This video raises some tough questions about the Future of Yoga. {Adult only}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Nov 30, 2012
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Bonus: for a beautiful, rather non-sexual photo series: Nude Yoga. {Photos of Model, shot by Husband}

 Adult: Sara Jean Underwood Playboy’s Yoga Full Video

Bonus: want to see something better? Best yoga video you’ve seen for a long time.

Bonus: (Tasteful) Nude Yoga.

Bonus: Naked Yoga: Now that’s Hot Yoga (Try this [only] at Home).

Bonus: Tantric Sex (and the City).

I was among several who broke the news on the existence of “Playboy Yoga” a few years back—I swear, I just read elephant for the yoga.

And I’m personally of the opinion that this is fine if it gets folks beyond lust—the videos aren’t that sexy—and back to thinking about yoga. Likely, this video will attract folks who normally don’t belong to the “yoga demographic”—and I’m good with that. But there are serious concerns, too—touched on in my original blog, “Now we’ve seen everything.*”

But we’ve never shared the nude version. Until now.

A few years after the controversy’s died down, I think we’re ready. Or, not. Either way, here ’tis. It’s just a naked body—and, yet, it’s

…the ultimate challenge to those “Yobo” fans who say that Yoga for Weight Loss, Disco Yoga, Bikram, Adidas Yoga with (my friend) Rainbeau Mars and Yoga without all that annoying Granola, Chanting or Sanskrit may not be “traditional yoga” (a moving target in and of itself)…but nevertheless may help open the door to those who might not ordinarily be interested in pure yoga, true yoga, quality yoga.

…Yup, there’s a new url in town:

http://www.playboy.com/yoga

Just the url itself is enough to provoke convulsions, grimaces, grins, vomiting and/or ogling. Beauty—or otherwise—is in the eye of the beholder.

This is provocative stuff—it raises some tough questions about the Future of Yoga (addressed by elephant, yogadork, itsallyogababy, joellhahn and, in comments, by our readers in the links above).

In any case, as the Buddhists say, it’s our obstacles or enemies that are our best friends, provoking self-examination, questioning and growing pains.

Video:


Sara Jean Underwood Naked Yoga by malamgir46

For more, click here.
Or here.

Bonus: NSFW! Is Tantra about Sex? XXX? In the West, it is.

Wii:

For more Wii.

~

One of our leading teachers defines yoga:

Cutting yoga ambition:

 


4,251,855 views

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & 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. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.

Comments

143 Responses to “This video raises some tough questions about the Future of Yoga. {Adult only}”

  1. Rogelio says:

    Interesting that the focus of comments is on her

    Nudity or fake body parts but no one commented on

    Her lack of knowledge or ability to do the poses correctly

    What I saw is someone putting out there incorrectly done poses

    That if done over a long period will cause injuries.

    If she doesn’t have low back pain already she will in the future. Maybe even knee problems. Oh also neck issues Shoulder stand w o

    Support can do that. In ur own privacy do what u want but

    But publicly displaying postures like this will create more bad press

    For classical yoga.

  2. Aella says:

    She looks nice, obviously the camera guy wasn't gearing this towards a serious yoga video, but we all can see that. My big concerns are that her foot looked like it was a bit too far in on the warrior poses and so many with the knee bent in a row? Maybe I'm just weak but that didn't look fun, my knees wouldn't be able to do that, and so many back bends without recovering forward bends? I adore back bends, but after camel I definitely need to recover.

  3. Bacca says:

    marta …. of course you would be naked but why would a dumb cow be on the beach of the mediterranean?… makes no sence, its not you're natural habitat unless there are cow farms just off the mediterranean coast… sara is beautiful she can do whatever she wants …. dont like it then stfu….

  4. Bacca says:

    word

  5. heh… a lot of pessimists in here. i enjoyed the video even before it was done if you know what I mean-

    But on a serious note, a quarter of these stretches are used in the insanity workout, and i have to say its feels good before stomping out 25 minutes of cardio! I can see how people could be put off by cheesiness of the music, the narration, and the angles, but It didn't deter me from seeing stretches that I can use in my routines.

  6. Michael T says:

    personally, as a yoga teacher, I found myself paying very little attention to her nudity. heck, I do asana generally in the buff. what I kept wanting to do was give her adjustments…more mobility in the sacrum for the forward bends, general repositioning during the warrior sequence, and so on. I found myself also wanting to bring some order to the sequence of poses as well. she's beautiful, and it would be great if this brings even one person to yoga.

    to all the people who are finding fault…perhaps direct that impulse inwards and you may discover why this makes you feel uncomfortable. perversion of yoga? how can the practice, being ultimately neutral, be perverted? sexualization? if something does not sexually stimulate me, I have to assume that it is sexually neutral, in which case, perhaps it is you, the viewer that is bringing sexualization into it via your way of looking.

