it’s another sexy yoga video by equinox: brace yourselves

Nicely toned yoga ass: screengrab from the latest Yoga by Equinox ad with Briohny Smyth.

Remember the Yoga by Equinox video that went viral in early 2012 and ignited a(nother) huge conversation about sexualized yoga advertising? Well, it (the video, not the conversation) must have worked, because Equinox is back with another ad featuring Briohny Smyth. This time, she’s doing Acro Yoga with her now-husband Dice Iida-Klein (he was her fiancé when he played the mystery man in bed in the first Equinox video).

NY Mag’s fashion blog, The Cut, posted a preview teaser of the video yesterday. The full video is up on YouTube. Google it if you want to watch it, because I’m not posting it here.

But I can tell you that Equinox has upped the sexiness quotient this time around: more ass, more inner thighs, more toned tummies, all set to a steamy, bluesy guitar soundtrack. Synchronized legs and arms floating through the air and an intimate closing scene.

The original video received over 4 million YouTube views and countless blog posts. Will this video capture the imagination of the masses? What more can we say about sexualized yoga advertising – is it art or commerce, objectifying or empowering, beautiful or alienating? Will it drive people to the yoga mat or drive them away from the practice? Does it inspire a disciplined yoga practice or make committed yogis feel crappy about their regular bodies?

Will we have to brace ourselves for another big conversation about this stuff (and defensive blog posts from Kathryn Budig)? Or has this whole nude yoga advertising strategy played itself out?

  1. Meh…I think it is played out. The shock value is now gone. I am not a fan of the “hey look at me all naked in stuff doing yoga” videos but they don’t seem to be going anywhere.

  2. Watched the full-version and have no issues, in terms of “sex and Yoga”. I felt the first Equinox Video was purely sexual whereas this one is not the least bit sexual, nor much Yoga.

    I do take issue of the use of the term “Acro” Yoga. