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Yoga: nudity and body image on sale?

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Ms Magazine alerts us to the ruckus over use of nudity in yoga advertising. Apparently, yoga advertisements have been criticised for some time for using pictures of naked or barely concealed women to sell themselves. But it mainly caught up with Judith Hanson Lasater’s letter to the Yoga Journal (published in the September ’10 issue). Lasater wrote -

“…I’m concerned about the ads that have stimulated both confusion and sadness in me…because I do not understand how photos of naked or half-naked women are connected with the sale of practice products for asana…These pictures do not teach the viewer about yoga practice or themselves. They aren’t even about the celebration of the beauty of the human body…”

The debate has turned even more interesting with a blog’s use of the controversial Toe-Sox advertisement in one of its posts and obvious responses such as ‘if you don’t like it, don’t read it’.

It is indeed disheartening to see how yoga, a practice that can help women fight depression, body image anxiety and other health problems, has instead become caught up in the commodification and sexualisation of women.

  1. Another example of society’s idea of beauty standards being forced fed to us (men and women), unfortunately this time through an ancient practice of peace, love and self-acceptance. What I found with yoga was to be myself with all my being and not focus on (supposed little imperfections) Plus a lot of men practice it as well, and I sure don’t want to see naked men in a yoga pose =))) (may be in private but not in a magazine=) Thank you for sharing this…Amazing how our society manages to twist this sacred and revered practice into a sexual subject…

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