“We cannot afford to sit on our butts & play yoga anymore.” ~ Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine.

Via on Mar 29, 2012

“We cannot afford to sit on our butts and play yoga anymore.”
~ Maranda Pleasant, founder, Origin Magazine.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Maranda Pleasant is a force of nature. As she notes below, she doesn’t sleep—she runs on inspiration. She’s built a national magazine up from nothing, and fast—and as a former magazine publisher myself, I know how hard that is. 

It’s my hope that elephant readers go out and buy a copy of Origin. Not just ’cause I happen to be featured in the current issue…but because Origin is as mindful as they come when it comes to media. It’s mixing it up: “We wanna bring consciousness and yoga to the masses and redefine it, expand it,” notes Maranda. “Hip hop artists and low income black youth doing yoga, not just white women in expensive yoga clothes.”

What you can do right now is ask for Origin Magazine at your local grocery. “Like” them on Facebook. You’ll see other ways to help at the very bottom of this interview.

Please do help. Because that’s the definition of grassroots media: not top ——> down, but individual responsibility, up. ~ ed. 

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

So, Maranda, honored to finally “meet.”

Most folks think of magazines as “old media”—quality, beautiful, well-edited journalism. But you seem to be taking a new approach—using new media, talking about transparency in business.

What is Origin Magazine doing differently as a brand-new startup to expand or change the notion of traditional media?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

We’re interested in changing the game.

We want to bring consciousness and yoga to the masses and redefine it, expand it. We want real unexpected conversations. How ’bout hip-hop artists and low income black youth in our next photo shoot doing yoga, not just white women in expensive yoga clothes? We’re partnering with large organizations to give them a print voice. Everyone from VH1, KCRW, to the Nature Conservancy and Whole Foods. We’re bringing people together and introducing new ideas. We have global hip-hop artists making an Origin mix supporting women and children’s organizations and yoga programs. It’ll be sold in retailers across the country this fall.

Enough preaching to the choir. There are a lot of broken hearts and bodies in the world. How are we going to heal the world, if we can’t heal ourselves? Good people need a louder, bigger voice. We need to shake this shit up. We have strength in numbers and our intentions.

We’re building a national community of yogis and artists, bringing amazing individuals together to create positive change. Our circles are expanding exponentially. We’re better together.

Our ambassador program is the grassroots foundation to making the Origin family strong and supportive. Origin ambassadors will hold it down in cities across the country, igniting our mission of cooperation, collaboration, and creativity through gatherings, launches. This model connects badasses in each city, supporting conscious businesses, artists, yogis, and musicians.

We don’t do boring. We are selling out in Whole Foods and becoming a best seller in two issues because of a bunch of strong organized women are coming together.

We’ve also creating a new conscious business model based on transparency and a new wave of media possibilities. It’s not business as usual around here. We’re not interested in just selling ads; we’re creating family and a mutual cycle of support. We give awesome local businesses a national voice.

We give smaller awesome businesses a national powerful voice. We are connecting yogis in cities across the US in one publication giving them an affordable way to expand, connect and grow. for their yoga retreats, workshops, studios, conscious products. I’m not sure anyone has every done it before.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Okay, wow, backtracking a bit, how did Origin start? How many issues are out there?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

We’re working on our sixth issue. It’ll be our third national one. I started it in Texas. Yeehaw!

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Nice. So on a practical level, how/when did you get the idea for starting a national magazine? Seems like an immense, intimidating undertaking.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

I didn’t chose it. It chose me. I would never want to take on something that you’ll know will swallow you alive.

I was tired of watching women suffer of having no real voice in our society and no tangible, real way of healing themselves…no economical way.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Who are some of the voices you’re proudest to have featured? Any favorite issues or stories?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

OMG. So freaking proud to have Al Gore, Deepak Chopra, Jason Mraz, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Moby, and Woody Harrelson all talking about consciousness and activism…these peeps are using their fame and redirecting it to bring awareness to issues

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

So where can we find Origin?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

You sound like a reporter.

