Reviews For Yoga Journal Magazine

Yogic wisdom for everyday life.

The other day I picked up a copy of Yoga Journal and spent the hour and a half bus trip reading uplifting and informative articles. Many years ago, I practiced Yoga on a regular basis, but somehow life got too busy and I only recently began to practice yoga and daily meditation again. This time, I was inspired to return to these healthful practices when I decided to attempt to quit smoking. I failed with that attempt, but am very glad to have Yoga back in my life.

After reading this edition of Yoga journal, I will be getting a subscription. The magazine is full of useful articles, including Yoga poses, breathing exercises, meditation techniques, and dietary/herbal remedies. The volume of advertising is comprable to most magazines, but the ads are all geared to people who are aware of the importance of the mind/body connection, who practice yoga and who are mindful of what they put into their body. Most of the ads are for Yoga classes, retreats, videos and vacations. There are also several ads for soy products, herbal remedies and organic products.

This year the editorial board has decided to include an article about a major life issue in each edition of Yoga Journal. This edition's life issue is anger. As the editor points out, many persons who have chosen a spiritual path ignore or supress anger, seeing it as an obstacle to freedom and knowledge. The article discusses the various writings (Buddhist and Hindu, for example) about anger and dealing with it, and also includes material from psychotherapy and modern self-help gurus. In short, anger must be understood and dealt with, not just bottled up or swept away. One of the most interesting aspects of this article was the observance that anger often results from focusing on, and becoming attached to, the negative in a particular situation.

The Om Page: News Views Travel and Trends, a regular feature in the magazine, provides a series of short articles relevant to yoga practitioners. This edition featured a yoga self-defense class taught in New York City, "Yoga Tour" of Providence Rhode Island, and short news articles about new products and practices for yoga enthusiasts. Another regular feature is Well Being: Health, Nutrition, Self-Care and Herbs. This edition featured a particularly informative article about the merging of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) with mainstream medicine. It seems that a growing number of medical schools in the United States are incorporating, to varying degrees, some component that at least introduces medical students to the variety of CAM practices available. I feel that this is an important issue as more and more North Americans are seeking the less intrusive, non-chemical options to health care and maintenance. There is also an article on the importance of brocolli and other cruciferous vegetables in the diet (research suggests these contain important components that may help to prevent cancer), and an article on Triphala, a herbal complex that is used to detoxify the body. Instructions for an Indian self-massage face lift, which I tried (it's great) include step-by-step pictures to help you do the massage correctly.

Eating Wisely provides instructions for a spring fast, which I will do next week. It is basically a gentle fast where you are allowed to eat citrus fruits, herbal tea and spring water during the first part of the day, and a combination of raw and cooked vegetables, herbal tea and spring water from late afternoon to eight p.m. The article includes cautions for people who should not fast without medical supervision or approval. For beginners provides instructions for an Ardha Matsyendrasana asana, and I was able to do the pose correctly based on the instructions. How do I know I did it right? Because it felt GREAT!

There were several inspirational articles about teaching and learning in life, one very nice sentiment was that everyone you meet is potentially your guru -- everyone can teach us something. An article about a women who is teaching yoga to homeless people was also very uplifting and an article about India included many beautiful photographs. Another article featuring instructions for various yoga poses featured poses that will help you get to sleep, a healthier choice than sleeping pills, I think. A feature article, Prescriptions for Pranayama detailed the philosophy for breathing techniques of the six main types of yoga.

This edition also included a long guide to Yoga Vacations and retreats which included required reading (travel guides), and two "hot spots" for yoga vacations. "Asana" included a number of poses, and a section on "guided meditation" provided helpful information about the benefits of meditation and advice to enhance your practice.

Overall, this is a beautifully laid out magazine with lots of spiritually and physically uplifting information and a joy to read.


Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts

Complement the Modern Yoga Practice

Yoga Journal is one of only three magazines I subscribe to. I have been dabbling in yoga on and off since elementary school, and have been working on making time for yoga every day.

