Year in Review: Top stories of 2013

This time around we’re using a complicated metric to determine the top Confluence Countdown stories of 2013. It goes something like this:

(number of views * number of comments) * social media shared – comments we had to delete / newsworthiness of the story

Running 2013 through that, we get the following:

10. How Derek Ireland got introduced to Ashtanga. A nice tale from first-hand sources.

9. Non-Ashtanga: The Bikram lawsuits. (Remember, we’ve always thought Ashtanga was better.)

8. The year Russell Brand seemed to get some serious clarity.

7. The Greenwich Jois shala closes. It caught some people by surprise and spawned rumors that the remaining two shalas — in Encinitas and Sydney — would follow. They haven’t.

6. Our Yatra to India. And we’re planning another for 2014.

5. The New York Times and yoga’s hurting people, the ongoing saga. A few different stories over the year, including responses.

4. Ashtanga as a woman ages. We’re heading into uncharted territory:

If you wander into any given Mysore room in the West, the vast majority of practitioners are also women. So as those Senior Western teachers age, they are discovering how to evolve and grow the practice, how to integrate it into our changing lives as we grow older. My teacher Tim Miller goes before me, and shares his wisdom about age and the practice in an open and honest way, and I feel much gratitude for that. But he is a man.

3. Injuries.

2. “The war on yoga,” aka the Encinitas yoga trial. Not just one story, by any means. And one that isn’t over yet.

1. Why Ashtanga won’t ever be popular. Our most shared story of 2013. A sample:

It is the great blessing of the practice that once the body is stronger, pain appears in the context of strength rather than weakness. This frees the mind, even in pain, to see beyond the pain—to the larger purposes of the practice, to the other seven limbs, and to gain a greater quality of life.

It  requires dedication, application, discipline, and also (and I think this is key) humor. This is a pretty rare stew of qualities, and it’s why I think Ashtanga won’t ever be a popular form of yoga, why it will always be a quirky little corner of the many forms we have today.  If it stays true to the way Guruji taught.

There even was a Part II.

Have a happy new year, all. Maybe do a 108 sun salutes tomorrow…

Posted by Bobbie and Steve

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Year in Review: Most comments of 2013

Here’s another in our drifting toward the new year series of looks back at 2013. This time, the posts you commented on the most. Some of these drift back to 2012 because WordPress ranks these based on the past 1,000 comments.

10. How did yoga get so soft and easy? We asked. You answered.

9. NY Times writer at it again: Now yoga hurts women. The gift that keeps on giving.

8. Some thoughts on holding students back in Ashtanga. A popular topic.

7. Is it OK that yoga’s just exercise? In reaction to the ruling in the Jois Yoga case about yoga and religion.

6. Time to try some other yogas? Thanks for talking me out of the idea.

5. The two types of Ashtanga. A little bit of fun got a lot of comments.

4. Jois Yoga in Greenwich is closing. Top news story of the year.

3. Why Ashtanga won’t ever be popular. Yeah, you responded to this one.

2. Why I hate my Ashtanga practice. And why you don’t.

1. Yoga and music. A topic that’s gotten people to stop reading us. But one you liked talking about the most.

Posted by Steve

Year in Review: Most popular posts of 2013

It’s a time-honored journalistic tradition: Looking back on the year that was.

The not-so-secret dirty secret is that these top this and top that stories are fairly easy to produce and often take up lots of space. Perfect for times when small staffs are juggling vacations.

But we’re going to do it just for the heck of it. So, here are the most viewed stories of 2013:

10. Who has done all of the Ashtanga series? Does it matter? From 2012, but one that seems to pop up in searches a lot.

9. The two types of Ashtanga. Playing with the idea of what Ashtanga means.

8. Friday asana aid — jumping back. Our most popular of the mostly weekly feature. This one got lots of shares on social media.

7. Ashtanga Yoga hygiene manifesto. Another from 2012. Popular for obvious reasons.

6. Tim Miller answers some pranayama questions. From 2012, actually, but an ongoing popular one.

5. The mystery of back pain. Who doesn’t have some chronic pain?

4. Ashtanga as a woman ages. Charting the frontier of the practice.

3. Jois Yoga in Greenwich is closing. Our most popular “news” story.

2. Why Ashtanga won’t ever be popular, Part II. See a pattern forming?

1. Why Ashtanga won’t ever be popular. Hint: ‘Cos it’s hard.

Posted by Steve