Every Whole Foods in the country (except Hawaii). We’re expanding to Barnes and Noble and some other big boy national retailers next issue, along with eight more countries. Awesome.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

As you know, elephant was a magazine for six years before jumping online. Our concern was about the environmental impact of our magazine as we grew. How do you handle such concerns?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Yeah, that’s a hard one. It’s a delicate balance. We use really expensive recycled paper, and hope peeps recycle. We also wanted to make it so beautiful that it’s more like a collector’s item, like a coffee table book than something to be tossed. It’s 212 pages this issue.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

You bet. That’s great. And Origin looks gorgeous, so I’m sure many will keep it. elephant printed on New Leaf (eco, 30% recycled, FSC) Paper. But our concern was newsstand sell-through—most mags nationally only sell three or four copies out of 10, because magazine distribution companies don’t seem to care about eco responsibility.

So you’re engaging the mindful community nationally in some creative ways—how can elephant readers get involved, have fun, and support?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

We sold 94% of all copies on the stands last issue. Seriously. Our first national issue.

The “industry” was dumbfounded. Yogis are powerful.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Barnes & Noble etc. say generally they’ll always order 10x or whatever what they think you’ll sell. So no matter how popular, they want many more copies for the shelves if you sell out. You probably know all that.

Anyway, I’m happy to move on to other questions. I asked about the Ambassador dealio.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Are you getting irritable? Do you need a cuddle?

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Look, I destroyed my business of six years and held it down circulation wise for two because of the sell-through issue. I don’t think there’s any way you can sell 93% through middlemen.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

We are with One Source and Whole Foods. It’s true. They’re more conservative because we don’t do buy backs.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Yah, you can rock [with] them.

But once you play with big boys, it’s tough. We looked at Delicious and other direct distribution models [like Vice], but for that you need big investment, and indie media was another value [of ours].

It’s a tough business, and I salute you for toughing it out. The middle men distributors are the bad boys.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Did you use Ingram?

They’re only gonna order what they can sell…Sprouts, Central Market, etc.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Think that’s who we rejected. We never actually signed the deal—for two years I kept circ down while I tried to find an eco-responsible way, but finally just tore up the contract.

Anyway…happy to move on to Ambassador stuff.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Good on ya. We’re negotiating and doing a lot of new models. Loads of yoga studios are selling us, art museums, independent bookstores.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Nice.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Okay. Moving on cranky pants.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Yes, I get cranky about wasting paper and shipping and ruining the earth through a green magazine…it was six years of my effing life!

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Wow. You do need a cuddle. The magazine will be only about 15% of what we are building with Origin.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Nice.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

We wanna connect. We give smaller awesome businesses a national powerful voice. We are connecting yogis in cities across the US in one publication giving them an affordable way to expand, connect and grow, for their yoga retreats, workshops, studios, conscious products. I’m not sure anyone has every done it before.

1. We want input from yogis and readers…we want it to feel like their magazine. Not a corporate machine. They can send us story ideas or submit to be an ambassador that we do events with. We want every city to feel a part of it. Rep each town each issue. We’re looking for ambassador editors.

2. Buy us at Whole Foods. Ask the body department—bug them, love them.

3. Like us on Facebook

It’s not just a magazine: It’s a movement.

The online aspect is about to boom, then the video series and conference and concert series with national leaders.

Do you hate all print?

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Sweet. Amazing how much you’re doing all at once. Do you sleep? How do you maintain personal balance/energy/happiness/presence of mind with everything you’re creating and pushing forward?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

I do not sleep. I’m channeling some crazy awesome energy at the moment. To the point where the ideas come to you, and you realize it’s much bigger than you.

I miss sleep. I would dream about sleep, but I don’t sleep.

I’m working on the balance.

Are you on Facebook?

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

[busted] Nope I’m here.

So you’re engaging the mindful community nationally in some creative ways—how can elephant readers get involved, have fun, and support?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Al Gore and Jason Mraz sent in their story from Antaractica, that was pretty extraordinary.

