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yogajournal.com/freestuff erik almas

Creating composite pictures, like this issue's celebratory cover and the photo feature "Timeless Passage" (page no), requires a lot of planning and a hit of inspiration, says photographer Erik Almas. You start with a concept, do a photo shoot (or, in this case, two), and then combine seemingly disparate parts to tell the desired story. "It's hard to make it all fit together," Almas admits. "I usually have the pieces lying around for a few days. Finally, something dawns on me." But these projects are also some of the most fun. "When someone says, 'Let's do something different,' those are the best assignments," he says. It's hard to believe the Norwegian-born Almas originally wanted to be a newspaper sports photographer. "That's before I realized that photography is an art," he says. Almas lives in San Francisco.

carmel wroth

Carmel Wroth's interest in telling the stories of people making a positive impact in the world compelled her to get a master's degree at the University of California, Berkeley, School ofjournalism. While researching "Served With Love" (page 124), Toga Journal's associate editor discovered a dedicated and fearless group of teachers using yoga to do just that. "I'm kind of in awe of them," she says. "I just loved learning that there are some really world-changing things happeningin this community." A certified yoga teacher, Wroth interned at Yoga Journal in 2008 and joined the staff this year. "Here, I'm able to explore my two passions: yoga and writing," she says. On her days off, the Indiana native loves gardening, cooking local organic food, and hiking through the Northern California hills.

eric shaw

Yoga scholar and teacher Eric Shaw has been fascinated by history since childhood, so it was natural that he'd devote his career to academic study—in particular, to the study of yoga's rich history. "Academia gets you thinking about things in a big way, and it gets your mind to think clearly about concepts, which is something Patanjali directs us to do," he says. San Francisco-based Shaw, who created a timeline of 6,000 years of yoga history for this issue's "35 Moments" (page 88), writes, researches, and lectures about yoga's history and philosophy, subjects he describes as worthy of our fullest capacities as human beings. "That sum of knowledge is like the genetic treasures of the Amazon basin. Nobody could hope to learn or catalog or practice it all in one lifetime, or perhaps in a thousand lifetimes."

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