Words: Jill Futter + Vanessa Gardner // Image: Woody Nitibhon

Jill and Vanessa (L-R), hanging ten on a weekend. 

Jill and Vanessa (L-R), hanging ten on a weekend. 

So, this is our launch issue! As you can tell from our photo, we're pretty excited to be here, sharing all of the yogic awesomeness we've picked up from teachers and friends. 

Yoke Quarterly began as a seed of an idea for Jill, our creative-making-editor-lady, as she found herself increasingly yearning for yogic things to read that were less than a book, not quite a magazine, and more than an industry blog or news site. One evening, over a glass of wine, she discovered that her friend Vanessa (now Yoke's content-inspirer-maven) felt the same way. It didn't take long for the collaboration to happen: the idea evolved into the thoughtful creation of a space on the web for the simple, practical, and joyful exploration of what it means to be a modern-day (and everyday) yogi. We won't have a lot of articles, and we'll only publish new stuff every three months, but we hope that, like a slow, well-executed transition from virabhadrasana II to ardha chandrasana, each issue will leave you feeling pretty good!

For our first issue, inspiration stems from the seasonal transition into spring (or fall, depending where you are), along with Vanessa's upbringing in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, east of the Cascade Mountains and its evergreens, just on the edge of the High Desert, with its juniper trees.  Her backyard was filled with trees that bore apples, pears, cherries, along with almond, walnut, maple and plum trees. She spent her childhood climbing them, raking their leaves, picking their fruit, swinging from their branches and sleeping on a platform in the maple tree with her sisters.

One particular tree was a place of comfort and solitude: it had a perfectly curved branch that caringly embraced a 10-year-old. From beneath its leafy boughs, there was a feeling of stability and strength---the very things that we often still seek today, as grown-ups.

As busy, working adults, we may find ourselves struggling to find a space like that tree, physically and emotionally, especially as we go through changes, big and small. Living in a world of modern distractions and all of the tasks and obligations that come with it can sometimes leave us feeling drained and detached from that kid inside. For many of us who practice it, this is where yoga often comes to the rescue . Whether it's on our mats, or in the midst of a meditative moment in the middle of a busy work week, or while slowing down enough for a kind act on a bustling street, we find that a little bit of practice always goes a long way.

In this issue, we'll look at ways to bring our practice into the everyday: you'll find a rad subtle body exploration, a philosophic discussion that manages to be both deep and easy (!), thoughts from fellow yogis, a gorgeous photo essay, an at-home meditative and asana practice to bring you back down to earth during the seasonal transition, a recipe (or three), and some beautifully natural products you can put on your skin (take that, cold weather!). 

As we like to say: we're all beginners. Let's explore together...