About

MISSION

We were inspired to start this blog in the summer of 2011 by the first Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, which took place in March 2012. As we engaged people we’ve met through this blog, the meaning of “Confluence” has expanded to include: of people, of practice, of ideas. Our intent is to draw together various threads — sutras — relating to Ashtanga and yoga and, perhaps, make a little sense of them. Our focus is on items that aren’t on other blogs or scrolling through social media feeds. We are trying to balance what’s going on out there with what’s going on within our own practices, although not at any 99% vs. 1% balance. We do have a bias toward the senior Western teachers whom we know and with whom we’ve studied, as well as for stories about coffee. We are not in any way affiliated with the Confluence. In the end, the goal is to honor our teachers and the practice.

WHO WE ARE

Bobbie and Steve. Photo courtesy Henry Gomez.

Bobbie and Steve are students of Tim Miller. We’ve come to the practice through injuries and stiffness, seen advances and set-backs, found the power of the practice to impart mindfulness both on and off the mat. We’re professional writers and teachers who took the announcement of the Confluence as a path to deepen that 1% of Ashtanga that can be addressed via words and a blog. Bobbie has taught introduction to Ashtanga classes and also teaches writing at the University of California, Irvine (her poetry can be found at BobbieAllen.com). Steve is a public policy consultant in LA and a former journalist. We are, most likely, a lot like you.

You can follow us on Twitter individually @bobbieallen and @stevencahn or, for the blog, @ConfluCntdwn. Email to theconfluencecountdown at gmail dot com.

42 thoughts on “About”

  1. A beautiful idea for a blog. Thank you for putting your energy into such a cool project that aims to deepen that 1 percent. I’ve shared it via WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn…I’m sure I’ll find other ways too. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for all of the laughs in the vortex of Mt. Shasta (Steve’s urdhva danurasana during Mat in the Middle still makes my transverse abdominus engage as I double over in stitches!) We can’t wait to see y’all in San Diego in March. Namaste, BadElizabeth/GoodBill

  3. Oh, thank you for having linked to “my yoga blog”.

    I wish you good luck for the confluence. I’m sure it will be a success and a lot of fun and a learning opportunity.

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  6. Just to let you know…I really enjoy your blog and read it every day. It is my favorite yoga related site and start my day every day by seeing what’s new. My only concern – what are you going to do after the Confluence is over? End the blog? Rename it? Do you plan on carrying on into the future?

    1. Hi John. Thanks much for the nice comment. We are going to keep going after the Confluence — that’s the plan, anyway. And we’ve talked about the name… we’ll see, but I’m sure we will stick around one way or another.

      We also hope to do a lot FROM the Confluence.

      Steve

  7. I am being a native of Mysore but currently resident outside India and practicing yoga since my school days.. its really nice to know you both.

  8. Hi
    Thanks to author….
    Good Ashtanga yoga news, opinion and resources from two Ashtangis seeking to deepen their practices.
    Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga recorded by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript “said to contain lists of many different groupings of asanas, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras, and philosophy”

  9. hi…i just found your blog about 10 days ago and i love it! …i’m an ashtangi (even though i haven’t practiced ashtanga very long, i know it in my heart …i did take tim miller’s workshop when he came to asheville a couple of fall’s ago …we just haven’t had ashtanga teachers in asheville that i felt could really teach me the practice from the ground up …things are changing a bit now and i feel encouraged to continue learning the practice …your blog is giving me lots of wonderful information and insight …thanks to both of you! :))

  10. Namaste,

    Is it un-yogic of me to say what a kick ass blog this is? No ads, no Flash animation, just words, links, talent, and passion . Congrats.

  11. Bobbi
    So glad we met. I wasn’t aware of your Blog until our training and now after sharing two weeks with you I know where this passion comes from! Awesome in the true sense of the word. I want to thank you and Steve for creating such a great Blog and hope to see you at the Confluence.

