Contribute to Australian Yoga Life

Australian Yoga Life is a uniquely all-Australian magazine – which is intended to be accessible to the broadest spectrum of readers. We welcome contributions from yoga practitioners; the following is a guide on how to prepare and submit text for possible publication in our magazine. Before you begin writing please read and note all the following guidelines. When finalising and submitting your article, please check that you have followed the guidelines, especially the section at the end regarding the use and writing of asana names and Sanskrit language in general. While we encourage individual styles of writing in the magazine, we do ask you to observe these points. If you follow the guidelines closely you will maximise the chances of your article being accepted for publication.

Before starting to write your article consider the following questions: Who is it aimed at? What kind of potential AYL reader is likely to be interested in it? Does it give the reader something to think about? Does it impart new knowledge? Is there something to do or practise? Does the article challenge or reinforce ideas? Do you want to inspire readers? Or entertain them? Or perhaps you want to share an experience or insight that you think others will relate to. Articles for AYL should contain some, or possibly all, of these features.


Our current rate of payment is 20 cents a word. Maximum article length is 2250 words. Payment at the 20-cent word rate is for articles that are presented as requested in these guidelines, and which do not need heavy editing or rewriting. (You will be advised if your article is considered to need heavy editing). Notes from the classroom and student are paid for by a one-year subscription.

Articles accepted for publication will be paid for after lay-up, once authors have checked and signed off on a PDF of the article, on the condition that AYL has a 12-month release on the article. This is necessary, as we are not always able to publish articles in the issue initially intended. Articles will be used in the magazine, on our web site and for use on all other electronic mediums such as Ipad’s and Android devices etc for digital publication. Also for production of CDs/DVDs. Acceptance of payment for any article is deemed as agreement to these conditions.

Please provide a short piece about yourself for the biography (maximum 40 words) at the end of the article. Make sure you include your e-mail details.

AYL editorial style

Below are the main points of our editorial style. Please follow this style in your writing.

Present tense: Use the present tense where possible, as it gives immediacy to your story. For example, instead of writing: Margaret said that she liked Byron Bay; write Margaret says that she likes Byron Bay. Instead of writing, “Asanas make you more flexible,” Jane said; write, “Asanas make you more flexible,” says Jane.

Active voice: Try to use the active, rather than the passive voice in your writing. This makes your writing stronger. For example, instead of writing He was trained by BKS Iyengar; write, He did his training with BKS Iyengar.

Clear, strong language: Choose words that have a clear unambiguous meaning; avoid vague words that are open to misinterpretation. Don’t pack too many actions or ideas into one sentence. Long sentences often have a complicated construction and the meaning can be lost. Short sentences usually have more impact. For example, instead of writing, Having done yoga training for five years in Byron Bay, he decided to try opening his own school; you could write, He trained as a yoga teacher for five years in Byron Bay. Then he decided to open his own school.

Direct quotes: of other people or publications are useful. They add life and character to a story. However, it is essential to appropriately acknowledge your sources, and to avoid any copyright infringements. Therefore, when using direct quotes (the exact words of an author or publication), you must acknowledge your source and give the reference. Even though you will most likely include in the text the name of the person or publication being quoted, it is also very important that you give the full reference at the end of the article, following the conventions provided in the ‘References-Sources’ section towards the end of these guidelines. This applies equally to direct quotes and to sources cited.

Quotation marks: Our system is to use double quotation marks (“…”) around direct quotations, i.e. when someone’s exact words – in speech or publications – are being quoted, and single quotation marks (‘…’) for reported speech or direct quotations within a quotation. Self-talk speech follows the same conventions as speech directed at others (i.e., use double quotation marks). Single quotation marks are also sometimes used for other purposes, such as to enclose single syllables or to highlight an uncommon use of a common word or phrase.

Spelling: Use Australian English, not American; e.g., centre (not center), colour (not color). Also, we prefer ‘s’ over ‘z’ where there’s a choice, e.g. organisation (not organization), ‘practice’ is the one exception where we use ‘c’ exclusively.

