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Yoga Journal's Response to the January 2019 Covers

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Tasha Eichenseher, Yoga Journal’s Brand Director, responds to the comments about the two covers.

I know this statement is not enough. It’s not possible to have a complete conversation about complicated topics via social media, or through a single article or magazine issue.

But we hear you.

Thank you for letting us know how the January/February issue made you feel. We are sharing the following response and reflection in order to acknowledge that we caused harm. With a dual cover, my team and I hoped to spark a conversation about leadership in yoga—to examine, to the degree we are able, the evolution of the practice over the past several decades and explore the roles of lineage, social media, and power dynamics. To us, both cover models—Jessamyn Stanley and Maty Ezraty—offer important perspectives in the context of that conversation. But I can see now how communities that have been disproportionately excluded from yoga, and Yoga Journal, may not have experienced it that way. Our intention didn’t align with the impact.

I am working to make Yoga Journal more representative—regarding age, race, ability, body type, yoga style, gender, and experience. We are committed to doing better and more, and to reaching out and understanding the ways in which systemic oppression plays out at Yoga Journal and every institution in this country. As we listen, absorb, and figure out how, we are bound to make mistakes, such as the unclear way in which we rolled out our recent issue.

Thank you again for speaking up, sharing your feedback, and engaging with us. Constructive engagement is how we will learn and grow. We will do the work to find clear, mindful ways to move forward. This may take time, but we are fully committed.

Please read below for the editor’s letter that accompanied the issue, introducing and explaining our choice to release dual covers.…

And here’s more about the dual cover strategy: Equal numbers of the issues are printed and they are delivered randomly; every other subscriber got every other issue. And you should see both on every newsstand that carries Yoga Journal.

In the spirit of peace, unity, and love that this practice inspires,

Tasha

The January 2019 Editor Letter

According to the United Nations, there are an estimated 2 billion people worldwide who practice yoga. That means there are 2 billion different ways yoga expresses itself and 2 billion different ways a yogi can look. At Yoga Journal, we want to honor everyone’s yogic path. Whether your practice is rooted in movement, breathwork, service, mantra, devotion, meditation, or study, you are moving toward awareness—and we want to support you along the way.

That’s why we’re making a few changes this year. We want to bridge old and new, the past and the future, in an effort to find common ground, to celebrate the benefits of the practice, and to help lead the community toward solutions to some of modern yoga’s biggest challenges including, but not limited to, accessibility, safety, abuse of power, and the best way forward. When you turn the pages of this redesigned magazine, scroll through our social feeds, visit our refreshed website, or listen to our new podcast, you’ll start to see (and hear) a more representative Yoga Journal—one where master teachers such as Maty Ezraty, who started YogaWorks, are paired with new yogapreneurs such as Jessamyn Stanley; one where you can find inspiration regardless of where you are on your yoga journey.

In 2019, you’ll find two different covers on most issues. We’re going to take more opportunities to share what yoga looks and feels like. To us, both Maty and Jessamyn represent important perspectives on leadership—our theme for this issue. Maty helped to popularize yoga, but she avoids social media and is worried about its ripple effects. Jessamyn is a relatively new teacher and rising social-media star. Her message of deep body acceptance is pioneering a new way of reaching people with the practice.

By bringing their voices together, along with the voices of other popular teachers and thought leaders, we aim to spark conversation about leadership in yoga: What form does it take? What form should it take? What roles do lineage and tradition play? How can the community chart a course forward that fosters respect, integrity, and inclusivity?

In the January 2019 issue, we also work with beloved Yoga Journal contributors Annie Carpenter, Sally Kempton, and Judith Hanson Lasater to offer up rock-solid asana, philosophy, and anatomy lessons. Plus, you’ll find yoga retreats that dovetail with leadership training to help you step into your own power. There’s also a chance to learn from the work of Exhale to Inhale, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing trauma-informed yoga to survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Finally, find freedom in ecstatic dance and parting words of wisdom on moving your practice off the mat and into the world—for the benefit of all.

About the Author
Tasha Eichenseher is the brand director of Yoga Journal.



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Ayurveda

6 Yogi Dads Inspiring Us This Fathers Day

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Here are six yogi dads who inspire us to continue to cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships with the children in our lives through their sacred fatherhood. Thank you, dads!

