Yoga is Beautiful. {Equinox Video}

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It’s also Tough.

Yoga is beautiful. It’s also hard work. It’s breathing through that moment of tightness. It’s getting to the mat. It’s remembering proper, subtle yet vital alignment. It’s staying with whatever’s happening right now, but being gentle with oneself, too:

(Let’s hear it for the core)

This video has been making the rounds of mega-web site Reddit—2 billion readers this year—a site largely populated by young men. And most of the comments? Wow. Mind blown.

Yoga isn’t an “easy,” “girly” “sport.” It isn’t just stretching. It’s this moment, right here. It’s drishti. It’s alignment. It’s sweat. It’s getting to the mat in the middle of an impossible, stressful, hard-to-breathe day. It’s remembering to turn off the light switch and kiss your loved one goodbye for the day and mean it. It’s a deeply “human,” if not Divine, “practice.”


Credits: “Eager to master the arm balance? Equinox’s Briohny Smyth shows there’s no limit to what the artfully honed yoga body can do.”


Totally mostly unrelated bonus:

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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anonymous Nov 11, 2013 7:16pm

When did raw physicality, strength, athleticism, focus and yes, sexuality become a bad combination? What is wrong with the duality of appreciating the talent and dedication of the individual while at the same time appreciating the entirety of the results of that dedication which includes the fact that she looks fantastic? I enjoyed every facet of this video and don't feel dirty admitting it.

anonymous Jul 22, 2013 12:26am

I love how there lays a limp and lifeless man in the background…

anonymous Jul 21, 2013 7:45am

As a teenager I started playing soccer, and working on the gym and learned stretching that I use up to this day. I have always practiced yoga without being conscious of it, or learning about yoga… now I see many of the exercises I've always done, people call "Yoga" 🙂

anonymous Jul 21, 2013 12:52am

What's up this the dude asleep in the bed? Random…

anonymous Jul 20, 2013 11:44pm

inspiring!! I love the dedication, commitment, wow…makes me want to go for it…very beautiful I loved the serentity of her home and getting out of bed to practice

anonymous Jul 20, 2013 11:16pm

Every time I watch this I can't help but smile! Fluid strength mixed with such beauty; I can't help but be happy for her:-) It inspired me to want to rededicate myself to my home practice!

anonymous Apr 6, 2012 11:49pm

[…] swirling around and in which I have found myself front and center, is the controversy of the Equinox Sex.. er, I mean Yoga, […]

anonymous Feb 25, 2012 11:40pm

[…] a few short months, The Equinox Yoga Video has reached 2.5 million views, making it one of the two or three most-viewed yoga videos in modern […]

anonymous Jan 24, 2012 1:30am

[…] interpretazioni di una sequenza di Astanga Yoga da parte di una donna e di un […]

anonymous Jan 23, 2012 11:25pm

[…] The Original. […]

anonymous Jan 17, 2012 7:58pm

[…] I recently wrote a blog about yoga as the pursuit of unity. I wrote this amidst the release of the Yoga Equinox video. […]

anonymous Jan 17, 2012 4:11pm

[…] Here Kathryn Budig, a fast-rising (okay, risen), bright-shining star in the yoga world, the dog-snuggling force behind Poses for Paws, who has seen her share (as she notes, below) of accolades and criticism, talks with Briohny Smyth—whose Equinox yoga video […]

anonymous Jan 16, 2012 2:06am

[…] Some defend it, some appreciate it, some are “triggered” by it. I found it simply beautiful—powerful. […]

anonymous Jan 12, 2012 11:52pm

[…] yogini in the video’s name is Briohny. Her fiancé, asleep in the bed, is Dice. You’re going to hear their names more than Shiva […]

anonymous Jan 11, 2012 8:33pm

More gymnast than yoga, but beautiful none the less. If it inspires one of us seeking a more perfect practice all the better, Yoga is about oneself. Go for it! I loved it. Thank you Punkie

anonymous Jan 9, 2012 4:40am

[…] […]

anonymous Jan 8, 2012 4:31pm

crotch shots to sell a gym; I guess meat-markets are alive and well. As far as the postures, some was yoga, some was.. circus stuff.. find it funny that a gym uses a home practice of sort and wonder if people actually are going to sign up or go buy white comforters? hahaha

anonymous Jan 8, 2012 8:27am

To be able to do Yoga one must get alignment.
To be able to get alignment one must understand the body.
To be able to understand the body one must know the body.
To be able to know the body one must see the body.
To be able to see the body, know the body, understand the body, get alignment and do proper yoga the amount of clothing is not mentioned!

