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What’s the Point of These Naked Yoga Photos? (NSFW)

in YD News

luba-naked-yoga-prasarita

There’s naked yoga, like the classes and stuff, and then there’s naked yoga, like these photos of Ukrainian model Luba Shumeyko shot by her XXX photographer husband Petter Hegre. Can we handle it all? For those already fine with saving money on yoga pants by not wearing any, this may come as less of a shock than a young man’s mula bandha dangling in your drishti. But with studios opening up opportunities for more yoga students to bare all, encouraging us to be bold and get to know ourselves better (naked), and the majority of the community responding with a say what? it’s no wonder we’re still a bit shy about images of naked people practicing naked yoga. We can be adults about it though.

Why take pictures of yourself doing naked yoga and post them the internet/world? The same reason you do anything else. Because you felt like it. In the case of Shumeyko, it seems like it was more for artistic expression, because put a photographer and a yogi/model in a room with a mat and a camera and you just know what’s going to happen. Magic! Well, it’s certainly captivating. Is it beautiful? Exploitative? Sexy?

luba-naked-yoga-fish

According to Shumeyko who’s been practicing yoga for about 10 years and gets on her mat three times a week, sexiness was the furthest thing from her mind, she told Elle Magazine:

“We posted the photos on our website and suddenly they are all over Internet— but with wrong titles like ‘sexy yoga.’ During that photo shoot, sex was the last thing I was thinking about.”

Nevertheless, the internet.

To the couples’ credit, this shoot is utterly timid compared to Mr. Hegre’s usual work (super NSFW).

For the curious, you might be interested to know that the shoot took place at the couples’ home with jazz undulating through the speakers and a heated floor for comfort (take note yoga studios). If you really want to know more vital details about the shoot like are her breasts real? does she wax or shave? how does she get that shiny skin? Elle has you covered, or uncovered, or whatever. (To save you time: yes, shaves, it’s baby oil.)

These are photos of one person’s practice. Do we need to accept them as the ideal? Certainly not. So one could ask, what purpose do the photos serve? One could answer art, appreciation for the human body, pervy yoga voyeurism, or our favorite, continued conversations on the persistent alignment problems in updog not even nakedness can distract from.

luba-naked-yoga-updog

Alignment in most of the other poses is actually quite decent, if that’s what you’re looking for/at. The full set of photos can be seen here. View for your own reasons, or not. We won’t judge.

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3 comments… add one

  • James

    I’ll bite. These yoga pictures are beautiful. Without disclosing too much about my personal life, I feel that I have sufficient experience with pornography to register a valid opinion on the matter. For the porn-motivated among you, Tori Black and Jenna Haze do a very good yoga-themed porn shoot. To be fair, the yoga theme is abandoned about 1/4 of the way through the scene but it’s still good stuff.

    Tori and Jenna’s fantastic scene uses yoga as a vehicle to convey a salacious item. Some yoga postures put the practitioner into a scandalous position. As a fun exercise, imagine a girl performing frog pose. As a yogi, I would evaluate that pose from the side to check the alignment. As a pervert, I would evaluate that pose from a different angle. Porn focuses on the sexual component. Girls bent over with arched backs photographed from behind is a position and angle which prominently displays what is interpreted as sexual desire and availability. Again, not to get too personal, but if my fiance were naked and bent over with an arched back, I would want to be behind her. The camera angle is a manifestation of the viewer’s focus and interest.

    That’s the difference between a prurient photoshoot like Hegre’s other work (I only glanced at it but fairness may require a more thorough examination) and what we’re seeing here. None of the yoga pictures appear to convey sexual desire or availability. If anything, Luba’s expression is stoic. No head-down-eyes-up seduction. No gratuitous cleavage. No it’s-my-first-time-and-I’m-nervous-but-I-trust-you glances. There are no camera angles which highlight the sexual component. Sure, the content of the gallery is sexy but it would be sexy even in the absence of nudity.

    These pictures are simply beautiful because they were done well by someone who knows how to take a picture. This is not just another amateur attention whore who knows “sexy yoga gallery” will rack up the hits on Instagram. Justice Stewart said it best: “I know it when I see it”. This is not it. This is a yoga gallery with a nudity component. It is not a nudity gallery with a yoga component. It’s a subtle and important difference.

    Now, if y’all will excuse me. I’m going to go take a cold shower… and masturbate….

  • Karen

    I looked through the lot and only saw art.

    There was, to my mind, no hint of anything salacious about any of them, and I wondered how they’d have been dealt with by YD if they’d been of an art model and taken by a known art photographer. As it is, I found some of them beautiful, some of them left me unmoved, and the whole thing left me wondering what the issue was.

  • Yognjen

    For someone so flexible, her alignement is atrocious. Downdog hand hyperextension, cobra palms, ustrasana collapse, and shoulderblades generally all over the place.

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