For a refresher, my good friend Anna had sent them a letter in response to a certain article about food and weight loss which they did not immediately publish. This oversight on their part and the attention to “perfect” bodies in their magazine started a bit of fury here on EJ. I requested…no, demanded, that they publish her letter within two months or I would cancel my subscription and no longer link to their site within my articles here and on my blog.
The response to that post was overwhelming and the support for what I was asking and for Anna and her amazing approach to yoga was beyond what I had hoped. The community of yogis that rallied with our position that Yoga Journal needed more “every body” yoga models/role models showed me what I was saying was not falling upon deaf ears.
This afternoon I opened my mailbox to find the latest issue of Yoga Journal and instantly looked at the letters to the editor. On page 16 there it was: an excerpt of Anna’s letter. Yoga Journal had listened! No, probably not to me or to any of the people who commented on Anna’s post, my post or on many of the others that followed it.
They listened to what Anna had to say, and for me that was the goal.
The current issue of Yoga Journal features tattoos (on yoga practicing prisoners) and a non-size two cover model, Sarah Tomson Beyer. I have hope and faith that this trend will continue because I want to support Yoga Journal and the teachers within its pages. As promised I will keep referring to their website in my blog and here in my posts in Elephant Journal. I am encouraged that Yoga Journal will continue to expand the yogis they feature in their pages.
While I am happy they chose to publish Anna’s letter, this experience has shown me that the real source of wisdom and community in yoga is on the mat next to me. I am learning from my fellow yogis on Twitter, from the readers of my blog and from the students whom I teach and practice with daily. Yoga Journal is pretty and glossy and a great way to showcase the exceptional, but I am grateful for people like Anna Guest-Jelley. She reminds me and Yoga Journal to love every body, and that every body can do yoga. I hope that one day Yoga Journal will realize that yogis like her who bring wisdom, acceptance and grace to their practice are the real cover models.