Thank you for this inspiring clip! It definitly shows the art of yoga and the total control this young woman owns!

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 8:43pm


anonymous Jan 7, 2012 7:53pm

soooooo gorgeous bri. there's nothing about this video that was offensive. your strength and beauty steal the show.

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 4:54pm

that's not yoga.

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 2:36pm

Very beautiful video. Really enjoyed it. Very well produced. Loved what they did with the effects. Very subtle, yet gives a strong impression.

By any chance, did anyone notice the other person in the unmade bed? I don't usually make my bed when there are people in it, so that might explain that.

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 11:20am

This girl has the build of a gymnast and all the comments about how she is an icon of something are acceptable because she did seem to be very poised but people don't notice that all the so-called yoga teachers are young and athletic and a girl with rocket body like this is a happy accident of nature. I am really happy for her and hope she has something equally impressive to offer on some other layer of yoga when she is fifty.

    anonymous Jan 8, 2012 3:51pm

    Yes, and I say that to Kathryn Budig, too … even though she may be more mindful and have a large media following …

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 10:52am

that is badass. awesome. i wish i could just do as 1/2 as good of a downdog! never mind all that other stuff! it was beautiful and sexy. ain’t nuthin wrong with that! i saw strength too. and most of the time was thinking…’i hope when she is done she gets back in bed with that (probably) hot guy and gets to business.’

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 10:47am

Honestly, I just was relieved to find out I'm not the only one who does yoga in their underwear. (Seriously, after a day in an office I used to come home, roll out my mat, strip down, and do some asanas for some instant relief from the grind)

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 10:44am

This shows eloquence and beauty. She depicts what we should all feel when we wake up in the morning. While showing inner peace she is also showing strength, the contrast is amazing. Very inspiring.

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 8:35am

Geez what a nice place… am I the only one who was distracted by the apartment and not the "lack" of acceptable fashion?

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 2:57am

Check out my response to the video-

While many saw sex, I saw nothing but raw beauty and art in this video.

    anonymous Jul 21, 2013 12:59am

    There is definitely a sexual undertone to it. Why do we need the setting of the bedroom with the unmade bed, man asleep in it, and lacy black underwear?

    If you want raw beauty, show her, just in some basic underwear or tight exercise clothing that allows to see the full body- jeez you could even show her naked and make it less sexual than this video. Make the focus her movements, not the scene. Make her moves more about yoga than ones that like they should be done accompanied by a pole. Create a setting that is peaceful and basic, a white background, maybe a plant.

    I'm not prudish in the least, but this video isn't JUST a beautiful person, a beautiful body, with beautiful form doing a beautiful practice. It's definitely got more going on..which is fine, but just call it what it is…which is..I'm not sure. Sexy, semi-yoga video?

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 1:28am

I loved watching this!

Totally, totally couldn’t move my eyes away. I found myself following her movements with my own breath! D/dog, Inhale, look forward, prepare; Exhale, (root & naval lock), jump into handstand gracefully & with complete control….

I in no way found any of this offensive! What I liked most about this vid, is that she depicts dedication to her practice despite her modern contemporary lifestyle. How can anyone say that what she’s doing has nothing to do with meditation. Physical posture, deep continued concentration, breath = Meditation. Not all meditation has to be done sitting!