If your interest in yoga goes beyond what it can do for your physique, this is the magazine for you. Yoga Journal explores foods and herbs that complement a yoga practice. There's usually an article about the history of yoga or some aspect of Indian culture. Lately, they've also taken to exploring the use of yoga to deal with ailments such as arthritis, AIDS, and chronic fatigue syndrome, yet this doesn't come off as a "disease of the month" type of magazine.

This is not a weight and fitness type of magazine. Although most of the models are thin and good-looking, the magazine also uses models who are a little softer than what you would find in a typical fitness magazine. There is discussion of diet and food, but dietary restrictions are looked at more from a spiritual standpoint than from a weight-control standpoint. In the February 2002 issue is a discussion of herbs that are beneficial for weight loss, but that one-page article is the only article that talks about weight loss.

Yoga Journal seems to keep the big picture in mind. The magazine has plenty of articles like "How a Positive Attitude Adds Years to Your Life," but it balances those articles with ones like "Forgiving the Unforgivable," about how everyone can work through their anger after the terrorist attacks of September 11. The magazine is not overly political.

I have only read one issue of a competing yoga magazine, and it made such little impression on me that I can't even remember what it was. I do know that Yoga Journal goes far more in-depth into its topics.

Yoga Journal features two regular sections which would appeal to those who use yoga as an "after-workout stretch" along with those who practice yoga for itself. Asana breaks down a specific, usually difficult yoga series and discusses how to get into the pose and how it should feel. Anatomy of a Yogi shows a specific muscle, joint, or area of the body and discusses its impact on your practice and your life.

This magazine does have a lot of ads, as other reviewers have pointed out. Most of the ads are on target for people interested in yoga, though it seems like most of them are targeted at people who want to teach yoga. I just admire the pictures and move on.

The photography alone in this magazine is worth keeping back issues for. It is always beautiful and inspiring. I aspire to be able to do these poses with such beauty one day.

I especially recommend this magazine to people who just can't get enough of yoga, and who want to try to live yoga all day, but people who use yoga as an after-workout stretch can also find much to like in Yoga Journal .


Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts

Great For Any Yogi. :)

I might just be in my late teens, but that doesn't stop me from running to the mail when two magazines I love the most, Yoga Journal and New Age, have come in. My mother is a licensed massage therapist, which should explain why we get these magazines in the mail in the first place.

Ok, so it's true that many of the articles are geared towards the seasoned yogi. Some of the postures shown would take me YEARS of yoga to accomplish.. but then again, I have yet to be able to put my foot behind my head. Much terminology used to go straight over my head, but after reading the magazine for two or three years now, I know the names and styles enough to follow along.

Personally, I think Yoga Journal is just fine for the yoga beginner and wonderful for those that live a full yoga lifestyle. The reason it's good for a beginner is simply because it shows just what you could accomplish with time and patience and after all, patience and stillness in a chaotic life is exactly what yoga is meant to teach us.


Recommended For: Anyone

The ultimate practitioner's guide to yoga!

As a full time yoga teacher, I cannot say how wonderful it is to have such a conscious, informative publication in the mainstream market. I am a faithful reader and subscriber to Yoga Journal, and have not yet found a better source of support and information.

Every 2 months, I look forward to receiving my Yoga Journal in the mail, and read it from cover to cover as soon as I can heat up a cup of tea! It always has articles on a variety of different aspects of a yogi's lifestyle, such as diet, behavior, relationships, and physical health. They really do a great job of covering a lot of ground in every issue.

Because I'm a yoga instructor, I am very knowledgable about many aspects of yoga, and every once in a while, I find that the Yoga Journal will confuse some eastern religions with the science of yoga. While many of the eastern religions do a good job of complimenting yoga, yoga is not meant to be a religion at all, only a guide to living your life. It perpetuates the stigma that yoga is hinduism to confuse it with any religion, and so Yoga Journal should be more careful to really separate the two.

The quality of writing in Yoga Journal is exceptional, and the sources are always the best in the business. I trust their information, and often look to their many articles as inspiration for my classes.

This magazine is a must have for any yoga practitioner!


Recommended For: Anyone

Wonderful Mag.