  7. Michael T says:

    oh, and as an EJ reader, I certainly wouldn't mind if the more elitist and judgmental elements were to go away. even Yoga must be subject to Viveka and Vairagya. even Yoga must be a source of humor. if this kind of thing would bother you enough to leave, then perhaps you are taking your own beliefs, your own preferences, and your own tolerances, a little too seriously.

  8. David Foster says:

    how does this have so many more views than “Your Ugly Vagina is Normal and Gorgeous?” Shocking. ha!

    I was surprised by how hard it is (no pun intended) to become aroused by a beautiful naked woman doing yoga (or anything not bedroom-related). Not that into it… now i gotta go check it out some more

  9. @eddiecoyote says:

    It is an odd position to be in to revere the beauty of the body while at the same time saying that it is 'dirty'. Focus less on the model and more on what occurs within one's mind in watching it.

  10. […] حفظ سلامتی‌، خدا به سر شاهده، حاضرم این گل آقای ما این کلاس یوگای بی‌ ناموسی رو هم بره، ولی‌ ورزش کنه به هر طریق. حالا اگه هر کسی یه […]

  11. Daniel G says:

    I have NEVER seen so many jealous women at one time. Sarah is one of the hottest chicks alive she was one of the hottest chicks alive before she had any kind of surgery and she is one of the hottest chicks alive with the surgery. And did this woman really tell sarah to get a life LOL. Can you say JEALOUS? She only got playmate of the year. And i thought she did a good job she was calm she had a good natural form and she explained herself very well. So stop trying your best to think of anything and everything to dog on her about. Its just pathetic. Its not her fault she was born an angel and yall wer born looking like a dam reject. Stop with the jealous pitiful ass remarks. DID I MENTION THAT SARAH IS SOOOO HOT IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE??

  12. Stas says:

    Checkout what this release did to the Indian community when it was published, see: http://www.vitalitylink.com/tutorial-Yoga-969-Yog
    scroll down to the section called:

    "The Popularity of Nude or Naked Yoga"

  13. […] fue explotada por uno de los sitios especializados en yoga que más visitas reciben en el mundo, Elephant Journal, que publicó el video de la playmate Sara Jean Undrwood haciendo una rutina básica de yoga […]

  14. Sublime says:

    YUK! Go back to your TV, Kristo.

  15. Johnny says:

    Very very nice, but do you know your left from right?

  16. Mark says:

    It's called playboy yoga for a reason. It's more about promoting playboy, not yoga. The video has a mostly negetive effect on both men and women. I read all of the comments then I saw the video. Please do not mix yoga with playboy.

  17. sanovnik says:

    Yoga is fantstic thing!

  18. YZOsorio says:

    The reactions to your reaction are interesting. You voicing your concerns that this is taking something beautiful and pure (yoga) and perverting are true — I think ultimately in an evolved world (some European countries:) this form of yoga can take place without the teenage mind set of everyone getting a hard-on. But this video and the way is produced I don't think can provide anyone from actually getting benefit from the yoga: it's a joke. I do think you are wrong in the yoga has become one more thing the is trivialized. Yoga is much stronger then this little video. To me it's novelty, not power, and those that seek this type of novelty are living in a much lower form then many others are (thankfully)…

  19. Anonymous says:

    […] Playboy Yoga: Full Video with Sara Underwood. {Nude} […]

  20. […] Playboy Yoga: Full Video with Sara Underwood {Nude} | elephant journal __________________ Zitat: […]

  21. Barbara says:

    OMG… IS THIS A JOKE??? I mean I don't mind if certain individuals want to do naked yoga by themselves in the privacy of their home… But marketing it as a yoga concept or style is really a degrading of yoga.
    Regards from a yoga teacher

  22. Michael B says:

    Loved your comment(s), Michael. On the one hand, I could relate to the people who wre outraged; on the other hand, I thought to myself: what would the Dalai Lama (or Buddha, even) say about this video. Of all the comments I read, I felt yours were the ones that most reflected Wisdom. Just doesn't feel right to hate, ya know? Does this video "successfully" promote sexploitation? I don't think so. I can definitely imagine several viewers coming to this video for prurient interests, and leaving (at least eventually) with an evolved consciousness.
    So often I read comments about learning to "love our bodies" along w/comments from people who become enraged at "pretty" or "sexy" people. Heck, they're people, too, and usually can't help being attractive. Beauty of physical form does indeed exist in the natural world. Jealousy, envy — not enlightened poses.

