inhale before getting into the standing poses is not practiced much anymore nowadays. When practicing with Sharath at the main shala Mysore, I have been told that students are explicitly instructed not to look up or back bend when inhaling before folding over into the pose.
Even though also David Swenson counts a little bit too fast to my liking, I use the time he spends giving instruction on how to get into the pose to get one or two breaths in and so I often manage to take about four breaths, sometimes even five.
It’s a brilliant video and I like practicing with David.
Total duration: 1 hour 56 minutes
Practice starts at 24 minutes 10 seconds into the recording
The finishing sequence starts at 1 hour 32 minutes 40 seconds