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from the publisher

This is our seventh Yoga issue with Jasper Johal’s photography on the cover. Thank you, Jasper; you’re amazing, and I love this cover of Briohny Smyth captured while pregnant. It’s very unusual, just like our feature pictorial. This year we took a different tack for the inside layout, called “Everyday Yoga.”

Instead of expert poses shot by meticulous photographers, we assigned Mary Serphos to capture regular Bay Area yoga students doing regular poses, shot exclusively with an iPhone. To complement the images, we asked everyday imperfect yogis to complete the sentence: “I practice yoga because . . .” The answers are sweet, and so are the images. Many thanks to both Jasper and Mary.

In keeping with the theme of imperfection, you'll enjoy Chris Dean’s hilarious essay, “Lifelike Asanas: Yoga for the Middle-Aged Crowd.” Unabashed, Chris included laugh-out-loud photos of herself in failed poses with such names as Tree Falling in the Wind and Squatting Tiger, Constipated Dragon. For more humor, read Zachary Feder’s piece, “Yoga Catharsis.”

But don’t worry, we didn’t just turn this into a humor issue. Mariana Caplan’s “Science Demonstrates Yoga’s Capacity to Heal the Mind” as well as Jason Gregory’s article about humility are sobering. You’ll appreciate Colleen Mauro’s piece on Creative Meditation and Dearbhla Kelly’s advice on yoga’s positive effect on marriage. I am very pleased we’re publishing Joanne Avison’s look at the fascial web. I’ve been intrigued about the wisdom of the fascia, a little known but mysteriously intelligent aspect of our anatomy. There’s a lot of wisdom packed into this issue. I hope you’ll benefit.

For the Common Ground interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with famed Buddhist scholar Bob Thurman. He has had a fascinating life, whose trajectory is worth examining as a parable. For starters, Bob excelled at Exeter, an elite boarding school. However, a month before graduation he ran off to try to enlist with Fidel Castro and was thus denied his diploma. Later, he lost an eye during an accident. The incident precipitated a shift that led him to renounce his trust fund and his first marriage—in exchange for a passage to India. Despite his WASP-y roots, he found India to be his true home. In 1962 he encountered the Dalai Lama, beginning what would become a lifelong friendship promoting the Buddha Dharma. I urge you to read the transcript, as Bob’s experience and wisdom are engaging. His daughter is Uma Thurman, the Hollywood actress.

It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down so quickly, but we look forward to seeing you at a number of terrific events this month including Burning Man, the Soil Not Oil Coalition, the Heirloom Exposition, Bhakti Fest, the Globe Sound Healing Conference, Expo East in Baltimore, and Symbiosis, just to name a few.

As ever, we ask you to show your support of our free community magazine by patronizing our awesome advertisers. Their success is our collective success. Thank you. October will be our Women issue, and November will be our 41st Anniversary Gratitude edition. December-January is our Holiday Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise issue. Consider becoming an advertiser.

Viva Enlightenment,
Rob Sidon, Publisher/Editor in Chief