4.8
February 1, 2013

Playboy Yoga: Video with a Woman in her Power? {NSFW} ~ Ben Belenus

Did I get your attention? Did you see the Sara Underwood Playboy nude yoga video?

That video has over 300,000 views on elephant journal, and over a million video views at Daily Motion already, and many of those from elephant readers. Like an elephant in the room, the Playboy nude yoga video appears to have stirred all kinds of mostly-healthy debate. What is yoga? Is this yoga? I thought I should check out what all the fuss is about.

So what is this video, this “mishmash of sexy and yoga that isn’t much of either?”

Like elephant columnist Candice Holdorf, I too imagine a society where sexuality is an acceptable part of everyday culture. I wanted to prompt we “aware” yogic types that this video offers us a myriad of gateways and opportunities to become more aware and more loving towards our relationship to sex. So much of our relationship to sex involves the denial of some part of ourselves.

Spirituality is the end of denial.

Take a moment to consider your own response. Did you click through? Did you watch it? Were you attracted to the video because of the sexual promise associated with the Playboy brand? Or was it to see some yoga? Or was it to satisfy a sexual curiosity? The fact is sex has a habit of getting our attention. There’s no doubting that we are sexual beings. When an unclothed maiden comes our way we tend to pay attention, whether she is doing some yoga or not. After all, the feminine essence is deeply attractive and alluring to men and women alike.

So, is it a yoga video?

I watched Sara do her practice. There’s probably no denying that she’s a beautiful young woman. Men are susceptible to youth and beauty, and many a woman too. Youthful beauty attracts our attention; anyone who has been doing their yoga practice in a studio full of tight-buns will know what I mean.

Her ass looked great, and her asanas weren’t bad either—as commenters pointed out.

Sara’s alignment in several of the asanas was lacking—but in many others, it was downright inspiring. We yogi’s love alignment. She also appeared to be the perfect alignment of maidenhood, beauty and blossom. But as a yogi, I could see that she wasn’t playing her edge and she didn’t appear to be skilfully coordinating her movements with her breath.

C’mon Sara, you know that your breath shapes your movement and your movements shape your breath. If you had emphasized that fundamental teaching, then maybe your video would have had more yoga credentials.

Yoga? Not really.

Is it a sexy video?

Downward facing dog beckoned for a moment as a smidgeon of the erotic was created by using camera angles that avoided showing the splendor of her, er, treasure.

If you watch the video, in awareness, there is much to observe. You may see her courageousness or her ease with her body. Maybe you’ll notice the commercial food-chain behind the scenes. Maybe the cheesiness. Did the video alter your breathing? Did it move stirrings of energy in your pelvis? Any pelvic fizz probably wouldn’t last long though, principally because nakedness isn’t erotic. Eros flows when nakedness is obscured.

Did a vasana reach out? Did a thought arise that you would like to make love to her? Celebrate and embrace whatever moves, for it is all life. But don’t be easily fooled by a woman who’s giving herself away for she isn’t letting us get any closer to her inner sanctums of infinite love.

But we men must remember that women aren’t simply bodies to have sex with. They are beautiful alive soft complexities with hard shells, wounds and neurosis. The whole woman must be loved in every moment; all that she is being and becoming is beauty incarnate.

We are all attached to form.

Sexy? Kind of.

Youthful archetype—is it selling us an image of how to be attractive?

Her opening Tadasana gave us the opportunity to appreciate her youthful form. We were then given ample opportunity to admire her gorgeous breasts, pert and unmoving. I appreciated them even though I’ve always been an “ass” man. How many guys wanted to see that rear shot in downwards facing dog? Chaps you have to go practice yoga to see that!

Sara is undoubtedly youthful, naked and hot. Many women would probably like to look like her. Many men would like to look at her. Sadly though, youthful beauty disappears. One day even Sara shall become a crone, the most feared and misunderstood feminine archetype. Would we watch her do naked yoga then?

I suspect such a movie would have more heart.