Italics: Always use italics for the names of publications being referred to, e.g. “…copies of the book New Perspectives in Stress Management…”, “Dr Ian Gawler, the author of You Can Conquer Cancer”. We do not use italics for the names of ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Upanishads, Yoga Sutras, Yoga Vasistha, etc. for which there are no publication details. Italics are sometimes used for emphasis (as with ‘always’ and ‘sometimes’ in this paragraph). Please do not put italics on Sanskrit words. Sanskrit is in plain font, the same as for English.

Sanskrit words: It is important to make clear the meaning of any Sanskrit words and expressions. Do not use italics. There are three ways this can be done:

  • If possible for ease of reading put English first, for example yoga therapy’ (chikitsa)
  • The main text is all in English, with occasional Sanskrit in brackets, e.g. …level of being called the causal body (karana sharira).

Asana names: are treated as proper names and are written in the main text with all initial letters capitalised, e.g. Utthita Trikonasana, Pose of the Child.

If you use Sanskrit names for asanas then it is essential to also give an English name – usually in brackets immediately following the Sanskrit, e.g. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Facing Dog Pose), Halasana (Plough Pose).

  • If you use English names for asanas include a Sanskrit name in brackets e.g. Down Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
  • Ordinary English words that are also names of asanas, e.g. ‘headstand’ have initial capitals only when they are being used as the proper name of an asana.

Initial capital letters: are reserved for Proper Names, including the names of asanas (see above), names of people, places, organisations, and publications, and the first words of sentences. All other words are all small letters (no initial capitals).

Abbreviations: When using abbreviations for long technical terms or the names of organisations, it is essential to give the full form first, with the abbreviation in brackets after it; subsequently, the abbreviation can be used on its own. Examples: “post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”, “Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)”, “a member of the International Yoga Teachers’ Association (IYTA)”.

References-Sources: Please reference the work of others at the end of your article, according to the following conventions. Use the header, References. If you need help with this please contact us.

  1. Book Reference: Name of author/s (last name first, followed by initials). Title of Publication (in italics). Publisher, Place of Publication, Date of Publication.

Example for book: Iyengar, BKS. Light on Life. Rodale, London, 2005.

  1. Journal Reference: Name of author/s (last name first, followed by initials). Title of article. Title of Publication (in italics), Volume number, year of publication.

Example for journal article: Jackson, N. The art of starting over. Australian Yoga Life, vol. 21, 2008.

  1. Citing Direct Quotations: Where direct quotations from other sources are included in your article, reference these in one of two ways:
    1. Use numbered endnotes, with an Endnotes section (headed, Notes.) at the end of your article, before References. Or,
    2. Include page numbers within References, as in the following example:

Iyengar, BKS. Light on Life. Rodale, London, 2005, p. 5.

Notes. Endnotes may be added to the end of your article if there is additional essential information not able to be included in your article (and where endnotes are used to provide references for direct quotations). Use the header, Notes. Place them at the end of your article, before References. Do not use footnotes in the article.

How to provide copy

Australian Yoga Life prefers to receive copy as a Word document file with the title and your name. For example Yoga Nidra – S. Smith. Please send to If for any reason this is not possible please ask us about other options.

The text should be in a straightforward, plain format as follows:

  • Margins at least 3cm (or 1-1/4 inches) wide all around, with paper source set to A4
  • 5 line spacing, with extra line space between paragraphs
  • Text aligned to the left (no centering, no margin justification, no paragraph indents)
  • Preferred font is Arial 11pt.
  • Text should be spell-checked using English (Australia) as the set language.
  • Provide sources-references for any publications you have quoted or recommended in the article, following conventions outlined above.

Provide a short piece about yourself for the ‘biography’ at the end of the article. Please keep it to around 40 words. Including your e-mail.

Good luck and enjoy your writing.