Thursday, September 9, 2010


As it turns out, this was a 'three day' yoga week for me. My Lady's Holiday followed close on the heels of the new moon, so Tuesday was my last full Astanga practice for the week (I'm happy it was a good one, and I'm really glad I did that extra back bending on Tuesday night!).

I won't get back to my full practice until Sunday.

I can't remember the last time I had a four day break from my Astanga practice! It's not unwelcome - I can use the rest. I'm just a bit anxious about Sunday, though. I have a feeling it won't be easy to return to 'the routine'. My schedule hasn't been consistent in weeks.

But at least I'm caught up on sleep!

Today, I did a light restorative practice mostly consisting of hip openers and supported backbends. It felt good and I was surprised by the deep feeling of relief that passed through my body as I lay down on my Manduka. I had a rough day. The mat is a safe space for me and I felt better immediately - no actual yoga required (though it was certainly welcome).

A few weeks ago, there was a some buzz surrounding an advertisement in a recent issue of Yoga Journal. The ad, for yoga socks, features yoga teacher Kathryn Budig demonstrating a yoga posture in the nude (except for the socks, of course!).

(Photo Credit: Jasper Jahal)

A highly respected senior teacher, Judith Hanson Lasater, wrote a pointed letter to Yoga Journal's editor, objecting to the ad and, in particular, the use of nudity (read: sex) to sell a product. She questioned whether the ad had a place in a magazine dedicated to yoga practice. The letter was published in this month's issue of YJ.

As the debate raged on, I reserved judgement. To be honest, I was patiently waiting for a voice I found absent from this conversation. I was curious how Kathryn Budig felt about posing in the nude for an advertisement.

Today, I found my answer.

In this blog post (from Yoga Journal's website), Kathryn Budig offers her perspective:

" dawned on me that I was being given an opportunity: I could show others how the practice of yoga, when stripped down to it's simplest form, is a radiant projection of the soul. I went ahead and shot the photos. After seeing the beautiful results from the talented Jasper Johal--who has the ability to make even a harpy look beautiful--I knew we were onto something good.

To me, the photo is a lovely example of what happens when you blend strength and surrender, because this particular shoot required extra doses of both. I summoned up my strength, shed my fear (along with my clothes), trusted in the vision of a talented photographer and company, and channeled the depths of my asana practice, my sacred feminine, and my soul.

Then there was the surrender--I had to embrace my authentic self in it's raw form, to allow my image to be seen in magazines, and to offer my heart and intention to each and every pose."

This debate, and Kathryn's response, grabbed my attention for a special reason: I modeled in my teens and 20s and I have posed nude for art shoots.

I can confirm that those first few moments in the buff are definitely awkward! But a nude shoot quickly descends into the mundane and becomes like any other as the shots are set up and the photographer works. After a while you kind of forget you're in the buff.

Seriously, it's *really* not a big deal!

I'm actually impressed that Kathryn found the inner sources to 'channel her sacred feminine' while holding yoga postures for a photographer under the glaring lights of a studio environment. Good on her!

Personally, I wasn't offended to find Kathryn's nude image in Yoga Journal. I thought the photography was respectful and incredibly lovely. To me, it reflected the intention of the model and the photographer.

Just don't get me started on those silly socks! ;-)

For some other perspectives on this issue:
A spirited defence of KB ( which includes full text of Judith Hanson Lasater's letter to Yoga Journal)
Brooks Hall is a fan of Kathryn and Tara!
Rosanne Harvey's interview with Judith Hanson Lasater

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Karen said...

It's a gorgeous picture. Does nude always equal sex? I guess if you insist on looking at it that way...

daydreamingmel said...

I heard sooooo much about this photo that I completely tuned out, not interested in the raging debates (of which there seemed to be so many in recent months) but haven't actually seen the photo until you posted it. Knowing how hard that posture is all I can say is WOW! Look at the strength, poise, beauty of the photo...and to be able to see the anatomy so clearly makes it all the more impressive. I ain't even lookin' at her feet ;)

sarah said...

thank you for sharing your interaction with this image, process, whirlpool.

i think the elegance of the human body when released from cultural decoration is most mysterious and beautiful. agree with Kathryn Budig "radiant projection" indeed.

the toe sox dangle like grapes from the vine. let those pick who wish to see only the seductive fruit.

Kaivalya said...


Loved reading the comments on this post! The photo I posted as an example is not the exact one that was in YJ, but there are a number of them on the company website.

I'm not a big fan of the commercialization of yoga, but I do love these photos as an art form...