Does yoga have a body image problem? Do a simple google image search and you might think so. For Marie Jørgensen, a yoga practitioner and teacher, the online search for a yoga poster to hang in her home proved futile. Because Jørgensen was looking for something that apparently doesn’t exist: a poster with basic poses and their names represented “in a simple fashion with natural and relatable human bodies.” So she decided to make one herself.
Did we mention she’s an artist? And that she decided to give the yogis natural curves and bumps and body hair and draw them totally nude? And that we’re absolutely smitten?
“I felt like the same body image is represented a lot when it comes to yoga, so I wanted to challenge that a little bit,” Jørgensen, a yoga practitioner of 13 years told SELF in a recent interview. “…I try to draw what I see in other people and in myself and just try to represent what I think is totally OK and natural. I just really don’t want to reproduce any ideals.”
While she doesn’t practice naked yoga herself, the choice to go nude in her illustrations had to do with removing any layers of superficiality, stripping us down to our most natural state.
“There’s no filter or anything. I think it’s nice to take off all those layers, and people connect with it instantly,” says Jørgensen. “They’re like, ‘That’s my body when I do yoga.’ So it’s nothing sexual or anything like that. It’s just how we look.”
And so far the response has been really positive. Many fans of her work have simply thanked her, but others have been truly moved. She says one woman came up to her and shared (what we’re sure a lot of others have been thinking), “You’re really making me feel so much more comfortable and making me believe I can still do yoga even though I’m not super skinny,” she said.
According to her website, Jørgensen’s intention with the Yoga Prints is “to create artwork that resonates with yogis all over the world, allowing everyone to recognize a piece of themselves in the drawings and feel a sense of confidence and assurance,” by celebrating diversities and challenging what we consider to be a “yoga body” through her illustrations.
And we love them.
Take a look at some more of her work: