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Most Compelling Yoga Photos of 2013

in Featured, YD News

Over the course of 2013 we saw how yoga can reach people all over the world, how it can inspire teenagers, prepare firefighters, heal veterans, and unite communities in Turkey, Kenya and Palestine. We also saw yoga get instagrammed, celebriyogified, selfied and even fashioned for the runway. It’s been a heck of a year and these photos help to capture some of the most compelling yoga moments of 2013.

Ryan McGraw in his favorite pose. | image: Tracy Caracciolo, US News

Ryan McGraw demonstrates “not fitting the yoga mold,” and how he practices restorative yoga to find ease while living with cerebral palsy. (Tracy Caracciolo/US News)

Veteran Yoga

Amputee veterans find healing and rehabilitation inside and out with yoga and meditation programs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)


Our perspectives are transformed with this series of photos of Palestinian women embracing yoga for peace in Zatara village outside of Bethlehem. (Tanya Habjouqa/The Wall Street Journal)

"Taksim is too tense.." Via https://twitter.com/sktrt/status/341912660180340737/photo/1
When thousands of people in Istanbul stood up against the destruction of their beloved Gezi Park, yogis joined in peaceful protest as part of Occupy Gezi. (Occupy Gezi facebook)

Ethiopian Refugee Women Practicing Yoga

Ethiopian women practice yoga together in free classes offered at a refugee camp near the South Sudan capital, Juba. (UNHCR/E. Cue.)

Yoga in Kenya

A yoga boom in Kenya, facilitated by Africa Yoga Project, brings 350 free classes each week and breaks down barriers. Above, Bernard Gitonga teaches yoga at Eastleigh orphanage. (Jason Patinkin/The Guardian)

Newark firefighters train with yoga.

Firefighter recruits in Newark, NJ add yoga to their regular routine, reaping the benefits of the practice and setting a precedent for the rest of their squad as well as many others. (NJ.com)


The Super Bowl Blackout – remember that? – might have turned out all the lights, but it also turned on the inner yogis for many of the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Above, 49er Vernon Davis keeps his spine limber with a little Cat/Cow action. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Russell Wilson Credit: Photograph by Peter Yang

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson poses in his peaceful, easy seat and shows us how yoga and meditation could change the future of football. (ESPN)

Betsey Johnson's "BJ Kicks A" Fall 2013 collection

Fashion icon and energetic neon pixie Betsey Johnson broke out her one-of-a-kind yoga-inspired sportswear line and runway performance complete with yoga mats, handstands and her signature cartwheel. (The Washington Post)


International supermodel Gisele Bundchen shared her adorable mommy-baby yoga with her millions of instagram fans (on several occasions). The internet responded with coos and awws. (Gisele Bundchen Instagram)


Pop star and mommy of two, Britney Spears, shared her love for yoga as a “go-to” to relieve anxiety in the midst of her comeback and preparation for a Vegas residency. She demonstrated some of her favorite yoga poses for Shape. (Shape magazine)


This photo of a naked breastfeeding yoga mom resurfaced and caught fire online, raising all sorts of questions, support and uh, eyebrows. (DaughteroftheSun Instagram)

Snapshop break

Over 15,000 yogis joined together in the busiest intersection of Times Square, NYC to unite in celebrating the summer solstice. One practitioner in particular chose to pause and snap a pic to savor the moment. (Times Square Alliance live feed)


Year of the yoga selfie? While there was much debate over intention behind them, the yoga selfie can also be viewed as a vehicle for self-empowerment as demonstrated by Robby, a participant in the My Real Yoga Body campaign. (My Real Yoga Body facebook)


These middle school kids took it upon themselves to organize a yoga-meditation flash mob in Asheville’s busiest intersection and instantly became the coolest teenagers ever. (Mountain Xpress)

Yoga teacher Jackie Bergeron works with students at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School last week in Encinitas. Students attend two 40-minute yoga classes each week. Eduardo Contreras U-T

The trial over yoga in an Encinitas school district made headlines all throughout the year. A judge eventually ruled in favor of the school district stating that the two 40-minute yoga classes each week can not be considered inherently religious and therefore can continue. Above, yoga teacher Jackie Bergeron leads students at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas. (Eduardo Contreras/San Diego U-T)

Wheel of Fortune 'Yoga Mat'

Can we buy an O-ommmm, Pat? America’s game featured “Yoga Mat” as the answer to the bonus round and we were watching(!) Kismet? We have subsequently renamed our urdhva dhanurasana Wheel of Fortune Pose.

David Bowie Yoga

This photo of David Bowie in lotus pose is from 1967, but it took until 2013 to get its due. Rock on.



7 comments… add one
  • Excellent choice of photos! Makes me want to seriously get back into yoga for 2014!
    Happy new year!

  • I love this post! Amazing pictures to 🙂

  • These photos were breathtaking! I love the one with the palestine women, but then the Ethiopian women in the class room was really endearing, and the one of the breast feeding… I don’t think I have a problem with it. It’s a pretty cool photo actually! Thanks for posting this.

  • laportama

    You’re usually more dork than yoga, but these were pretty good — especially if you suspend disbelief.
    Easy on the celebrity treacle. It’s a distraction, not yoga.

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