I already told you. I’ll repeat here: 1. We want input from yogis and readers..we want it to feel like their magazine. Not a corporate machine. they can send us story ideas or submit to be an ambassador that we do events with.want every city to feel a part of it. Rep each town each issue. We’re looking for ambassador editors.

2. Buy us at Whole Foods. Ask the body dept—bug them, love them.

3. Like us on FB

They can email us ideas..ideas@originmagazine.com

They can run a super stupid cheap ad, buy us, “like” us on FB.

This is gonna take a village.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Right but it’s best in conversation mode. What’s an ambassador editor do?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

If yogis and conscious people cannot learn to organize and communicate thoughtfully, effectively and get their shit together…no real change will ever happen.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

How much to advertise a yoga studio, or natural product, or ecofashion or whatever?

Amen to  that, sister. We [spiritual community] are pretty anemic, with some amazing bright exceptions, about creating external social action or change in the world. We’re strong in creating internal harmony.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Non profits and yogis start at $300 for a 1/4 page. Seriously.

We created small biz rates so mom and pop shops can compete with the big boys.

Wealthy peeps pay more…so it doesn’t fall on the backs of struggling yoga studios

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

That’s amazing. That’s a real deal. So what’s your staff situation, so we can visualize you? You work out of Austin, and travel a lot?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Oh dear lord. I need a team. A sharp, awesome team quickly.

We’re so grassroots budget-wise…my teenager is my current full-time staff

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Wowow you’re amazing me right now.

Well I’m sure half the country, half our readers would love to apply…and out of that a few would be brilliant.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Ha.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

So who does design and editing? And distribution and…egads.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Ambassador editors help organize and get stories to us in their city…they are our eyes and ears.

We are looking for a full-time designer. We have a copy editor and transcriber…I handle almost everything else.

Good news! We have a new awesome website coming in time for Tadasana [Festival].

We need a full-time ad person too. Put that on the list.

Half of your writers are our columnists, btw.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Yah everyone’s always borrowing elephant stars (we don’t own them, duh, but we lose good folks to worthy allies constantly).

Two things I love about your mag: You say “It’s not just a magazine: It’s a movement.” What’s that mean, in concrete terms?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

How else do you become #3 in Whole Foods in two issues?

People are coming together. People are hungry for something real. We are shifting this planet. Our voices are getting louder.

If we isolate, we die.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

The other thing I love? “Bringing leaders in every field together to talk about shifting the planet. issues instead of self promotion.” I feel like so many “mindful” or eco or yoga events are all about theism, half-baked celebrity, schwag, business before ethics…how does Origin connect with leaders without allowing them to just self promote?

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Well.. I came up with the ORIGIN series of questions. We don’t really give them a chance. We ask them real questions about real issues. You get these unique, powerful answers…things you’ve never heard them talk about…because no one has created a platform/medium for it (We give national figures, artists, and leaders a blank canvas, a space to express, write, and create. Their ideas. Their voices. Not filtered through our eyes or limited to a few quotes. Straight up. Direct access. You form your own opinion. Our interviews are not cut to bias. They’re raw, real, and personal.

Fascinating people with powerful ideas featured in every issue.

We also launched the Origin video series. Interviews with innovators. No B.S. No fluff. We only care about that really matters:

Why do they wake up in the morning? What makes them vulnerable?

How do they transform their pain? What causes are they most passionate about?)

You there? Wake up.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

I’m just reading your amazing words.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

I’m telling you it’s big, big work!

Rockers and rappers talking about health, transforming their lives and what makes them vulnerable.

More importantly…what if the youth are offered options…another way.

Dead Prez are writing.

[Deepak Chopra is in our current issue] He’s keepin’ it fresh.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

I like that you’re engaging celebrity, rappers, folks who may not have really connected with explicitly mindful media.

That’s all wonderful but I have a hard time imagining that Deepak etc can’t take all that and make it into sales pitch. Not that that’s a problem, as Deepak says selling peace is much better than selling bombs and guns.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Well. His article is about reversing aging this issue.