Very inspiring… now I’m going to go work on getting into handstand!

    anonymous Jan 8, 2012 3:49pm

    If I wanted inspiration of this sort–of watching a yogi fly around on her mat … (and I am a little too old and weak to, in my right mind want it) I would go for the mindfulness and the breath-centric focus of a Dr. Satkirin loooong before this … this is purely done for the aesthetics … and the ability to make an ADVERTISING impression. After all, Equinox is JUST A GYM (if, to me, a particularly upscale one) … and with all these yoga studios around, they have to put themselves front and center to get the bodies in … pardon my cynicism here …

      anonymous Jan 8, 2012 3:56pm

      Or even a Farnoosh Brock … I really think she has what it takes, and I heart her.

      But perceived mindfullness and audible breathing will not sell gym memberships …

anonymous Jan 7, 2012 12:37am

Maybe we could add a pole into the shot?

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 11:40pm

[…] The world is living through a lot of tumult at the moment: governments falling, economies teetering on the brink of failure, natural disasters, etc. As if that global drama is not enough for us to deal with, it seems that this tumult is also playing itself out, albeit in a much more minor and somewhat ridiculous way, within the yoga community. Lately there has been one yoga controversy after the next. It seems there have even been too many for me to remember, but these are the ones that stand out: First there was the so-called scandal about teachers leaving the Anusara community, then there was the subsequent interview of John Friend by Waylon Lewis, where John dispelled all rumor and innuendo. Next was the Lululemon and John Galt scandal, revealing Lulu’s ties to a conservative agenda and the crisis of conscience that that invokes for the average left-of-center yogi. Then there was yet another John Friend scandal, this time involving the size and the commercialism of his new Manduka mat. Next was the news that Bikram was suing Yoga to the People. More recently, this week was the controversy about the New York Times article labeling yoga as “dangerous.” That one kicked up quite a firestorm! And most recently, the one that is currently swirling around and in which I have found myself front and center, is the controversy of the Equinox Sex.. er, I mean Yoga, video. […]

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 10:45pm

Amazing! It's videos like this that make me want to keep practicing, keep pushing myself. I can only dream of being as gorgeously fluid as she is, but wow! I feel a little surge of motivation right now!

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 9:58pm

I never even noticed the unmade bed, or the heiny shots….I did notice the strength in her arms and core and her breathing. To me it was beautiful!

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 11:50am

And why is she practically naked? With an unmade bed in the background? Looks more like selling sex to try to sell memberships than yoga to me.

    anonymous Feb 26, 2012 2:37am

    Get over yourself. Most people with real home practices have little on when they do yoga. This video is pleasant, inspirational and a fine way to spend two minutes of of your day.

    anonymous Jul 21, 2013 6:57am

    Doing it with little clothing on is a great way for viewers to see the muscles at work and get a great view of proper alignment. As for the unmade bed…not everybody makes their bed first thing before they makes her look real…like she just crawled out of bed and couldn't wait to get started.

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 11:01am

To the comments above.. Really! I would guess she is taping her own private personal practice and the rawness of it.

    anonymous Jan 6, 2012 10:49pm

    I agree. Plus, you cannot gain the full appreciation of her skill without seeing her body. If she was wearing baggy pajamas, we wouldn't be able to see her form. For those of us who are regular practitioners, we like to watch people who are better than us and see just how their body moves and aligns. It helps us become better. I, for one, didn't even notice the bed until I went back and watched it again. I was too busy wondering if I would ever be able to do half of the moves she does.

    anonymous Jan 7, 2012 12:33am

    um. You think she taped this herself? How's she get the butt shots?

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 10:48am

I appreciate the sensual athleticism but is it really necessary to video this in your underwear?

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 10:33am

I am getting a little of these videos of hot ex dancers doing beautiful vinyasas. Looks like she should do some seated meditation instead.

anonymous Jan 6, 2012 2:13am

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    anonymous Jan 21, 2012 2:38pm

    I saw nothing but beauty, peace, and a lot of practice. How inspiring. May your daughter feel as comfortable in her body as you've worked so hard fo feel in yours. I bow in respect to your practice and your compassionate presence. Namaste'.