I'm not sure why I didn't dive right into this one. I suppose I'm just weary of this debate because it can go in so many different directions: What is yoga? Does western yoga objectify women's bodies? Are sex and yoga mutually exclusive? Does modern yoga glorify a particular body type to the exclusion of others? And on and on...
For me, it boils down to one word: intention. Intention is the reason I couldn't conjure up a lot of indignation over the naked-Kathryn-Budig-Toesox-ads. I'm familiar with Jasper Johal's photography and felt that the intention was good.
Back to Equinox. This video portrays a woman's yoga practice and it's a very nice one. Briohny Smyth is strong and lithe and she makes it all look easy. Even the atmosphere of the video is muted and gentle. So far, great intentions.
It's the camera angles I take issue with. The first time I watched, I was creeped out so I watched it again to figure out why. Gratuitous crotch shots, boob shots, close-ups. It was all a bit over the top. For me, anyway. And I know that others may feel differently and that's okay. I guess I just wish the whole thing had been shot from one angle to capture the full beauty of Briohny's practice, instead of exploring the lines of her underwear.
To sum up: The practice=good intentions. The camera angles and production=bad intentions.
Interestingly, Briohny Smyth is a student of Kathryn Budig, of naked-Toesox-ad fame. Budig wrote an article for the Huffington Post in which she explores the issue from her own perspective and she also interviews Briohny to capture hers: Stop Judging and Read.
Meanwhile, the Equinox video continues to wrack up the hits, over a million last count. In skill and strength, I think Laruga's practice videos are every bit as impressive as this one (perhaps more so), but I doubt she gets those kind of numbers.
You see? Presentation matters!
If you're in the mood to view some 'real world' morning yoga, Nadine shares her early morning practice with this video: Not Quite Equinox. It probably looks a bit more like what most of you experience at home, add a cat or dog or small child into the mix.
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