My Wife Loves Yoga Journal Just the Way It Is, Thank You

Via Bob Weisenberg
on Aug 11, 2010
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(Written in response to Monday’s Yoga Journal Controversy, by Ramesh Bjonnes,
both the article itself and the resulting discussion.)

My Dear Friend Ramesh,

Why, why, why does everyone have to be the same? You do the Yoga you love. I’ll do the Gita Yoga I love. Anusara devotees will do the Yoga they love. Bikram, Asthanga, Kripalu, Ananda, Himalayan Institute, YMCA, etc. 

My wife Jane will continue to do the daily 45 minutes of pre-dawn asana to her Yoga Journal Jason Crandell DVD. She will continue to love Yoga Journal just the way it is (including all the ads) and she’ll continue to be completely uninterested in what you consider to be real Yoga. 

She and hundreds of thousands of other happy Yoga Journal lovers don’t merit your derision. They are fine just the way they are. Try to attract them to your Yoga, if you wish. But don’t do it by demeaning the Yoga they love.  Live and let live. 

Subscribe to Yoga International.  Start a new traditionalist magazine.  Tell people how wonderful your Yoga stuff is.  Get Yoga Journal to publish more articles about your stuff.  Spread the word.

But stop looking down your nose as people like my wife who simply don’t care to follow your particular path. Sell the positive message of your type of practice without tearing down the type of Yoga most Yoga Journal readers like to practice. 

There are plenty of other people to carry on what you consider to be the real Yoga.  Why do you feel you need to convert Yoga Journal readers, many of whom just aren’t interested?  Sell your stuff, but at the same time, embrace diversity and accept people who are different from you.

Bob Weisenberg
(who practices Gita Yoga, the oldest and most traditional Yoga of all, but doesn’t have anything against those who choose to practice modern innovations like those in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 1500 AD)


About Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg: Editor, Best of Yoga Philosophy / Former Assoc. Publisher, elephant journal / Author: Yoga Demystified * Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell * Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology / Co-editor: Yoga in America (free eBook) / Creator: Gita Talk: Self-paced Online Seminar / Flamenco guitarist: "Live at Don Quijote" & "American Gypsy" (Free CD's) / Follow Bob on facebook, Twitter, or his main site: Wordpress.


27 Responses to “My Wife Loves Yoga Journal Just the Way It Is, Thank You”

  1. David Lincecum says:

    Amen brother! I like it just the way it is too. There is no "problem" with Yoga Journal. It just 'is'.

  2. Joslyn Hamilton says:

    Amen again. So tired of all the judging. Let people do their thing!

  3. candicegarrett says:

    I agree! I find very few things more offensive in the yoga world than elitist yoga. People who practice in the gym are still practicing. People who never know who Patanjali is, people who practice in a heated room, people who simply sit. It's all yoga. That's the beauty of it. Each person will find the perspective they need!

  4. carrie says:

    yoga is what you make it to be

  5. Aron says:

    Thank you Bob.

  6. Carol Horton says:

    I hope that we can avoid getting into a "Yoga Journal: Love it 100% the Way it Is, or Shut Up, Go Away & Do Your Own Thing" dynamic. I know that it's difficult, but we are yoga practitioners, and should be able to respect YJ for the good things it offers AND question some aspects of how it's handling its highly influential role in the yoga world at the same time.

  7. Ramesh says:

    my article was not a criticism of the diverse practices of yoga. My article was not a criticism of people only practicing yoga for fitness. My article was not a criticism of of people not wanting to mediate or have anything to do with the study of the Gita. My article was not advocating everybody practicing yoga being the same.

    Those are all your assertions about me and my piece. But that was not what my piece was about.

    My piece was a direct response to Judith Lasater's letter to Yoga Journal saying that she has had it with the way yoga is being portrayed in their ads.

    That was what my article was mainly about, Bob.

    In addition, my article was about why I disliked the way that Yoga Journal has changed over the years: becoming more commercialized, more fitness oriented, more sexploitation-like, using super-slim, near-anorexic, hyper-mobile women to market their slant on yoga.

    I also said that because of this trend, that I favored other types of magazines….which, based on the feedback I got, a majority of people agreed with.

    That was what my article was about, Bob.

    My article was in no way directed towards those who wish to practice only certain physical aspects of yoga. I think that is great!
    My article was directed at how the most well read yoga magazine today markets this kind of yoga.

    So, I really think you missed the real message in my article, Bob.

  8. kat says:

    i really appreciated your article, Ramesh. it needed to be written and i agree with your perspective. thank you!

  9. Manatosh says:

    Namastè Bob,

    I read your comments and I have to say that I was a bit surprised by what you are writing considering that you are an expert in the Giita.
    In the Bhagavad Giita Kirshna is very clear on the point that people should take a strong position against adharmic behaves, even when this adharmic behaves are performed by very close friends or relatives. Surely you know better than me about the story of Arjuna, even if he felt compassion for his friends Kaurava, he had to do his dharmic duty and fight. Of course it is a metaphor, nobody has to fight the "Holy War of Yoga" 😉 but still, I think that is a good thing to take the responsibility to point out the limits and the contradictions of magazines like YJ or of many yoga studios in U.S.
    After all, in the Giita, the Kaurava represents symbolically the vrittis (the psycho-physical propensities), related to the chakras and so, the natural behaves of human beings in this life. In fact, the goal of the yoga practices is precisely to control these vrittis and to channelize them toward the Supreme Consciousness, Brahma, Parama Purusha, so to experience the Union of the Atman with the Universe around it.

    So, I actually admire people like Ramesh that pointing out these issues, somehow are helping us to become more aware of some of these vrittis (propensities) of our mind/society, and in this way they give us the chance to challenge ourselves.

    Have a nice day


  10. integralhack says:

    If Elephant Journal keeps doing all this free blog marketing for Yoga Journal and Toe Sox, they might stop running nude adverts . . . Bob, Waylon, cease and desist . . . please! 😉

  11. Hello,

    I just wanted to say that I have been following for a few months on and off and I would like to sign up for the daily feed. I am not to computer smart so I'll give it a try but I will need some help. This is a great find and I would hate to lose touch, and maybe never find it again.

    Anyway, thanks again and I look forward to reading/posting again in the future!

  12. Mary Donnery says:

    Namaste Bob,
    Thank you for writing this…Like your wife, I also enjoy reading Yoga Journal (among many other fine yoga publications) and I consider myself to be a committed and intelligent yoga practitioner. I am however, disappointed at all the judgment I'm coming across in the yoga community in recent months as to how one should practice yoga. This is a shame, as yoga is a wonderful path to self realization and no one should made to feel foolish for their personal choices in their yoga practice. While the acknowledgment and respect of the history and texts of yoga are important, I believe that it is more relevant that people unroll their mats and simply practice. Ultimately yoga is an intuitive and personal journey into stillness, and no magazine, ad, book or critic can change that.

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