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Are You the Next Top Yoga Journal Cover Model? A Call to Action

in Public Display of Yoga, YD News

Revolution is afoot! In actuality, it’s happening all the time – evolve and revolve – but as we approach a new dawn in the era of modern day yoga, the spirited yogadorks have spoken and are moved to unite in peaceful protest. Against what? And whom? Why, the powers that be. YD pal and intrepid yogi/blogger Nancy Alder unleashed a can of passion punch in objection to Yoga Journal‘s consistent representation of “model-type” yogis on their covers and failure to publish Anna Guest-Jelley’s Curvy Yoga Proclamation letter to the editor* in response to an article on diet and body. (*this may still be a possibility, as mags are not blogs and can be a bit sluggish on the uptake).

Via Nancy’s blog #365yoga: Day43 Fight the Power:

It is a shame that Yoga Journal can’t seem to get a grip on this reality and promote some yoga that can rock the local yokels and not just those of us who want to go to study with the teachers on the cover.  It’s horrid that they publish articles about body and weight and yet ignore the folks like Anna who intelligently point this out.  I’m tired of it and I’m ready to fight.  I’m not famous, nor a Yoga Journal cover model, but I am a yoga teacher and person.

This man on the cover of YJ after 8 years seems like a big deal – we’re excited to see everyone find yoga accessible in their lives, even dudes! (sarcasm) – but if we’re gonna go there, let’s keep going. Lucky for us, Yoga Journal has a cover model talent search competition! And we implore you all to enter.

The official guidelines:

Make sure we can see your whole body in the frame.

Show us your face, if possible.

Wear something form-fitting and bright, so that you stand out from the background.

Show off a pose you’ve mastered, rather than something more advanced that you can just barely do. (Great alignment impresses us more than difficulty.)

Uh, so you’re saying no kala bhairavasana attempts in our goth garb? Yes, they still would like a shiny happy yogi, but there’s a catch. It’s readers’ choice! Which means we can all VOTE for the winner! Sort of. Official rules state: “Of the top five finalists with the most reader votes, Yoga Journal’s editorial team will choose a grand prize winner and model based on skill of pose, alignment, creativity of written answer, personality and suitability for Yoga Journal.” Eh…

Not surprising. Still we’re cheering for the top 5 spots, so get your asana on and submit by March 29th. Voting begins March 30th.

Time to represent. Let’s celebrate all the yogis out there. YogaDawg‘s already in!

Let us know if you submit your photo so we can keep an eye out for you!



29 comments… add one
  • Wow, thanks for the heads up on this YD! I’m going to share this post with Well+Good readers, too.

  • Emily

    This competition is only open to residents of the U.S.A! I believe this is a slight to all YJ readers living outside of the United States.

  • Richard K

    I happen to enjoy the ladies who routinely grace the cover and insides of YJ. This said, I’m sure that there are plenty of non-celeb yogi/nis who can equally or better illustrate yoga’s grace and beauty. Here’s the idea: Run a “shadow” call for models right here on YD. Let the world vote. And keep it open forever, not against a deadline like YJ. Maybe under a new website tab: “Talent Gallery”, or something. I can’t think of a better person and place to do it that you and here.

  • JeffreyD

    Why would anyone want to see somebody fat/ugly on the cover of a magazine about yoga, which people generally do to get in shape and look good?

    Basketball magazines feature tall people, Scientific American features smart people. It’s not egalitarian, but it’s honest.

    • Medea

      This whole discussion seems to come down to the question that had been discussed a lot lately; is yoga a form of fitness or a spiritual path? If you think it is the first, then maybe your comment (minus the fat/ugly) makes sense. But if you experience yoga from the second viewpoint (like me) , hot lean bodies in perfect “advanced” poses are not all that interesting, because asana is not the goal, it is a means to an end. Indeed, cultivating subtle inner processes to me is way more advanced than achieving perfect gross outer form.