I am rubbing coconut oil on my face right now.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Yah. That’s bullshit.

He’s aging just like everyone else.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/10/nostrums-remedies-new-age-quackery/

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

He’s telling us to drink water…I’m down with that.

And he says to sleep…but I won’t listen.

DEEPAK CANNOT MAKE ME SLEEP.

I let him loose.

Al Gore is writing on climate change…does that neutralize it?

If I was gonna cut everyone that I didn’t agree with 100%…it’d be a thin publication.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

What else should elephant readers know? We want to share up the word about Origin and what you’re doing and get everyone going to Whole Foods and asking for a copy!

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

Go to the body department. They handle the mags. Say, what up! Where’s my Origin..?

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Well elephant is all about dialogue and disagreeing respectfully…but allowing self promotion is what you said you don’t do. Just sayin.’

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

We really need love and support. Advertisers would be great. We also really need Facebook likes…since a lot of companies check that before running ads. Seriously. And please buy one at your local store. Tell your students, sell it at your studio..shout it from the mountains.

We also want editors in each city that would volunteer their time and let us know the most important events and organizations in their community.

You know what I love…

Mr. Party Pooper.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Okay. Well we’re gonna bring it! Huge honor to talk. I’m a fan of your hip, clean, beautiful, no-nonsense style. Huge thanks and kudos on behalf of everyone who has been and will be effected by Origin.

Yah but party pooping is why we love each other. We’re keepin’ it real and having fun and rocking it, hopefully. Not giving into schwag-hype-corporate-BS.

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

I love having articles dealing with eating disorders, rape, female genital mutilation, giving eight of the largest conservation organizations space to inform and raise awareness about their programs; miscarriage, telling the truth…where else you gonna read that.

Let’s talk about Somalia, and women getting raped in tent cities in Haiti…that’s next issue. Inform, and then call to action. We cannot afford to sit on our butts and play yoga anymore.

The articles have a call to get involved.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Amen. Well we in the big ol’general good-good community need to step up and lend a hand. Thanks, Maranda, for your time, energy and love and for being willing to keep it real and outargue me (not a hard thing to do).

Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine:

I adore you…and you need a whoopin’ (Texas-style).

Thank you babe for your time.

I miss you already.

Go get your dog insurance.

Waylon Lewis, Walk the Talk Show/elephantjournal.com:

Gassho, psyched. This will be good.

A few points to remember about Origin Magazine, via Maranda:

“1. Our belief is that if we don’t support people doing/creating good things on the planet, they go away and we’re left with mass produced, corporate products and messages. That’s why we created super cheap rates for yogis and small conscious businesses.

Advertisers. quarter pages: $300. Yoga retreats, workshops, studios, conscious products. 

We give smaller awesome businesses a national voice.

Connecting yogis in all the cities in one publication. Giving them an afforadale way to expand, connect and grow. Deadline is in 2 weeks.

2. Buy us at whole Foods. Ask the Body Dept. Bug them. Love them.

3. Like us on FB

4. Artist and yogi driven publication. 212 pages.

5. We’re aiming at distribution at yoga studios across country

6. Want every city to feel a part of it. Rep each town each issue. We’re looking for ambassador editors.

7. We’re interested in changing the game. We wanna bring consciousness and yoga to the masses and redefine it, expand it. Hip hop artists and low income black youth doing yoga, not just white women in expensive yoga clothes.”

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34 Responses to ““We cannot afford to sit on our butts & play yoga anymore.” ~ Maranda Pleasant, Origin Magazine.”

  1. aejohnson says:

    how much is this magazine on the stand? If it is printed on really expensive paper and marketed as a "collector's item" for coffee tables, you've already defeated your purpose to not "preach to the choir". You can feature black youth doing yoga all you want, but I doubt that demographic will run to the nearest Whole Foods and pick up a copy. As cool as it sounds and looks, seems this will be just another yoga magazine accessible to white women in $150 yoga pants.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Good points. I don't know the price, so I'm not here answering anything, but as a former magazine publisher I'd love to know what you think.

