Why I Write for Elephant Journal, by Michelle Marchildon


Whenever I travel or teach in foreign places, like Canada, or Boulder, people want to know the same thing: Why do I write for Elephant Journal?

I didn’t think this would be the case. When I published “Finding More,” I thought the public may want to know if it was true (yes). And when I published “Theme Weaver,” I thought they may want to know how to theme a yoga class.

I also thought people may want to know how I stay so gorgeous (it involves some unyogic things injected in my third eye), or how I manage to stay slim (the typewriter hides things, really). I thought they may want to know the secret to staying married (hell if I know) or how to raise teenagers (ditto).

But no. What people ask me all the time is why do I write for Elephant Journal?

I am asked this a lot after I write various yoga articles on love and peace, and the more yogic anonymous internet commentators call me names, threaten my family and say they wish I would die.

Then even my husband said, “Why do you write for the Elephant Journal?” Because yogis can be cray-cray, right?

The answer is simple. As a journalist I believe in the freedom of the press. I believe in the right to free speech. I believe in the First Amendment. I believe in the power of humor to get us past the sad events. I’d rather laugh and be unyogic, than be self-righteous any day.

I even believe, ultimately, in the goodness of those who make the mean anonymous internet comments.  I think they believe they are helping by educating the rest of us poor stupid sinners.

And above all else, the editor, Waylon Lewis, is not a wuss. The Elephant Journal has bravely taken a stand and reported on Guru abuse, sex scandals and truly bad yoga behavior. That’s a lot more than you can say for our industry’s feel good yoga magazine which turns a blind eye to reality.

Are there too many stories about sex, and yoga, and kittens? Probably. But this comes with the territory of free speech. If you don’t want to read about how yoga improves sex, then don’t read it. If people didn’t read this stuff, then it wouldn’t exist on the front pages. Read about how the demand for palm oil is killing our rain forests and gorillas instead.

I defend the right to free speech, even really bad and stupid free speech. Free speech is better than a media that produces “yoga voice” articles on being yogic, and fluffy and sweet and organic and kind and loving. If these were the only voices in yoga, then I might not be a yogi today. Or at least I wouldn’t be a real one and I would have never found my inner “caddy bitch.”

So why do I write for the Elephant Journal? Because I can, and they are not afraid to publish real, authentic voices, and that’s reason enough.

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is an award-winning journalist and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga, and Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga. She is a Columnist for Elephant Journal and a Contributing Editor for Mantra and Origin Magazines. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches Hatha Yoga in Denver, Co. You can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com or www. Yogasteya.com