Though it may seem like yoga has peaked in popularity, Rodale just renewed faith in the stretchy genre with a new magazine, Yoga Life. The tagline is, “mind, body—get it together.”
I just got my hands on the debut issue. It’s the first yoga magazine I’ve seen in a while that seems to compete with Yoga Journal directly. Its appearance and design are similar to that old faithful—very women’s magaziney, simple, but not arty—but edgier and with things I’ve wanted in YJ for years—pop culture recommendations (“Punk Shui” and “The Office”) and lots of small servicey (how-to) articles on everything from getting “your man on the mat” to applying the tenets of yoga to your relationships (“don’t get hung up on results”). Gone are YJ’s heavy cultural explications about yoga. Not much about yoga’s roots either. One feature, “Lean Machine” is all about getting that coveted yoga bod—”Shrink your butt as you expand your consciousness.” Meaning, this might be the first yoga magazine to have a sense of humor.
One thing that’s even further from Yoga Journal territory—in a slightly disturbing way—is the unabashed inclusion of meat. According to the principle of ahimsa in the yamas and niyamas—yogic do’s and don’ts—yogis are to “do no harm.” This includes not eating meat. As part of an Ayurvedic food story, page 59 has a photo of a shrimp cocktail, page 61 grilled chicken, a whole turkey gleams on page 64, and one of the recipes calls for bacon. It seems to be an admission that Westerners are picking and choosing elements of the lifestyle and combining it with other traditions—India’s Ayurveda, Atkin’s high-protein, etc. But there’s something a little unsettling about tree pose and bacon sharing pages.
Chattering Mind lovers, though, will like the story on their back page, “29 Thoughts That Popped Into My Head While I Was Meditating” by Sarah Miller. A taste:
6. Clearly I am too shallow to meditate
8. I am clearly way too smart and complicated to meditate
10. I want a tuna melt [there's that meat again]
15. In through the nostrils…
16. Nos-trils. What a ridiculous word.
20. Is that some small animal rustling around outside? I am not supposed to ignore outside sounds, only to acknowledge them and then move on. But what if that noise it’s making is chewing? Rustling I can move on from. Chewing, I’m not so sure.
For more info check out the website: iyogalife.com