      What would you suggest? The choices would seem to be: go online only. Print a smaller magazine on eco paper. Don't print on eco paper (eco paper is barely eco to begin with), which would be rather hypocritical. Lower the price and go out of business (you see already from reading above Maranda is rocking this without a real staff, yet).

    • Vision_Quest2 says:

      Also, YOUNG or skinny white women.
      Yoga teachers with an agenda.
      Rock stars looking to branch out into the LOHAS market.

    • Teresa says:

      take your hateful negativity somewhere else…no, no on second thought., don't infect anyone else with your bitterness.

      • aejohnson says:

        I am allowed to raise a critical point about accessibility to underserved populations without being accused of "hateful negativity" and "infecting others with bitterness". I am allowed to stay here and be part of the dialogue.

    • Maranda says:

      It's $5.95. 212 pages. We're expanding our distrubution every issue to more retailers. We're starting where we are and growing organically. We are just beginning.

      • aejohnson says:

        To be sure, Origin is pure beauty. It’s aesthetically pleasing. I respect your taking on topics unmentionable in mainstream mags. Integrating both content and profits with humanitarian causes is huge. It sets you apart from other publications.

        BUT…if you want to “stop playing yoga” and "…bring consciousness and yoga to the masses and redefine it, expand it,” print media of this caliber is usually not the answer. It's not just the price that excludes the "masses", it's the role models in it. I’m happy to see an upcoming issue will feature yogis of all shapes, sizes and ages. THAT’S what I want to see. Stay gritty. Stay uncomfortable.

        From this interview, then visiting your website, I got mixed signals about your targeted audience. I now realize its artists, yogis, businesses and advocates with the means to support good causes of which you make them aware. This is incredibly important work.

        But to "create a shift" and raise consciousness in underserved and minority populations is to dig deep into the trenches of community education, sweating in church basements and organizing classes in strip malls or WalMart parking lots. It's not giving them something to read, but to EXPERIENCE.

        This is the true challenge for any writer in the health and wellness field…making your message accessible. Keeping articles at a readable literacy levels. Organizing, then covering events in less than desirable locations. Reconsidering high-end production costs so you can afford to offer a lower price in underserved areas (or donate copies to community/health centers)…..working all of that into your business model….hard stuff.

        My criticism is not “hateful negativity” as Teresa suggests. It comes from an honest place based on my own experience in community education and as a freelance writer in the field. You face a big accessibility challenge that comes from a long history and layers of socioeconomic factors. We all do.

        I am excited to see how Origins evolves. I wish you nothing but positivity and success on your journey. I will also keep my eye open for real-life stories in the Madison, WI area where yoga and living well touch the lives of unknown, less-refined warriors. I’d love to take you up on the invitation for community collaboration.

        • Vision_Quest2 says:

          Thank you for your reply to this. There is a vast difference between community outreach and old-fashioned Noblesse Oblige, and you've nailed it!

          I, likewise, am sick and tired of those yoga studios and assorted allied institutions with the "let them eat vegan cake" attitudes. Marie Antoinette would have loved commercial yoga as it is today …

  2. Interesting interview, which at least caused me to check out the website. So it looks like you can only buy it at WH or read online, but not actually subscribe. Ah, no wonder I've hadn't seen it yet. I usually shop at the co-op that I belong to and when I do rarely go to WH, it is to buy food quickly and get out – I never browse the magazines.

    I suspect if I'd seen it – the celebrity covers made me look past it, but I'll be sure to take a closer look next time.

  3. shan says:

    still can't find Origin mag at my whole foods in Indianapolis.