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1. Jah Sun

“If you’re seeing this, it means you have a father. I had one too. He’s was a brilliant chemist of a top firm in NJ. Seen him twice my entire life. I’m thankful he made me. Truly! As much I longed to see him more as a kid, The Universe knew what I needed and having him more fully in my life could’ve been more damaging. Who knows? Doesn’t matter. What I do know it that’s it’s perfect – as is – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t be me otherwise. So, today, I’m not simply offering up some generic “Happy Father’s Day” to all fathers. Because being a “Father” takes very little skill, 3 minutes behind a school bleacher at age 15-16 (some start younger than that) – if we’re keeping it real like adults. I’m raising the bar. Elevating the standard. I’m unwilling to continue to celebrate the bare minimum. Honoring men with zero, or little connection to their children and send money like they’re paying a car note. In and out, when it suits them, like a revolving door at a hotel. Instead, I’m standing up to SALUTE ALL DADS! Men who are there, present and CONSISTENT for their children (and being with Mom is not a requirement to be available for your baby). MEN who have taken up the mantle to raise another man’s child (that they left behind), and became Dad for them. I stand up and SALUTE ALL MOMS doing double duty as BOTH parents. I was a single dad for 5 years, so I don’t empathize – I sympathize because I did it too. Real life experience. The pain of that hurts on levels many can’t comprehend. So, I see you, and I’m proud of you! For the True DADS of all genders, skin colors and geographical location – SALUTE! Keep up the amazing work. Our children deserve nothing less!”

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2. Aubert Bastiat

“3/8/2019. Today I’m celebrating Cairo’s 1 year on this earth. Today I’m celebrating beautiful @divinedavana who I love more everyday. Today I’m celebrating my mother, my sisters and the Sacred Feminine in all Her expressions. ⁣

I celebrate not by word alone but by holding the highest vision and I do so through love, intention and action. ⁣ Although it’s only been a year since Cairo was born truly this last year has been the most EPIC of my entire existence. It was after becoming a father to Cairo at 33 that my vision became grounded to this earth in such a way that the manifold expressions of my service to this world crystallized into a singular focus – anchoring the Sacred Masculine to this earth.⁣ Because there is no greater gift that I can give to my family, community and this world than embodying the Sacred and anchoring it to this earth through every aspect of my life.⁣”

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3. Alonzo Nelson Jr. M.Ed

After 9 months and 41 hours of labor, my princess has arrived. April 10th at 6:43pm, Harper Renee Nelson made her grand entrance into my life. Fatherhood is my new favorite job. Sorry math!”

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4. Brian Delmonico

I didn’t know what to expect when Mia Luna was born. Like any new parent to be I received a love blast like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before. Holding her, calming her, changing her, smelling her, and loving her is a feeling I don’t think I could ever put into words. [The first two weeks of her life] changed my world, and brought new meaning to every moment of my life.”

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5. Adam Jackson

“Listening to music with Noah makes me hear it differently. I can hear it for the first time through him. We’re doing a little dance here. I want to show him everything. I can’t wait for him to show me everything.”

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6. Peter Maldonado

My favorite girl. Being a dad to such a gentle delicate little kid like her comes with challenges. Sometimes I have no clue what I’m “supposed” to be doing with her. I just make sure she’s fed, clean, and genuinely happy. I feel like she teaches me way more about life than I teach her. Grateful that recovery has enabled me to be the best dad I can be to this kiddo. Because she’s pure love and deserves the best.”



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Adventure Travel

5 Yogis Share The Lessons They Learned From Traveling the World

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From learning to love to finding their life’s purpose—these are the stories from yoga teachers who found meaning in their travels.



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Balance

The Western Yogi's Guide to Traveling Through India

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From the must-see places and pilgrimages to top tips on how to stay healthy on the road, here’s what you need to know before you plan your trip.

Yoga Journal gives Western yogis an in-depth look into planning a trip to the birth place of yoga consciously and mindfully. 

I started practicing yoga in a crowded New York City gym, my mat so close to the student’s next to mine that I couldn’t tell whose sweat droplets were whose. Like many Americans, I was introduced to yoga as a physical activity—I considered it a complement to the triathlon training I was doing at the time—and thought of it as only that for the first five or so years I practiced.

See also What is Yoga? Understand The History Behind the Practice

Then, I started practicing with a yoga teacher who dropped lessons about yoga’s lineage into her classes. That led me to another instructor, who taught me even more about this ancient practice, the origins of which date to pre-Vedic times (1500–500 BCE) and are widely believed to have morphed into the Hatha Yoga that spread during British colonial rule of India and that Westerners practice today. The more I learned, the more I realized that eventually, I’d want to make a pilgrimage to yoga’s birthplace so I could understand more fully the practice I’d come to love.

See also What’s the Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation?

I had that chance three years ago. What I learned is that, similar to my journey on my yoga mat, a meaningful trip to India can’t just be about taking. Rather, it should be about studying up on the places you’ll  visit and cultures you’ll experience, connecting meaningfully with the people you meet when you’re there, giving back through seva (selfless service) work, and, most important, staying open to learning. It’s my sincere hope that this guide will help you do just that.

The Yoga Journal India Travel Guide



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