  12. Hi Bobbie and Steve – I am really enjoying your blog.
    I wanted to bring your attention to something I found in a description of Brian Kest who is visiting a studio in Canada. It stunned me because I don’t believe it to be true – in fact far from it – can you set the record straight?
    “…Bryan…and the first person to bring Ashtanga yoga to America.”
    Wha’? I like Bryan’s classes and he has never claimed this before. Although my memory isn’t clear as to who the “first person to bring Ashtanga to America” is… I’m sure he is at least in a long list with David White, Doug Swenson, Tim Miller, and a few notable others whose names I can’t remember at the moment. Thanks. Christine

    1. Hi Christine. Steve here, and Bobbie may be better able to respond later.

      That’s clearly not the case — I’m almost 100% sure that Bryan was one of the handful of now big-name yoga teachers who passed through Tim Miller’s classes (and maybe Chuck and Maty) when Tim was teaching in LA. (I think Shiva Rea is another.) I do believe Kest went to Mysore fairly early and studied with Guruji, but this would have been well after Tim, Richard and others had gone there.

      Tim’s history of Ashtanga in Encinitas is a good place to go for the history: http://www.ashtangayogacenter.com/history.html

      According to it, David Williams brought Guruji and Manju in 1975. (I think that is when Manju stayed.) Brad Ramsey and Gary Lopedota brought Guruji back, soon after Tim started practicing.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks Steve. I’ve been studying Ashtanga for a while and never came across Bryan’s name in association with that lineage… I just know him as that power yoga guy who can fill his classes easily.

  13. Bobbie here. I find it hard to believe Bryan would be claiming that–someone else must’ve written the bio. Bryan was in Tim’s improv classes in LA as Steve says–along with other LA notables that all seem to now call some version of Ashtanga Improv “power yoga” or the like. He did study with Guruji–and also Iyengar. But he did not bring Ashtanga to America.

    -Bobbie

    1. Thanks for replying. I thought as much. I think you’re right Bobbie – someone else must have written the bio. Unfortunately, there are people out there desperate to make a name for their studios and stretch the truth of a visiting celeb just to look good and hopefully fill the class. In my opinion, it dishonors the lineage. And confuses the real impact of what it means to have the privilege of the practice. Bryan doesn’t even teach Ashtanga anymore (don’t know if he ever did) – which confuses the issue even more – IMHO.
      Peace!
      Christine

  14. Dear Bobbie,
    I had this post from a friend of mine. I am glad that I have found someone passing stages like I do rigth now. I am practicing ashtanga yoga for 8 years now, and have some spine issues (indentation) on my lumbar and I am diagnosed osteoprosis……
    I have so much pain on my lumbar, the docs told me to stop yoga for sometime and find smthg else??????
    I stopped for 6 weeks and now meditating longer than before but want to return to my practice and find a way to get out of this with that.
    Could you pls help me about what to do or also about your diet.
    thks in advance,
    take care
    hare om!!!!

    1. I can’t speak to your particular condition, but I can say that I received a lot of incorrect advice over the years of my condition. I’ve also found that doctors often misunderstand yoga, so it became important to me to find a doctor who was willing to listen and educate him/herself on what I do. (Much of what physical therapy offers, for instance, is often redundant.) So it became a matter of self-educating, too–finding what works best. But I never stopped yoga, except to recover from surgery.

      And the diet: It’s not for everyone, and it may not work for you, but apparently my body does not absorb calcium from dairy. So I get it from raw vegetables. There are many good books out there about the raw diet, but many people start with Carol Alt’s books–very user-friendly.

      The best advice I got when I started is that you can’t really go part way for it to work at first. You have to fully commit to all raw for a couple of weeks. This sometimes leaves people feeling pretty gross at the start. Sometimes not. I was fine after three days, Steve was more like two weeks to adjust. Best of luck!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring blog!
    I do have a request though – could you pretty-please put up an RSS feed link ? I am weaning myself off facebook and would love to follow you in a reader. Hope its not too much trouble!
    Thank you and happy holidays

  16. this blog has been incredibly helpful to me – i am 1 year new to Ashtanga. The post that Bobbie wrote on Drishti was one of the most helpful things I have read this year about drishti which made the whole process make so much more sense and Deep!! Thanks so much for what you both do. Debbie

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