I came across this response from the Editor in Chief of Yoga Journal, Kaitlin Quistgaard, to the concerns generated by Judith Hanson Lasater’s letter that was published in the September 2010 issue. Here is a small excerpt:
“Perhaps the biggest difference between the magazine Judith founded and the one I edit today is that while Yoga Journal continues to be a source of instruction and insight on yogic practices, it is now also a chronicle of the ever-evolving yoga scene–a scene that didn’t exist 35 years ago and one that some old-time practitioners would, quite frankly, find un-yogic.”
(The bold words are in the source post…)
Yes, it’s easy to see that the magazine has evolved, and so has yoga, but to place in bold text the opinion that it is only “some old-time practitioners” that find parts of the “ever-evolving yoga scene” questionable really minimizes the option of critical thinking. If I’m reading this right, it’s just the “old” people who feel this way so it doesn’t matter to the magazine so much because Yoga Journal is a chronicle of what is happening: an unseeing filter for whatever is going on in yoga in our culture right now. Well thanks for clarifying that for me, Ms. Quistgaard, I now understand better how to look at this magazine.
And I guess since it’s just “old” thinking, and I don’t want to feel ashamed for not being of the latest, hottest opinion of yoga I’ll just clam up since these other opinions are apparently no longer relevant.
I think that ideals, choices and responsibility are important when publishing about a subject I care about like yoga. But she also points out:
“It’s a messy time to be in the business of covering yoga. Some yoga publications that offered a purist’s view of the practice are no longer in print, while “workout yoga” is popular on the newsstand. Yoga Journal remains devoted to bringing a full spectrum of teachings to a wide audience, and it does so while walking the age-old line of art and commerce.”
I find this response somewhat dispiriting, or is it sobering? Have I been drunk with idealism? Is our culture so far gone that the only way we can get peoples attention is by showing them a flashy naked (or almost Naked) idealized form?