Is it ultimately about making money?

Sex is a perfect selling-device in a world where we don’t want to be free with our sex. Wanking men are often duped by commercial concerns dangling pleasantries to their pelvic center. And women believe that they aren’t good enough.

Our society has an opportunity to make sexuality an acceptable part of our everyday culture. Fellow aware-people, it is our job to lead the charge.

Recent studies have shown that “almost three-quarters of sexual ads in magazines contained sex related brand benefit.” The usual formula is “Buy this, get this.”

So what is being said by this video? Do yoga and become more sexually alluring? Do yoga and feel sexier for your own sake?

Ultimately Playboy is peddling an image. The brand relies on some part of us identifying with that image. Perhaps it is saying: watch this video, feel bad about your body and your yoga practice?

By promoting the video, perhaps elephant Journal is being with imbued with some form of sexual identity. But surely that’s a good thing, for if we yogi’s can’t do “sex with awareness and ease” then how can we expect anybody else to?

Calvin Klein has become a billion dollar business on the back of sex. With all this sex-themed blogging, maybe elephant can become a billion dollar yogic brand that champions the importance of Conscious Sexuality!

Is she a woman in her power?

My teacher says I should see a woman’s soul, not just her body and she is right. Let it be said that beauty is present in the whole of a woman. Her body, her smile, her laughter, her spirit, her heart, her ever-changing way of being, her infinite capacity to love and her cruel shitty moods.

If I look into a woman’s soul, I see her power.

Sara is a powerful woman, but I feel as though she may have given her power away. She appears unaware of the magic of the feminine powers she contains. I couldn’t feel heart in her practice.

Her sexuality…had my attention, even though yoga seeks something like the opposite of seduction. You are feeding us your sugar, and hopefully making a buck along the way. But ultimately aren’t you selling your feminine essence to a business owned by men, run by men for men? But I guess even those men are in pursuit of recognition and money so that they feel good about themselves and are able keep their women happy.

Sara what message are you sending to other women who watch your video. Many will compare themselves against you. Many will go seek a wax, an alignment or an augmentation. And the fashion industry grinds on and uses precious resources.

What would this video have been like if Sara were truly in love with her body, aware of her power, speaking from her heart and communicating a message about a profound yogic practice and its ability to transform the world?

All is sex.

In awareness we can see that sex is all around us at all times, for sex is nature. It is intrinsic to all birth and all death. It is the phenomenon that brings us into being and then proceeds to shape our lives. Surely it makes sense for us to align with nature at all times? We are nature. Bringing consciousness to our sexuality is an opportunity for all of us.

Years back I remember doing some naked yoga in Topanga, California. It was hairy-assed and real. These days I live in London and somehow cold gonads and yoga don’t do it for me.

If I am perfectly honest, I am not a fan of this video. I struggled to watch the whole thing.

Today it is -4˚C outside. The sun is luminous over a frozen English landscape of frosted fields and snowy icing. There is such majesty to see, to feel, to know. Eros is palpable. Being with this miracle moment feels altogether like a superior yoga for me to practice.

It is frankly more erotic and yogic than anything Sara and Playboy might try to sell me.

 

Ben Belenus is a truth seeker, worshipper of women, practitioner of conscious relationship, mystic and Author. His juicy new bookThe sex god – No Mud No Lotus” is a thorough and sacred investigation into conscious sexuality, love and authenticity. It’s a sexually explicit and passionate love story that follows one man’s evolution towards spiritual freedom. The story follows Ben from innocence into sexual cockiness, painful infidelities, porn addiction and then onwards into deepest Tantric Love. Ben’s next book which is a deep exploration of conscious loving relationship will be published next year. Buy the book. Learn more: www.benbelenus.com. This article contains extracts from Ben’s recently published book, ‘the sex god – No Mud No Lotus’ © Copyright 2012 Ben Belenus

 

The Video:

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

 

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta
Asst. Ed: Lori Lothian

 

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