  4. Dr. Katy Poole Katy Poole says:

    I loved this article until I saw the "roster" of yoga teachers on an image of one of the magazine images. I was so excited about someone focusing attention on something else besides "white women in expensive yoga clothes" and the typical yoga celebrities. But then there they were again. The same A-listers. I have nothing against the A-listers. They sell magazines and are doing great things. For once, however, I'd love to see focus on someone—anyone—else like my dear old friend, Francesca Jackson (a towering African-American goddess yogini) who's been teaching yoga and meditation in the prison system and in the AIDS community for the past 25 years. Why can't these people make the cover? Just sayin' if we're really going to walk our talk.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Amen.

      Yoga Journal, I would offer, goes out of its way to feature women (few men, apparently men on covers don't sell to the yoga market—and that's the balance you're seeing on Origin, and in popular v unpopular blogs on elephant) of diverse backgrounds. And that's where I'd come back to my intro—this isn't about top down, but individual responsibility, up. When we were elephant magazine, we put gay rights on the cover well before Prop 8 etc made it a truly national news story (up to then gay rights wasn't frequently seen on non-political, general interest magazine covers). The magazine probably didn't sell as well as our covers. We were independent media, so we were able to make that decision and not look back. But if we weren't independent, our business decisions would have been by committee—and we wouldn't have been able to take that risk.

      Furthermore, I always but the onus back on you, the reader: if Origin features Yoko Ono, Michael Franti or Saul Williams, as they have, will you and your friends gather together to buy that issue and support their risk?

      • Dr. Katy Poole Katy Poole says:

        Well, I don't buy magazines anymore and I think they're a dying breed. Everything is going online and publishing as a result is becoming a lot more democratic. One of my clients is a top fashion photographer in NYC and he's currently freaking out (which he does fairly regularly) because a 15-year-old girl from Kansas who invests her allowance money in couture and blogs about it has attracted 2 million viewers per day. Now the big houses of fashion are sending her samples to write about and feature—and even sponsored a trip for her to attend fashion week in Paris. She's killing my client's business. Why should designers pay him to photograph their work when this girl has an even better reach?

        A-lister yoga teachers are in a similar bind—on the same playing field as everyone else, which is unprecedented in history. Anyone can turn themselves into whatever kind of "poof" they want to be. It just depends on how effective you are at attracting your own crowd, which is what you've done brilliantly with elephant. Leverage more video and you're on the same level as Yoga Journal and will even surpass it, if you haven't already. That's amazing for a home town boy with no money. Sponsor a big conference (or even paid video conference) and your mortgage is paid. You have the reach.

        As for pubs featuring folks like Yoko Ono, et. al. (all of whom I love and respect), I still wouldn't buy them because I can read all about these people online—unless I'm getting my hair cut, which is the only time I read print media these days. In the 90s and until recently, Yoga Journal made A-listers like Shiva Rea, etc. famous. I think Origin could do the same thing for lesser known teachers who are making a huge grassroots impact but don't have media support. I would also love an "Oprah" to appear in the yoga market and support these kinds of people with exposure to the masses—instead of being spoon-fed the bold and the beautiful in Lululemon. It would be so refreshing to see someone else, a different body, a different race, a different age, and a different focus than the A-listers who get all the mainstream press anyway. So yes, I would buy something like that. I think a lot of other people would as well. The yoga body, the yoga fashion, the yoga celebrities are really, really boring. I'm sure I'll receive fire for that last comment, but it's why Yoga Journal is losing steam fast—and imo, why it doesn't "translate" well online. With no offense intended toward the bloggers who contribute, I find Yoga Journal's blog to be a real snore. The print mag I could tolerate as bathroom reading, but I would never seek out its blog for any form of interesting content. That's the difference. The internet is way more organic, human and real in a very ironic way.

        (P.S. I had all those old issues, btw, of elephant and even Yoga of the Rockies, until a recent move forced me to recycle them. They were great! But smart that you went online…)

  5. Maranda says:

    it's $5.95 on the stand (212 pages) and all your ideas are welcome at ideas@originmagazine.com. We listen and collaborate with those not just willing to criticize, but those who want to co-create a shift. We're all in this together. Send the names of your yogis/leaders impacting your community. It's the only way we'll know. We donate at least 20% of our editorial to non-profit Humanitarian + Eco groups every issue. We're growing, refining and learning. It's a journey and we're trying to grow it together.

