By guest author Lucinda Staniland
Author’s note: This article has recently been updated from the ‘Top Six’ to the ‘Top Ten’ in recognition of new and emerging yoga magazines. (And some that I missed last time!) Enjoy.
Yoga magazines, both on and offline, are an awesome way to deepen your understanding of yoga, and get exposed to a range of perspectives and viewpoints.
When I read yoga magazines I feel more connected and engaged with the incredible world-wide community (see more of my ideas about communities and networks here) of practicing yogis and yoginis.
Its an exercise in learning, celebrating, and opening my eyes to new possibilities.
It gives me a chance to see beyond my own practice, to feel into the amazing local and global network I am a part of, and to learn from the stories of the people in it.
Many of these magazines are now available online but hard copy versions have their undeniable benefits too. Curling up with a laptop will never be as satisfying as curling up with a magazine.
However, access to online articles has the benefit of providing you with easily accessible (and often free) knowledge, resources, and inspiration.
So today I’d like to celebrate, and share with you, some of the yoga magazines that I love:
1. Yoga Journal
The well-known yoga publication everyone loves to hate, and one I’ve spent many hours browsing through in the magazine section of Wellington’s public library. While often criticized for being too commercial and chock full of advertisements it still has some great, well-balanced and meaningful articles.
Also, their website is one of the best online places for free yoga resources, including detailed pose instructions and sequences to inspire your home practice.
Is it a magazine? A blog? Or something else?
It’s hard to know these days what the boundaries are. But I love Elephant Journal so I’ve included it anway
Their articles are crowd sourced from a wide variety of writers, including The Yoga Lunchbox’s Kara-Leah Grant, and are fresh, vibrant, and often intensely personal and/or controversial.
You’ll find some articles that you wholeheartedly agree with and others that push all the wrong buttons.
If anything Elephant Journal feels more like a conversation than a magazine. It’s dropped the advertising and the fake glossiness and instead given us a glorious, riotous mix of well written and diverse articles.
An independent, not-for-profit magazine that ran from 1999 -2009. Despite it’s demise, it lives on thanks to the power of the web. You can read excerpts of articles on their website and order backdated copies of the magazine. It’s so worth looking at those old issues.
Each issue revolves around a central theme, and I love how they tackle themes that feel relevant and modern, like gender and sexuality, sustainability, AIDs, punk music, and politics. If you are interested in how yoga contributes to social and environmental justice you will enjoy this magazine.
This magazine is not linked with any one yoga tradition, but aims to give readers a meaningful experience of what yoga is by showcasing different stories from a range of Australian and New Zealand yogis (Including The Yoga Lunchbox’s Kara-Leah Grant).
I love supporting this local yoga magazine, and am consistently inspired by all the amazing yoga related activities happening right in my own backyard! There are four issues published per year. It’s not available online but is well worth subscribing to!
5. LA Yoga
Published as a resource of the ever expanding yoga community of Southern California LA Yoga is equally interesting to yogis from all over the globe.
It provides a fascinating insight into the sometime bizarre and hyped up world of LA Yoga. Think endless yoga hybrids (naked yoga, CrossFit yoga, paddleboard yoga…), celebrities turned yoga teachers, and lots of tight, brightly coloured lycra.
But it also has a lot of interesting Ayurveda focused articles and helpful and insightful yoga resources.
Their website is well stocked with articles, and you can even read a digital version of the magazine, complete with advertisements (as if we needed more of those…)
This magazine is a publication of the Himalayan Institute, a non-profit international organization which promotes yoga and holistic living, and implements humanitarian and sustainability initiatives.
Yoga International has been around since 1991 (formerly under the name of Yoga + Joyful Living). It focuses on how yoga contributes to conscious living, and features articles on asana, meditation, health and lifestyle, compassionate activism, and more. Archives are available online. It’s similar to Yoga Journal but with a greater focus on social and environmental sustainability.
Clarity magazines is part of Ananda Sangha worldwide, a movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.
The magazine shows how we can spiritualize daily life, and bring yoga into everything we do. I enjoy their approach to making yoga part of all aspects of life, and it is interesting to see a magazine that is firmly based in one tradition. You can browse their extensive archives online.
Promoted as “the UK’s most talked about new yoga and lifestyle publication.” OM magazine is all about living yoga, not just doing it. An approach that we’re very much down with here at The Yoga Lunchbox.
While this kind of ‘lifestyle’ magazine often verges on the edge of being just another ‘Health and Fitness’ magazine, OM magazine seems to have a good balance of articles on all aspects of the yoga world, not just the asana.
Our New Zealand based readers will probably be unlikely to subscribe to a UK based magazine, but many articles are also available on their website, making for a satisfying few hours of reading and learning.
9. Whole Living
Martha Stewart’s healthy living magazine has a strong focus on Yoga, and yoga related topics.
Think mindful movement, clean eating and cooking, green living, and natural remedies and generally a big emphasis on being ‘healthy’. (Although maybe not enough conversation about what ‘healthy’ really means.)
Available in print or digitally, there’s also plenty of free resources on the website to peruse at your leisure.
It’s all a bit too glossy and perfect looking for my taste. But there’s definitely some useful and interesting resources to be found there.
This magazine explores the practices and philosophies of yoga from a variety of different viewpoints – you’ll find articles like Buddhism and Yoga and How Jesus Got Me into Yoga and Yoga Got Me Into Jesus, as well as tips for yoga both on and off the mat.
I really enjoy how this magazine explores the ways in which yoga can be incorporated into any faith, and the diverse backgrounds of the authors that write for it. Sample articles can be viewed on the website but online content is limited.