Yoga magazines break down poses, give tips for better practice, explain different styles of yoga, relate yoga to social issues, and weave in philosophy and nutrition advice. Some are more science-based and publish research papers about yoga's benefits, mental and physical. And others are journals based on Buddhist philosophy that feature in-depth examinations of meditation and other aspects of yoga. Check out a few yoga magazines that could help to deepen or expand your practice.
21st-century yoga is a mix of the mundane and the sublime. Popular magazines from all over serve up practical pose advice and tomorrow's yoga trends.
Yoga Journal is the 40+-year anchor of yoga magazines. The glossy monthly (9 issues a year) offers fabulous photography, tips on lifestyle and nutrition, instructions for poses and meditation, interviews with celebrated yoga teachers, and lots of advertising. The fashion-magazine-quantity of advertising gets it a few dings in reviews, which are mostly positive. Reviewers typically give YJ high marks for
- "Informative, well-written articles."
- "The source I contact for all my yoga questions!"
- "Beautiful photography, in-depth explanations" (Epinions).
- "…taps into the 'trendy fitness" market'"
- "…no longer the content-heavy, richly detailed, and inspirational work it once was"
- "…another women's magazine." (Amazon)
One-year subscriptions for $13.95; 3 years for $27.00
Yoga International is the former print/now digital-only publication of the Himalayan Institute. The magazine has morphed into a hybrid of yoga training and yoga teaching. It's chock full of info on poses, has an extensive and growing library of reference materials and a serious pay wall that allows you three free articles before you commit or can't read on. The mag is now largely devoted to member-only online courses - many that are just open-access so you can explore sequences and styles of yoga at your leisure. There are recipes, remedies, and articles on yoga philosophy, yoga and health, chakras, and other related topics. Check out the 30-day free trial and rate Yoga International's value for yourself. It costs $14.95 per month to continue. One teacher posted on their website that it's an "excellent resource for teachers and students." If you like a lot of yoga online with frequent updates and new articles, it could be for you.
Mantra Yoga + Health
Mantra is all things to all yogis. The monthly mag dishes up articles on: everything-yoga; meditation; food and nutrition; health and beauty; and decorating your home. It's the brainchild of Californian Maranda Pleasant whose Thrive and Origins magazines also capture the crunchy-healthy-positive lifestyle demographic. Pick up a Mantra magazine at Whole Foods, Safeway, Target, Publix, Costco, Walmart or another convenient shopping location near you for about $6.00 or order a print copy on Amazon for about $10.00 per issue plus shipping. Mind your budget and subscribe for US$35 a year and wait six to eight weeks for your mag to be delivered. Or catch bits and pieces of the content on social media platforms. Twitter and Facebook fans of the magazine are uniformly enthusiastic with comments like "I always get excited when the new @MantraYogaMag shows up and I get to geek out over it."
LA Yoga Magazine
Yoga is a happening thing in LA, with celebrities rocking asanas, gourmet vegan blowouts, astrology, ayurveda, acupuncture, and aromatherapy to enhance a yoga practice, the latest studios, aerial yoga classes, detox protocols and, well, yoga products. Tune into the high-energy yoga scene with all the latest permutations and get your own 10-issues per year subscription to LA Yoga. Well-known yoga teacher Shiva Rea is a frequent guest contributor. There are regular yoga-related book, restaurant, music, and movie reviews. Print and digital will set you back about $20.00 a year; digital-only is $9.95. A Yoga Lunchbox review says the magazine "provides a fascinating insight into the sometime bizarre and hyped up world of LA Yoga," but credits it with "helpful and insightful yoga resources."
Yogi Times is a lively online marketplace of ideas and information. You'll find articles on a wild spectrum of yoga topics: eye yoga; how to love your hatha yoga practice; interviews with yoga celebs like Seane Corn; breakdowns of poses and focus on different body parts (shoulders, spine); acroyoga; urban goat yoga; recipes; city guides to yoga resources; life skills delivered by a daily practice; prenatal yoga; yoga rap; kirtan singing, and more. Facebook reviewers give the mag a thumbs up with comments like, "Great articles and very insightful from a wide range of perspectives," and, "Extremely informative, inspiring and interesting articles for our times." Yogi Times won't break the bank either. You can subscribe for as little as from $2 per month for Inspired Readers to a one-time $150 for Yogi Times Patron lifetime access.
Don't forget that yoga is first a spiritual practice with ancient philosophical underpinnings. It spans multiple faiths, centering its meaning in meditation, as Buddhists, Hindus, and other yogis can attest.
Tricycle is a high-gloss, high-quality Buddhist quarterly with a focus on meditation, the core practice of yoga and Buddhism. It extensively covers such topics as mindfulness, how-to meditate more effectively, pranayama and health, the history (and some serious critiques) of Buddhist yoga teachers and practice styles, and yoga-based wellness and lifestyle issues. This one digs deeply into the mind-meditation aspect of yoga with far less emphasis on how to do poses than on how meditation intersects with personal development and social progress. A blistering critique on Elephant Journal claims, "At best the Tricycle Magazine comes off as canned and processed" and says the content is "slated towards white, middle class, middle-aged men." Contrast that with a preponderance of 5-star customer reviews on Amazon that say "Well written articles, and a broad range of topics covered"; and "…articles which appeal to a variety of readers of different backgrounds," and "…enormously motivates you to meditate.." Digital only subscriptions are $35 a year; digital plus print issues cost $45 a year.
Integral Yoga Magazine
For 45 years, quarterly journal Integral Yoga Magazine shared the teachings of its founder Sri Swami Satchidananda and examined the intersection of yoga with western life. Vegetarianism, classic hatha poses, and a strong emphasis on meditation guided the varied content of the publication. Today Integral Yoga is a free weekly eMagazine stuffed with articles about jnana, bhakti, and karma yoga, ayurveda, yoga as medicine, and the late Swami's spiritual teachings. A library of videos shares Satchidananda's practices and talks. The latest news from the traditional yoga world pops up, as does information on events and programs. This isn't trendy-flashy yoga, but its 50-plus years in the U.S. attests to its solid staying power. You can tap into the ancient and current wisdom with your email and have the mag delivered directly. Couldn't be simpler to subscribe. Donations are accepted but are entirely voluntary.
The Science of Yoga
The medical and scientific communities have a growing interest in yoga and its powerful influences on physical and mental wellbeing.
International Journal of Yoga
IJOY is a true peer-reviewed scientific journal with lots of research to back up yoga claims and explore new applications of yoga to medicine and mind development. The journal is an official publication of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA University) in Bengaluru, India. It's not for the casual reader; your 1-year (3 issues) subscription cost as an individual will set you back from US$215 to $270 but, if you like original research, review articles, and case studies, IJOY delivers. Yoga teachers and journalists, yoga therapists, medical practitioners, and clinic programs are most likely to find value in the research topics presented. A subscription gets you the print journal and online access to current (and all) articles. Past issues and articles may be read online for free.
Yoga is a practice, not an academic study or a trendy fitness program. (Okay, some yogis are rocking fitness on their mats but the discipline is far broader than gym class with an Eastern pedigree.) A good magazine will inspire you to try poses you'd never seen before, learn about styles and teachers, and explore related healthy dietary and life choices. It will present yoga celebrity and scholarly interviews, and nurture your commitment to your asana life. Next time you're chilling in legs-ip-the-wall pose, grab a yoga mag and work your mind while the pose works on the rest of you.