    • bhagat_singh says:

      love ya sista – proud to have been there to see the seed being planted and the idea growing into this most beautiful web. of course, what you are doing will draw criticism, but I know you and your enthusiasm to share and transcend the boundaries… if rich white women buy the magazine, that fuels it's ability to grow and serve more and more folks.

      I know Origin to strive for inclusion, but let's get real – it's gotta sell to pay for itself and allow them to find these other great folks -artists and yogis!

      Proud to be an ATX Ambassador – thanks and praise!

    • Dr. Katy Poole Katy Poole says:

      Thanks for your reply, Maranda. I'd love to send you my ideas. I think you should also do an internet television program—like an Oprah-esque talk show. And have an online edition of your pub. It looks fantastic. I hope my comment about the A-listers didn't come across too "snarky." I just get tired of those same names over and over again everywhere. I think they need to share the space with new voices, new bodies, and new ideas about yoga. But otherwise, congrats. Your efforts should be applauded.

    • yogi says:

      Maranda, you don't respond to people when they write to you via facebook or email.

  6. melissa says:

    "You there? Wake up." love this interview. thanks Way for sharing Maranda's sweet side.

    GO RUN GET this MAG!!!

    please.

    Melissa,
    Origin Magazine Ambassador (houston)

  7. Maranda says:

    Katy!!! Wait til you see my Body issue in July. We're doing the most beautiful yoga shoot with every body type, age, race…5 of the best phogs in the world have signed on out of service. We're also addressing body image/eating disorders. Our videos and show launch April 21st and the online articles as well! You nailed it. Articles, blogs, photos, videos and our show all hit in a month. In July we're also doing a hip hop shoot with 8 of the most famous rap artists in Atlanta…all doing yoga and talking about transforming their lives. It'll be stellar. Let's collaborate. editor@originmagazine.com. This is a community magazine. Everyone has a voice. Love. or call anytime. 713.922.8584

    • Dr. Katy Poole Katy Poole says:

      Thanks for letting me know, Maranda. I'll be in touch soon. And I'm looking forward to your issue in July! Bright blessings on your endeavor. It's about time.

  8. Peace says:

    Your intention is to give women a a voice and yet all of the articles you are most proud to publish are about men?

  9. Guest says:

    My interest was caught right away (even tho the big photo dissuaded me for an instant as I'm getting weary of blonde white women in flowing robes images accompanying everything from the daily Rumi fifteen facebook shares to cosmetics etc — *Note – weary of the images NOT the real people who are blonde etc).

    I tried not to hang onto the discrepancies between statements – sometimes almost right after another. As in "I was tired of watching women suffer of having no real voice in our society and no tangible, real way of healing themselves…no economical way."

    And then, one more sentence and "So freaking proud to have Al Gore, Deepak Chopra, Jason Mraz, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Moby, and Woody Harrelson all talking about consciousness and activism"

    Any of these ideas or people are worthwhile, admirable, something to read/promote/engage, but saying so and doing it all ~ well ~ it's all about walking the talk. duh. I chose only the first example of the discrepancies that niggled at me as I read, not them all.

    I appreciate the whole basic concept but don't see it executed and feel urged to say so. Whole Foods has recently come to an agreement with Monsanto and will sell their GMO foods. Or did I read about that in an alternative universe? And how many atypical yoga readers – inner city black hip hoppers for example – find their reading material at this mag's outlets? And I loved Yoko's photo but is that going to pull in the atypical audience individual?

    TNC has done much to protect and save endangered habitats and all they support. But they also have a shadow side, as do many big non-profits who use up the volunteers and employees without adequately compensating them (wages – health insurance, etc). Because these people care about what they are doing and work from their hearts, they accept less for the work, until their life requires more (maybe they get sick; or have a family to support). This isn't a "shun TNC" message, it's "this is life" and "let's get real"instead of theoretical.

