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group circulation director Barbara Besser group fulfillment manager Jessica Bucher director of partnerships/web marketing Debbie Kane manager of ancillary and multimedia programs Sarah Kleinman group new business manager Kathleen Donahue circulation analyst Vicki Law


director of information technology, AIM Nelson Saenz information technology consultants

Elias Husary, Kirk Thompson office manager AmyMetry publisher's assistant Lori Rodriguez

John B. Abbott publisher emeritus

EDITORIAL OFFICES 475 Sansome Street, Suite 8S0, San Francisco, CA 94111 phone (415)591-0555 fax (415)591-0733

subscription customer service (800)600-9642

Printed in the United States on paper made with 10% postconsumer recycled Tiber



3rd-Annual "Breath Of The Himalayan Tradition!"

October 2-9, 2010 Rancho La Puerto proudly hosts Swami Veda Bharati and his highly acclaimed international yoga faculty.

In addition, we are pleased to offer 20 other weeks dedicated to yoga each year

Enjoy our famous Fitness Week of life-enhancing health and superb cuisine while taking an array of classes from our fitness staff professionals, os well as top visiting yoga teachers such as:

Phyllis Pilgrim and Irene Borger Inspiration Yoga and Embodied Writing (October 9-16) Ramona May | Kundalini Yoga

(October 30 - November 6) Aman Keays | Iyengar Yoga

(December 11-18)

Michele Hebert and Mehrad Nazari, Ph.D. Raja Yoga and Meditation

(January 8-15)

See our website for great rales!

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Meico editor's letter

Kaitlin Quistgaard what is yoga

For 35 years, Yoga Journal has chronicled the evolution of yoga, a practice that is both changeless and changing.

From its Start as a newsletter for yoga teachers, born in 1975 in Judith Hanson Lasater's living room, Toga Journal has enjoyed many incarnations on its journey to becoming the most widely read yoga magazine in the world, with international editions published in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Thailand.This evolution is, of course, a reflection of the yoga community, which has grown from a handful of curious students gathered around a few Indian teachers to a mainstream phenomenon practiced by all kinds of people, all over the globe. (Carmel Wroth s feature on seva, or selfless service, "Served with Love"on page 124. examines how the practice itself inspires students to pass on its gifts.)

Some 16 million Americans say they practice yoga today And what they practice has evolved, too, sometimes into forms that are unrecognizable from what was taught 35 years ago—not to mention what the ancient yogis might have practiced. (For a walk through 6,000 years of yoga history in "35 Moments,"check out our cool keepsake timeline, created by Eric Shaw, on page 88).

In the course of so much change, it is sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what we mean when we say "yoga." Is it a physical practice? a mental practice? a devotional practice? If we're bouncing to the beat in Down Dog accompanied by music, if we're "flying" our partners in Aero Yoga moves, if we're chanting ancient mantras with a rock 'n' roll rhythm—is it yoga?

I've been taught that, in Sanskrit,yoga means "to yoke"—to yoke or unite breath and movement; body, mind, and spirit; the individual self and the universal Self. I've also learned that yoga is the practice of stilling the mind as well as that state of stillness itself. In the American vernacular, "yoga" usually means a workout that tones the body as it calms the mind.

Sanskrit scholar Christopher Wallis has found two dozen definitions given to yoga in ancient texts, including the well-known phrase from the Bhagavad

In Kanyakumari, India, in front of a memorial to Swami Vivekananda.

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A video message from Kaitlin can be found online at


Sarah Kleinman Yoga

Available at: Evolution Yoga Paragon Sports Core Power Yoga Cooper Fitness Center Bodywear Boutique editor's letter


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Gita: "Yoga is skill in action." And yoga scholar Mark Singleton wisely suggests thinking in terms of plural yogas instead of a singularyoga. "Yoga," he says, "is a homonym that has an array of meanings depending on cultural or historical context." And you thought yoga was just those poses you do on your mat!

This multitude of definitions invites you to consider what yoga means to you. Ask yourself why you practice —to get fit? to be calm? to develop awareness? to transform consciousness?—and then look to see whether the practice you do serves your goal. I'd argue that even that simple act of gaining awareness about your motivations and actions is yoga.

If we all agreed on one static definition and practice, Toga Journal wouldn't be home to the vibrant stories and innovative ideas that it is. In the push-pull between what we consider to be the traditional meanings and practices of yoga and our contemporary interpretations, the teachings come alive. (It was from this idea that photographer Erik Almas created the photo collages for "Timeless Passage," on page l to, which illustrate some of the notions of both ancient and modern yoga.)

My own life this year has felt like aguided tour through some of the possible meanings of yoga. It started with a trip to India, where I studied the classical yoga of Patan-jali's "Yoga Sutra (my takeaway: The aim of practice is a peaceful mind) and visited the Vivekananda memorial, on a rock in the ocean, where the young swami is said to have gone into deep meditation in 1892 and emerged with a calling to spread India's spiritual teachings to the West (takeaway: The truth of who we are is universal).

Soon after, in Washington, DC, I joined 1,800 people for a deliriously challenging practice on the National Mall (takeaway: In classes, we often find a joyful, uplifting sense of community that can sometimes go missing from our independent American lives). Days later, I rocked a few Down Dogs on the White House lawn! First lady Michelle Obama has turned the White House Easter Egg Roll into something of a fitness fair, inviting 30,000 Americans to sample a variety of activities that could help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic—including yoga (takeaway: The physical practice of yoga is truly as American as apple pie).

And on the Google campus in Silicon Valley, I joined the Yoglers (Googlers who do yoga) for an outdoor practice taught by Gopi Kallayil, a marketing-team manager and yoga devotee whose weekly class is a heartfelt offering to his colleagues (takeaway: It's possible to be deeply engaged in both your inner life and your worldly life).

The whole world seems to be pulsing with the practice! To celebrate the many forms yoga takes, as well as our 35th anniversary, we've packed this issue with the stories of fascinating people, inspiring practices, and provocative pictures. (Curious about our cover image? See "Creating the Cover, "on page 156.) Enjoy it all! *

Cat in the Hat and me, doinq Tree Pose on the White House lawn.


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