Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 22, 2012.

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a visual guide to the practice of yoga - its concepts, history, paths, traditions, styles, actions and terminology.

Update:

The Yoga Poster has been successfully funded! A huge thank you to all of our Kickstarter backers and other supporters.

If you missed your chance to get a poster, it's okay! You can now order posters at www.theyogaposter.com

More about this project:

We’ve each practiced yoga for 10+ years and sometimes still have a hard time explaining, concisely, “what is yoga?” We’d like to think of ourselves as reasonably intelligent, but, when it comes down to it, yoga’s been around for more than 2,000 years and in that time the story’s gotten a bit complicated...

There are asanas and chakras, mats and mantras, spandex and spandhas and thousands of videos, articles, books and teachers each with a compelling perspective on what is ultimately a very personal practice. It can be a challenge to remember, let alone explain, what you’ve learned and how it all goes together.

So, we designed this poster to consolidate much of the reading, learning, thinking and asking about yoga that we’ve done over the last decade. And we did it in a way that, we think, makes sense to someone new to the practice as well as those who have been practicing for a lifetime. We’d like to print it and put it on our wall. And yours. And anyone else who ever wondered, or forgot, what moksha was. 

The poster is perfect for: 

  • Yogis looking to bring more meaning into their practice
  • Teachers who want a better grounding in the wide spectrum of yoga
  • Teacher-training programs
  • Anyone who wants to know how yoga "works"
  • Modern decor for a yoga studio, holistic health center or your home!

Here are some details:

The poster is 24” x 36” (standard size) and will be printed on thick, archival quality paper. It can hang on its own quite nicely or, fit easily into a standard or professional frame. 

It’s extremely detailed and comprehensive but it isn’t exhaustive (think of it as a really large, really nice-looking CliffsNotes).

The design is structured to provide a good focal point (drishti, anyone?) from a number of different angles. It should work equally well inside a yoga studio or in your home, for your practice or, for show. 

It expresses the main philosophical concepts behind yoga, 

Differentiates and covers the major paths, traditions and styles of yoga,

Explains the relevance of major historical periods and major texts to and within yoga, 

Describes the particular actions you do and the relevant terminology you hear in yoga and...

Places everything within a cohesive, easy to follow metaphor centered on a stylized banyan tree (a tropical fig tree sacred in yoga literature). The "yoga tree" is rooted in yoga's ancient past (BCE -- Before Common Era or, also known as BC -- Before Christ) and reaches upwards, through yoga's evolutionary history towards a stylized depiction of the earth's atmosphere, which represents the boundaries of the physical world. Following this natural metaphor, the various pieces of information are arranged in a manner that you would expect.

Where we are now (and will be soon!)

The poster is nearly complete. We’re doing some editing and tweaking while we have the content reviewed for accuracy and clarity. The design may move around a little bit and we’ll obsess over colors a lot but our intention is for a design that expresses a quality equal to the level of respect we afford the practice itself.

We decided to put it on kickstarter now to ask for help with the printing costs and to see what sort of input others might have. So, questions and comments are hoped for and welcome! 

When we’re done, funded and printed (thanks to you!) we’ll focus our attention on reaching out to as many yoga studios, teachers and students as we can. We wish something like this had existed when we began our practice (and our teacher trainings) and we want to get this out to as many people as we can. 

Why us, why now?

Besides our own practices and our teaching (Frank has taught informally, while Karoline has been a registered teacher at several studios in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC), we do a lot of "sense making" in our day jobs, which is primarily helping non-profits leverage technology. We get excited about great ideas -- especially ideas that enrich and empower the human experience -- and we really enjoy building tools that bring those ideas to life. We often have to help clients explain complex ideas (and why they matter) in a visual way with limited time and space.

We’ve approached the poster in the same way. Yoga is complex enough that it can appeal just as easily to someone simply looking for fitness as it can to someone looking for deeper meaning in life. Most people will also first encounter this poster in passing, with limited time. With that in mind, we’ve arranged the poster such that someone can easily recognize the aspect of yoga they are most familiar with, jump in there and get an overall sense how yoga as a system is meant to work. How far they take it from there, like their yoga practice, is up to them. 

We can’t do this without you!

Printing is expensive and getting the word out about something is even harder -- there simply isn’t a yoga super bowl to buy advertising on, if we could even afford that! And, more importantly, what good is a poster like this if it doesn’t make sense?

We’ve structured the rewards to let you support the project in whatever way makes sense for you. Whatever you decide, you can and should feel good about being one of the first people to publish something about yoga that simply hasn’t been done before.

Tell your friends and family! Tell your yoga teachers and your studio! We’ve told ours and their input is right here before you. This project has only grown stronger as we’ve brought more people into it.

And finally -- we want your feedback! Drop us a line, ask us a question or, at the very least, bookmark us so you can come back later. We’ll be updating this project a lot over the next few weeks!

Interested but not ready to commit? We can help! 

  • Use Kickstarter's "Remind Me" button, which is up and to the right of the gray sidebar --->
  • Or, sign up for email updates at www.theyogaposter.com

FAQ

  • Sources: Because yoga is such a varied, decentralized and personal practice there isn't any one definitive source, of course, on what yoga is or how it works. To build an appropriate context around the practice we've relied on our own teachers and training as well as what we've learned from the many books we've read and a number of online sources as well. In nearly every case, we've only included something if we found several references that agreed. With that in mind, the information contained in the poster should be viewed as starting point and a reference point on your own, deeper exploration of yoga -- there simply isn't enough space to be exhaustive, even if we claimed that! To that end, we've shied away from including anything terribly contentious or speculative and, when something is uncertain we've noted that.

    Reviewers: We've found in past projects that the best reviewers are people who either know a lot about one small thing or who are willing and able to pay exacting attention to the details -- most often this comes down to close friends and peers whom we trust. We’re following the same path with this project. Our reviewers aren’t necessarily well-known yoga superstars or university professors (though one is a PhD candidate) but they are people that we know will question both the details and how we've arranged them so that our ultimate goal of putting yoga into context makes sense for those new to the practice as well as those who have been practicing awhile.

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    1 framed copy or 5 paper copies of The Yoga Poster + AND a 15-minute pre-press Skype call to talk about the poster + a large postcard variety pack + a thank you mention on our website + karma + smiles! (All backers, please add $40 if you choose the framed option.)

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    Publisher credit! If you really, really want to support our project we will happily credit you as a publisher on our website + send you 1 framed copy or 5 paper copies of The Yoga Poster + AND have a 30-minute pre-press Skype call to talk about the poster ... we <3 yoga talk!

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