In the September issue of Yoga Journal, Judith Hanson Lasater, one of the magazine’s founders (and a long-time contributor), stated in a letter her concern about the magazine and its advertising policy.
She writes: “I’m concerned about ads that have stimulated both confusion and sadness in me about where the magazine is now and where it is headed. I am confused because I do not understand how photos of naked or half-naked women are connected with the sale of practice products for asana, an important part of yoga. These pictures do not teach the viewer about yoga practice or themselves. They aren’t even about the celebration of the beauty of the human body or the beauty of the poses, which I support. These ads are just about selling a product. This approach is something I thought belonged (unfortunately) to the larger culture, but not in Yoga Journal.”
From a glance at Judith’s Facebook Fanpage, she’s not the only person feeling this way. Her page is full of supportive comments from people who have similar issues with Yoga Journal’s advertising policy, and the representation of yoga.
Judith concludes her letter with a call to action. “I feel sad because it seems that Yoga Journal has become just another voice for the status quo and not for elevating us to the higher values of yoga: spiritual integration, compassion and selfless service. My request is that Yoga Journal doesn’t run ads with photos that exploit the sexuality of young women in order to sell products or more magazines.”
Will they listen? Hats off to Judith for having the courage to speak out against sexualized yoga advertising! As she says on her Facebook page: “‘Yes’ to nudity and the gorgeous human body; ‘no’ to using it to sell yoga!” Oh yeah!
Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Judith Hanson Lasater here on it’s all yoga, baby, as we continue the conversation.