    And even tho I appreciate Whole Foods (none where I live tho) and use and appreciate TNC (great local preserves!), I don't see how these and similar are going to be attracting this diverse audience she envisions. I kept waiting to hear about how the atypical were going to be more than a showcase or (dare I say it?) token presence in and ability to buy & use the mag. And I don't believe that Maranda sees this in what she is doing and she is sincerely wishing to engage in what she describes as the mag's mission. I might be seeing only the discrepancies and not the executed realities (haven't seen the mag – it may come to the local B&N, maybe).

    As someone who values holding my reading in my hands and having it to leaf thru later on, for weeks, months, years ~ I want to find this mag to be what she claims. Does anyone else think it is a big odd to have one person (and her teenage kid) creating a magazine that shows and connects diverse interests/people and engaging ideas/people who aren't light-skinned, blonde, flowing robes and scarfs US females (and their male/female partners)?

    This is a great experiment in creating a reality. I honor Maranda for her energy and vision and hope that it is a magnet for others to be involved with her who help embody these ideas and make them happen.

  10. Perry says:

    Amazing Publication! It is so beautiful! Love the Art and Inspiring articles! Keep up the good work! Can't wait for the next Issue!

  11. Maranda…raw and real. Great interview. Just like we love her at Origin Magazine. Fascinating people with powerful issues featured in every issue, and I encourage everyone who has not checked out this visually stunning publication to do so. The odds are definitely against an independent publication's success, but Maranda is doing it differently. She's doing it her own way. And in this way, she is pulling up every arts+conscious+humanitarian+philanthropic person/organization whom she believes in, giving them a platform that didn't previously exist, one built on her and her team's blood, sweat and tears. And that's how it's more than just a magazine–it's a movement.

  12. great publication! I have no doubt maranda will continue to open new doorways….and I love holding an actual magazine in my hands…much more of an experience than reading an onine blog or webpage….I look forward to see what Origin will manifest in the years to come!

  13. Laura says:

    I loved this magazine from the first issue & knew I had to be a part of the movement. Sure, there may be plenty of a-list teachers included, but those names pull the average reader in! Once they open the pages, they find articles by no-name teachers, just like myself. We’re given this national platform to speak from our hearts & I’m honored to share my musings. Yes! I want to hear about those inner city teachers! We give them a voice! But we can’t hunt them all down. This is why so much of Origin is a grass-roots effort. Send us their stories, tell us their tales. Be the change! I’m proud of this magazine, this woman, her daughter & her mission. Love to all for commenting though. Through dialogue we become stronger as a community!

  14. aejohnson says:

    …lots of focus on including inner city, African-American populations, DEFINITELY important. Would also like to put in a plug for showcasing/reaching rural folks too. LOTS of obesity and unhealthy behaviors in small towns…seriously limited accessibility to programs and education. I'll keep my eye out for some good stories…

  15. Kelly Morris Kelly Morris says:

    I am white and have blond hair but I avoid flowy white robes. :) Maranda has single-handedly created a beautiful offering out of thin air, just like that, with little help, fueled only by her huge, excited, driven heart. As always, I find people who leave anonymous comments to be….in a word….lame, as they conjure up sad, angry people at home, griping about this that and the other, but with total impunity. If you think you can do it, better, then by all means, DO IT. ;) Love to all!

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  17. jhonleon says:

    Interesting interview, which at least caused me to check out the website. So it looks like you can only buy it at WH or read online, but not actually subscribe. Ah, no wonder I've hadn't seen it yet. I usually shop at the co-op that I belong to and when I do rarely go to WH, it is to buy food quickly and get out – I never browse the magazines.
    vochtbestrijding
    I suspect if I'd seen it – the celebrity covers made me look past it, but I'll be sure to take a closer look next time.

  18. amphibi1yogini says:

    Did purchase one issue. I consider it a souvenir … of my former involvement with commercialized yoga. In that, this magazine has value. It is beautiful, full of topical artcles . Oh, and I don't read nor buy Yoga Journal anymore. That part had to happen first.

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