  23. Jade says:

    Boring!!!

  24. All says:

    First of all: I have no problem with nudity. At all. But this was kind of creepy. The cheesy music. The lingering shots of breasts and buttocks screamed 'male gaze'. This was objectification of female body disguised as a "yoga" video. No, thanks.

  25. TdOg says:

    I practice Yoga and find this to be nothing more than a beautiful woman being showcased by Playboy. It inspired me to try it at home and its actually pretty awesome. Anyone who has a problem with this either has serious insecurities or is part of some alien race from another planet that doesn’t find beautiful naked women attractive. On a side note, I think women are beautiful just the way they were created, no need for surgery here so I am bummed she did it.

  26. danielle says:

    this would be a much more powerful video if it was a normal woman's physique. This just feels like another road leading away from what the yoga path really is, and another video to make women feel bad about themselves and strive for the "perfect body" instead of striving for acceptance of themselves.

    Im not attacking or blaming her or anyone, Im sure the intent was never to make anyone uncomfortable or upset, I just feel that we are straying very far away from the purpose of yoga, to find peace within.

  27. elephantjournal says:

    Amen.

  28. elephantjournal says:

    Agree. The comments read like the display of mind in meditation, when confronted with something taboo, boring, off-putting or confusing. It just is what it is, which isn't much, either way.

  29. elephantjournal says:

    Amen!

  30. elephantjournal says:

    The video may be flipped? Honestly, after a few minutes, it's hard to watch…kinda boring, as many folks have mentioned. No bid deal.

  31. elephantjournal says:

    See above: I think video may be flipped at points?

  32. aunnielauren says:

    I second-guessed watching it, feeling gross at my voyeurism; then I masturbated through some of it, turned away from some of it, then continued to watch and grapple with:

    She's really beautiful
    It's okay for her to be beautiful, in the way she is
    It's okay for me to enjoy watching this for a variety of reasons
    Why do I like watching beautiful, nude bodies?
    Why wouldn't I like watching beautiful, nude bodies?
    Can I appreciate her body, get off on her body, be interested in what she's doing regardless of her nudity, because of it, and in spite of it? Can i take this for what it is, and for all the things it is for me, and accept and be okay with that?

  33. Nancy says:

    She has a beautiful body and watching this was like watching art, like watching a Renaissance statue in motion. I don't understand why in this day and age even supposedly "enlightened" people still equate nudity with sex. I think we've actually gone backwards in this respect.

    Oh, and I can't wait until the fashion of "shaving it all" reverses. Although, in this case, it did contribute to the statue effect.

  34. i had same question… am not familiar w the term 'samaya' if anything instead of a tan also…powdered up like a female sadhu with all hair dreadlocked including the nethe-regions. i don't know what is all the obsession about the zooming in on the breasts. in europe ppl go to the beach topless. and in some cultures the nakedness is common, such as the japanese onsen. of course genders are separated. it would have been nice to see a man video too just to not objectify neither sex, as in "ok we saw both and their naughty bits..even steven" but oh well. just saying for the straight women out there. i don't care bc i like women and i am a woman.

  35. don't worry yogifeminist…. the true essence of yoga will forever remain along with all of Patanjali's Sutras and it's awesome miracles. the few loser men who feel the need to ogle over breasts are likely sexually deprived, fat and ugly and definitely will not deter the true essence of yoga. while i find the shape of the woman lovely (as a" feminist celibate lesbian" though labels are for t-shirts…just saying i am not a man) i don't particularly like forced tans,fake tans,fake hair color nor shaved pubes…not saying i like hairy, but if she were more natural in accepting her appearance and the video included a separate yoga sequence w a guy in it then maybe it would be more egalitarian and less sexist. we definitely have a problem in our culture of 2 things: women being objectified compared to men and some old ugly sick men who thankfully are with time making a smaller minority and perhaps the occassional inmature A hole man of any age who was raised without proper values. it's the era of aquarius and the feminine energy is coming back, balancing out the patriarchal overly out of control war monger dysfunction that exists…in each of us male or female we carry elements or characteristics of both genders. and the male gender has been out of control needing recalibrating since 5000 years at least.

