Face-Off: Striking a Pose

Article excerpt

The power of yoga is everywhere. What began as a fringe exercise practiced by Haight-Ashbury hippies is now di riguer for the smart set. It's at your gym. It's in your kid's school, and it's winning over readers and advertisers alike. Nearly 15 million people are doing the sun salutations. Mainstream marketers' mantra has become "Lohas" (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability), used to describe the psychographic of practitioners. Yoga International defines it as people who "care about the environment and understand the balance between living responsibly and enjoying material success in the world." The three titles below - the only ones in the category - deliver that demo. Competition - be it from the health, fitness or lifestyle titles - is not in the spirit of yoga.

YOGA INTERNATIONAL

AD PAGES: (initial pp 8; current ad pp, 38 Oct/Nov.)

TOTAL CIRC: 150,000

NEWSSTAND: 125,000

SUBSCRIPTIONS: 25,000

NEW ADVERTISER: Yoga Life

Yoga International is the middle child at 12. The bimonthly's nonprofit title's audience is 76 percent female; 44 percent practicing yoga for at least 10 years; 60 percent at intermediate level, with an average age of 40. These upscale readers are committed to a balanced life that integrates mind, body, and spirit. YI readers put their money where their principles are: They will pay up to 20 percent more for products that support their lifestyle. Ad categories are endemic: vitamins, organic foods, ecologically minded travel companies, and yoga apparel and accessories. On the Competition: "We've only seen one or two issues of Yoga and can't really comment. We understand they're trying to get a foot in the door," says managing editor Shannon Sexton. "But Yoga Journal and Yoga International are doing different things. We're dedicated to presenting the full range of yoga and not just yoga in terms of postures or breathing. We cover Ayurveda, and we stress holistic health."

YOGA (Mind Body & Spirit Publishers Ltd.)

UK SUBSCRIPTIONS: 1,000

UK NEWSSTAND: 55,000

US NEWSSTAND: 45,000

INITIAL AD PAGES: (first issue, Jan 2003) 25

CURRENT AD PAGES: (November) 30

NEWEST ADVERTISER: EcoYoga

The youngest entrant of the group is the UK - based independent title Yoga, which debuted in January in the U. …