      I expect a magazine about yoga to cover the full scope of the practices (and practitioners), which should be reflected on it’s cover. Sadly, YJ seems to choose the fitness/wellness/diet formula with corresponding covers.

    • Elizabeth

      #1: There is a difference between “fat/ugly” and “women who are not genetically graced with supermodel genes.” No one has suggested that putting “somebody fat/ugly on the cover” is the goal here.

      I am 5’10” and routinely get compliments on the shape of my body. I’m fit, but not super duper athletic looking. When people find out I use the Weight Watchers plan to track my food intake and manage my weight, they always say, “You?!?? Why would YOU need to do Weight Watchers?” All of this is to say that I am easy on the eye and pretty to boot.

      I also weigh 40-60 pounds more than the average supermodel of my exact same height.

      #2: I disagree with your statements that “people generally do [yoga] to get in shape and look good.” Maybe in a gym, or at certain brands of yoga, but not in my crowd.

      I practice yoga at various Anusara studios and at YogaWorks. When asked “why do you do yoga?” the most likely responses among my friends include: yoga makes me feel good about myself; yoga gives me more body awareness; yoga compliments my meditation practice; yoga counteracts sitting around at a desk all day; I don’t like “exercise” and do yoga because I enjoy it; yoga is fun.

      I’m willing to bet the regular readers of Yoga Journal would give answers more like those of my friends, and very few would say “to get in shape and look good.”

  • This fat girl has some LOUD yoga togs, y’all! I’ll totally do this.

  • The runner up ‘prize’ of new stylish yoga gear provided by corporate sponsor Althleta seems to be an indicator of what YJ is looking for. Not a <40 year old yoga dude.

  • This is my plan… http://flyingyogini.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/365yoga-day-44-viva-la-revolution/

    I already sent in my pic. Join me!! Thanks YD for the reminder!!

  • Ryan

    YJ is a prop, just like a block or strap. Once you don’t need it then toss it.
    To me YJ is just like Playboy. They are both expensive, have big glossy photos of beautiful women that I lust after, too many advertisements of shit I don’t need and actually have an interesting article about three times a year.

    • haha.. spot on. of course, I’m not as likely to stash a few choice issues in the attic to be “discovered” by my sons in 10 years..

    • amen.. amen..

  • I submitted a picture in Bakasana!! ooh I’m wearing black pants in it! I mostly just want all the Athleta stuff, I’ve loved them for years!

  • It is a shame the entries aren’t open world wide.. or at least down here in Australia – particularly since we publish the affiliated Australian Yoga Journal.
    But very exciting to see a man on the cover, and best of luck to the winner of the comp… :)))

  • jacqueline

    Hi there!I entered the contest and Im 42,lol.It was open to everyone right?I could use your vote….Im wearing a black top and pants and standing in tree pose,arms outstretched,profile face.Thanks friends,xx

  • I entered my Eka Pada Rajakapotasana in a green tank and fuchsia leggings. I’ll be posting all about it on my blog when voting starts.

    Hugs to All ♥

  • Sheryl K

    Too funny April, I entered the same pose, (foot in elbow crease, not on my head) and I’m wearing the same colored outfit…. lime green tank and bright fuchia leggings! In case we get mixed up, I’m the 53 year old posing on a boulder ;-D

  • Elena

    Hi Everyone, I am posing in a yellow tank with black leggings and am rocking Eka Pada Koundinya II in 30 degree windy weather!! Please vote for me 🙂 Namaste!

  • You wanted to know if we entered the YJ contest (boo for contests so not yogalike) but yay for striking a yoga pose. I like yogadawg’s submission! 2,3++ submissions, gee whiz, what’s a veteran teacher yogini gotta do to grace the pages of a yoga magazine? … submit and then surrender to what shall be.

    light and love, Kim

    • oh, and I’ve been in the yoga racket for close to 20 years! 42 and on my mat every day. Learning to fly these days.

  • I agree, this could be open to non US residents surely no? Seems a little unfair, as the publication is surely internationally recognized by “yogites” all over… ?

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