  36. sat chit ananda ? existence consciousness bliss… hmmm… maybe the grecian archetypal body for me, but the tan, electrocuted hair, shaved pubes… hmmm nope that does nothing for me. i can appreciate beauty, but that does not connect me no more or no less to the spiritual if it's a human body bc it is a lustful experience which to me has no part in the yoga i have learned. alhough i can understand the peak of bliss of orgasm as associated with nirvana. I just don't think Patanjali delved into transformation and connection to purusha via copulation if that makes sense. i am not versed with much tantra so that is my small perception

  37. Kev Ollier says:

    Well at least it tests one's attachments and desires if a practicing yogi http://kevollier.com/category/yoga-2/

  38. elephantjournal says:

    What is the purpose of being clothed? We do nothing that can't be done while wearing our birthday suit.

  39. concerned yogi says:

    I'm concerned for her knees and her spine! See how her knee extends beyond her ankle in warrior pose? This is not ideal for the joint! And her spine is WAY too extended, very noticeable in tree pose. This little lady needs to learn proper mechanics and how to brace her spine!!

  40. Its not yoga. Simple as. I can't even be bothered to spend the next 20 minutes articulating the point. You think this is yoga, show it to a Swami, Yogi or experienced teacher in India and ask them what they think. In fact, show it to just about anyone in India and ask them if its yoga. The culture of accepting and embracing everything as yoga is based on the commercialisation and commodification of a practice that has now become a product worth billions dollars. I would say this video has more to do with making money than offering authentic yoga teachings to the community.
    Keep it real. Hari OM
    James
    Ps: how are we ever going to get more men into (practising) yoga with videos like this coming out?

  41. Elz says:

    Heather I think you make an important point. I also watched the video for a couple of minutes before I rushed to the comment section, which is what I am really interested in. My immediate question was, "How does this video affect the yoga community?" Until I read your comment, I forgot the question, "How does this video affect me?" I am one who attempts to live in awareness. When I saw this video, I was kind of spacing out. However, I noticed my thoughts were almost entirely judgement based. I even clicked on the article thinking "What will this incite?" I went on to judge her thinness, her boobs, her stomach, her butt, her tan butt. I was eyeing her yoga practice, thinking that she could benefit from a teacher reminding her to root the outside edge of her back foot in warrior II and to keep her knee over her ankle to protect her joint. Then I noticed comparisons rising in my mind….my stomach does not look like that… I am not that thin… Then, feelings… I feel sad that I am not that thin. I hate to admit that there is still life in the self concept that thin is tied to worth for me. I believe that the thin = worth paradigm does come from, and is fed by, the people who create and consume the type of message that this video offers. I include myself in this group of people. I feel sad that this is a playboy worthy situation. I feel sad that I still tie self worth to thinness. I want to do my part to change this paradigm. The reason I read elephant journal is because EJ tends to bring us into a conversation about what enlightened society looks like. So, what I come away with is a recommitment to become aware of when and where I allow myself to be ignorant of my own thoughts and feelings. I come away with a recommitment to strengthening the consumption of what I find to be yoga, sex, and beauty through my own experience, and not a cultural lens.

  42. Elz says:

    Its okay to be jealous 😀

  43. elz says:

    Its okay to be insecure

  44. Michelle says:

    i don't really give a rat's ass that she's doing it naked – but i do find it interesting that in the bit that i watched she never once mentioned the breath – there was no "I inhale as i do this, i exhale as i do this" (i only watched about a minute admittedly, so if anyone wants to call me on this, be my guest!). The first person narrative was a little weird, but it was the lack of breath connection that made me question whether this is yoga – not the fact that she had no clothes on.

  45. chiasue says:

    Traditional yogis might be offended, especially those with prudish attitudes towards anything evoking sex.
    Practicing in the nude is a personal choice and can feel liberating.
    Let's remember many sadhus in India walk around naked and covered in ashes.
    What is bothersome is not that a beautiful woman is practicing in the nude, but rather that a magazine that aims at manipulating men with sex like Playboy is always objectifying women and now even through the ancient practices of yoga.
    Yoga is about connecting with our inner essence and bringing a balance between body and mind, not about selling adult magazines.
    Playboy is probably losing a share of followers and decided to get creative and try to turn something that is usually identified as a more spiritual practice into something else.
    Sorry for the loser followers of Playboy who instead of focusing on improving themselves as human beings salivate at naked "perfect" women they will probably never get.

  46. Tricia says:

    LOL!!!

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