While a certain yoga pants company still seeks a new CEO well-versed in crisis management, Yoga Journal has gone ahead and appointed their new Editor-in-Chief, Kaitlin Quistgaard’s successor. Her name is Carin Gorrell and she hails from Brooklyn and SELF Magazine. This isn’t exactly breaking news, as the announcement was made via an October 24th press release and with very little fanfare, as It’s All Yoga, Baby, who first reported the “news”, perceptively points out.
Kaitlin Quistgaard quietly stepped down as Yoga Journal Editor-in-Chief this past spring after almost 7 years in the position and 10 years at the magazine. We assume it had something to do with wanting to spend more time with her family and yoga mat, which we’re sure is as the case with anyone who quits YJ.
Gorrell, who has taken the yoga reigns, was formerly the features director at SELF where she “oversaw the health, food, nutrition, lifestyle, and total well-being content,” and worked there for the past six years. Before that she was the health editor at Redbook and a senior editor at First for Women and Psychology Today. Needless to say she’s got some lady mag experience, a keen interest in healthy lifestyles – a self-proclaimed “health food and fitness junkie” – and apparently she likes to practice yoga, too.
But what can we expect from a seasoned editor who worked at a magazine responsible for such tantalizing issues like this?
Well, we can’t say just yet, but we’re interested. And maybe a little concerned. The last thing the yoga world needs is reaffirmations of the cover model “yoga body” joining the ranks of the already too many women’s magazines promoting skinny females (photoshopped) as the ideal, and articles listing the top 10 ways to find happiness, 5 reasons you’re not happy and 8 ways to be happy RIGHT NOW.
Here’s what Gorrell had to share about joining YJ and her vision for the magazine:
“I’m proud to join a brand that continues to be the leading media authority on yoga,” says Gorrell. “As a health food and fitness junkie and new mom, all of the facets of a healthy yoga lifestyle resonate with me. I’m excited to incorporate more fun and inspiring on-and-off-the-mat news, trends and service in the magazine, including recipes and nutrition news for clean eating, fashion that translates from studio to street, eco-friendly beauty, home and travel tips, and web-integrated wellness programs, making Yoga Journal the go-to destination for both the most seasoned yoga pros and down-dog newbies.”
In any case, if there was any time to make improvements to a national yoga magazine in an ever-changing climate of growth, evolution and expansion, now is it.
According to the press release, Gorrell joins former coworker Kristen Dollard Schultz, who was digital director at SELF and is already working at Yoga Journal as director of brand strategy and digital project development. The parent company Active Interest Media’s Healthy Living Group (Vegetarian Times, Better Nutrition, Horse Journal) seems rather pleased with the changes.
“We are thrilled to have Carin taking on this critical role at Yoga Journal,” says Pat Fox, senior vice president and group publisher of Active Interest Media’s Healthy Living Group. “She brings a fresh perspective to the magazine as we refresh the editorial both in the magazine and online to meet the needs of the modern yogi, while respecting the great traditions of yoga and Yoga Journal.”
We get the freshness, but we’ll have to wait and see about the modern yogi/great traditions of yoga love.
Meanwhile, a new magazine by the founder of Origins - that health mag you’ll find in Whole Foods and other places green smoothie drinkers go – called Mantra is about to launch in December with some major distribution. And other magazines like Yoga International cease printing to join the online yoga world.