The Yoga Journal has great tips and techniques to help people in the busy world to be fit. I recommend this to a devoted fitness person or someone learning the ropes of yoga. Yoga is now an important key to having a healthy lifestyle. This magazine helps by showing poses, featuring articles, rating poses, books, etc. If you have not tried this magazine or yoga, I recommend you start yoga with this magazine. Yoga Journal is not complicated to understand, with the poses and techniques it gets right to the point and explains every thing with plenty of details so a beginner can easily enjoy yoga to have a healthy lifestyle.


A beautiful introduction

As an intermediate yoga student, I am always looking forward to anything that perpetuates that lovely, proud work that Yoga is. This magazine is geared towards everyone, not only explaining the traditions and the history, but showing how to make Yoga a part of everyone's life. My biggest wish is that it was out more often. Unlike a lot of fitness geared magazines, this one doesn't go for body countouring. You're not going to see too much of "thinner thighs in thirty days here," and that's it's biggest benefit. Much is made of the inner peace that one feels when truly benefiting from yoga, and it's not all of a sort that would be off putting to someone who isn't looking for mystical chateism.

This magazine is in the same, very well written, very well produced manner as LONGEVITY, and it is a treat for yoga enthusiast and initiate alike.


No Practice Is Complete Without This

I started practicing yoga a year and a half ago and bought my first issue of Yoga Journal the same month I started. I took it home thinking I'd skim through it like I do all the other magazines I buy and then throw it away in a few days. WRONG! I sat down and instantly started reading every single word from cover to cover. And if that's not enough, I liked it so much I filled out the prescription card. That's not something I do until 2 or 3 issues later. While there are articles that I sometimes wonder if they're really beneficial to the magazine, such as find out the rock star Sting was teaching a yoga class, it is a beautiful magazine that explains things to beginners in a way they understand, but without dumbing it down for the experts.


Recommended For: Anyone

spiritual awakening

This magazine is very insightful. If you have been wondering about yoga, this magazine is perfect for you. It tells about the different types of yoga and how they differ. I have found that Kundalini yoga has really appealed to me. This journal also helps you find yoga studios. It helped me find one. I find yoga to be a very spiritual. It is used by Hindus to become closer to the devine presence. It is also used by Sikhs and Jains and Buddhists for a spiritual feeling and awakening. Yoga is able to be a very spiritual thing that can transform you, but it can also be just an exercise/fitness/flexibility practice. After doing yoga, it calms you down and relaxes you. It also clears your mind and makes you think clearly. It is an overall wonderful feeling. I encourage all my friends to join, and I hope you find this helpful and I hope you can join so that you can feel as good as i do after a nice session of yoga.


Nice Mix of Mind and Body

I'm really quite fond of this magazine. It does a very good job of mixing in a variety of aspects of a yoga life, and addressing each aspect in a helpful and entertaining manner.

There are of course pages on poses, with clear photos, succinct instructions and explanations on how to modify them if you have to. There are pages on eating healthy. There are stories from people in a variety of walks of life, talking about how even minor changes in their lifestyle brought about significant results.

Then there are the pages which can make a huge difference in another way. A recent article had an article on forgiveness - how it is so important not to carry grudges and hatred. Those feelings rarely harm to "person who did you wrong" - but they eat up your own body, filling you with stress, tension, and unhappiness. It's amazing how many people I run into who carry these kinds of whole-heart grudges, often from incidents 10 or more years ago!

If you're more advanced, there is content for you as well. Articles about some of the intricate details of yoga might seem a bit complex for newbies, but if you store your magazines, after a few months going back and re-reading those articles can bring fresh information.

There are articles about youngsters doing yoga, older people doing yoga, and anything in between. There are ads for very expensive retreats in exotic locations - but also information on being mindful in a frugal manner.

I do have to say that most of the images shown are of young, 20-something sexy models, and it'd be nice to show a wider selection of people doing the poses. Still, that complaint can probably be made with just about every magazine out there.

Well recommended!

Excellent Magazine

I've been practicing yoga for a little over two years and therefore consider myself to be an intermediate beginner. I've been receiving Yoga Journal for four months and regret that I had not subscribed earlier. It has broadened my view of yoga in general and provided excellent advise on how to improve my practice via pose specific instruction and photographs as well as describing the actual benefits internally and externally of the pose itself on my body. I intend to renew this subscription when the time comes.