Oooh, what a year! 2010 has seen some very big conversations go down in the yoga blogosphere. Yoga and Christianity, Hinduism, commercialism, sexism… the whole spectrum! Meanwhile, the bloggers continued living their lives, deepening their practices and writing honestly and fearlessly. I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite posts over the past 12 months – it was such a robust year, with so many strong voices, that it was hard to narrow the list down to just 15. But I did, and here it is. (These posts are in no particular order, by the way. And feel free to list some of your faves in the comments!)
Y is for Yogini: the yoga of dr. seuss ~ During the heat of summer 2010, the yoga blogosphere was ablaze with a raging conversation about nudity and advertising. It was a long and multifaceted conversation, and many people wrote amazing, articulate, well-reasoned posts. But Y is for Yogini’s poem was a breath of fresh air and a much-needed reminder to not take everything so seriously.
elephant journal: Slim Sexy Savvy and Yoga-sex ~ The Toesoxnudegate conversation led into another heated discussion on a similar theme, only this time focused on Tara Stiles’ Slim Calm Sexy Yoga book, and in particular, the marketing of it. However, Brooks Hall actually read the book! And wrote about it! While I have to question how this book could have a “message of hope,” I did appreciate her balanced view.
Svasti, A Journey from Assault to Wholeness: Body image issues, yoga & Tara Stiles is a sell-out ~ As for the marketing of yoga, Svasti offered one of the most visceral and personal posts all year. She wrote, “There are people out there who call themselves yogis, and take the most external aspects of the practice and market that as a weight loss program like some kind of meal replacement product!” Hell yeah.
Ms Magazine Blog: Yoga’s Feminist Awakening ~ Both conversations burned so brightly, and inspired such strong writing, that they caught the attention of bloggers outside of the yoga circuit. Monica Shores wrote a great analysis of the issue and the conversation, offering a valuable non-yoga-blogger perspective.
EcoYogini: Hot Yoga Done Right, Moksha Yoga and Ted Grand ~ But it wasn’t just all hot topics and heated debate. There was some hot yoga, too, as EcoYogini questions the popular yoga style and engages Moksha Yoga founder Ted Grand in an excellent interview.
Namaste, Bitches: Guide to Dating a Yoga Goddess ~ The first time I read this post, I laughed out loud. Sure, it’s a little stereotypical and rant-y, but it gets some bonus points for its audacity and courage.
Neal Pollack: A Letter Home From Yoga Camp ~ Neal wrote this post while he was in Richard Freeman’s yoga teacher training program and it’s an honest reflection on injury and unexpected learning opportunities in yoga school.
The New Media Diva: My Own Darned List of African American Yogis That Perhaps You’d Like to Know ~ Did you know that there are many non-white people who do yoga? Seriously! Here’s a list of African American yoga teachers that don’t get enough attention in the current yoga media (or the yoga blogosphere, for that matter).
YogaDork: Lululemon Gets Crass With “Camel Toe” Ad ~ The venerable Dork continues to ride the wave and lead the pack, with her incisive, humourous and witty coverage of yoga in the news. This exposé of a suggestive lululemon ad campaign, and the ensuing discussion, is classic Dork.
Prana Journal: History through the covers of Yoga Journal ~ The magazine that all yogis love to hate was often at the centre of the big conversations, but Michael at Prana Journal took the time to carefully go through 35 years of covers and outline the evolution of the publication.
Think Body Electric: Writing Yoga, The Blogosphere as Collective Practice ~ Carol Horton is one of my favourite new voices in the yoga blogosphere, and I value her thoughtful, informed commentary. Here, she gets meta and reflects on the form – yoga blogging – itself.
Linda’s Yoga Journey: life is a vinyasa ~ Linda-sama is another fave blogger, and I admire her integrity and fire. She’s usually the first person to comment, she always has some great response to the current hot topic, and I had bookmarked plenty of her posts. However, it was her birthday reflection that stayed with me all year and filled me with hope and inspiration.
Grounding Thru the Sitbones: The start of something beautiful…? ~ Way back in January, Brenda declared, prophetically, “… it seems like we’re heading into the next round of look-at-me/shop-with-me YouTube yoga moments. Maybe it’s time to move onto something new.” Looking at how things evolved over the year, her words were far too true. Now we really are ready for something new, aren’t we?
Yoga for Cynics: One Breath at a Time ~ In which Dr Jay quotes Emilylou Harris, reflects on loss, recounts his experiences with the rehab patients he tutors and expresses gratitude for each breath. This is the kind of post that is hard to summarize or comment on, but it had an impact on me when it was originally posted and I find myself revisiting it often, when I’m in need of taking a breath.
YogaDawg ~ The yoga blogging community was saddened by YogaDawg’s announcement in February that he was giving up satirizing yoga to focus on his art. Lucky for us, we haven’t lost his blog to the great server in the sky and YogaDawg has started blogging again. He’s also been lurking around Facebook and making periodic witty comments on other blogs. He even bared all in a revealing and forthright interview!