The world is awash with magazines appealing to all tastes and interests. The newsstand, the virtual newsstand or our subscription newsstand isubscribe is a smorgasbord, a lolly jar, a mixed bag, a beautiful mish mash, a bewildering array, a veritable cornucopia of choice.
But if you think about it, magazines can be loosely divided into three groups: those we know and love - the household names; those that cater to our special interests – weddings, crafting, surfing and so on; and then there are the niche publications. These come in all shapes and sizes, strange and not so strange, super niche and just a little bit left of mainstream. Some are newly launched, some have been around for donkeys. We’re calling them out, inviting them up on stage to stand in the spotlight and take a bow, one weird & wonderful magazine at a time.
YOKE is pretty new (just three issues so far), pretty to look at (how we love a pastel pink cover with an upside-down girl and a fluffy dog on it) and packed full of a pretty unusual combination of really interesting stuff. In the issue we’ve got in front of us right at the moment (issue no 2, the Balance Issue) evocative portraits of rough riders and bodybuilders sit along side interviews with Buddhist philosopher Alan B. Wallace, contemporary artist Christian Thompson, interiors stylist Sibella Court, theatre director Sarah Goodes, permaculture guru Cecilia Macaulay and more. How does it all hang together?
The title refers to the Sanskrit work “yuj” which is the root word of yoga. The word yoga means “to be yoked” or connected. So, in this issue we find disparate and very different people connected by the common human impulse to find balance in our lives. This is truly fascinating and works precisely because of the differences. There’s a powerful sense of common humanity to be found here, wisdom and life lessons. (Issue One was connected through the theme of Love-Loss and the current issue, number Three is Gather, focussing on community.)
Frankly, it’s kind of weird to have a have a magazine combining yoga and cutting edge contemporary creativity. In our experience, Yoga magazines run articles on whole foods, wellness and so on, rather than street art or taking photos in Afghanistan.
Overall, it’s rather wonderful to have such different communities and lives profiled in the same magazine. It’s inspiring. Plus the photography is arty and beautiful, the magazine feels lovely to read – the matt recycled paper, the quality of the printing (dyes ethically sourced, of course) and the writing is intelligent.
This mag pretty much indicates you’re a quirky creative with depth if you leave it lying around on the coffee table. Thumbs up to down dog. Go for YOKE!