According to the United Nations, there are an estimated 2 billion people worldwide who practice yoga. That means there are 2 billion different ways yoga expresses itself and 2 billion different ways a yogi can look. At Yoga Journal, we want to honor everyone’s yogic path. Whether your practice is rooted in movement, breathwork, service, mantra, devotion, meditation, or study, you are moving toward awareness— and we want to support you along the way.
That’s why we’re making a few changes this year. We want to bridge old and new, the past and the future, in an effort to find common ground, to celebrate the benefits of the practice, and to help lead the community toward solutions to some of modern yoga’s biggest challenges including, but not limited to, accessibility, safety, abuse of power, and the best way forward. When you turn the pages of this redesigned magazine, scroll through our social feeds, visit our refreshed website, or listen to our new podcast, you’ll start to see (and hear) a more representative Yoga Journal—one where master teachers such as Maty Ezraty, who started YogaWorks, are paired with new yogapreneurs such as Jessamyn Stanley; one where you can find inspiration regardless of where you are on your yoga journey.
In 2019, you’ll find two different covers on most issues. We’re going to take more opportunities to share what yoga looks and feels like. To us, both Maty and Jessamyn represent important perspectives on leadership—our theme for this issue. Maty helped to popularize yoga, but she avoids social media and is worried about its ripple effects. Jessamyn is a relatively new teacher and rising social-media star. Her message of deep body acceptance is pioneering a new way of reaching people with the practice.
By bringing their voices together, along with the voices of other popular teachers and thought leaders, we aim to spark conversation about leadership in yoga: What form does it take? What form should it take? What roles do lineage and tradition play? How can the community chart a course forward that fosters respect, integrity, and inclusivity?
In this issue, we also work with beloved Yoga
Journal contributors Annie Carpenter, Sally Kempton, and Judith Hanson Lasater to offer up rock-solid asana, philosophy, and anatomy lessons. Plus, you’ll find yoga retreats that dovetail with leadership training to help you step into your own power. There’s also a chance to learn from the work of Exhale to Inhale, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing trauma-informed yoga to survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Finally, find freedom in ecstatic dance and parting words of wisdom on moving your practice off the mat and into the world—for the benefit of all.