My last class that I will teach in Philadelphia will be led traditionally counted Ashtanga Yoga class at Yoga Squared. After I actually studied and learned the count I was off to Mysore for my 2nd trip to the Shala. Those first days in India are rough. The jet lag is just crazy, and when I couldn't fall asleep I would practice the count. Instead of sheep, I would be laying on a very thin mattress counting vinyasa's. I used to speak of the word "vinyasa" as a qualitative term that many people agree on, meaning "to place in a special way." I liked the way that this term implied thoughtfulness and craft.
I no longer define "vinyasa" in this way. Now, for me, vinyasa is the understanding of movement. How many movements in Surya Namaskara A? Surya A has 9 vinyasa's, nine (very carefully placed) movements. Triangle has 5. Janu A 22. Marichayasana C and D 19, and ect. It is a complex/simple way of really understanding how efficient a yoga can be. How to break it a part and put it back together.
Although the count has become so much more apart of me, I still find myself counting myself to sleep. It is just that steady, and now more than ever before I am looking for what's steady, and not that interested in what's new.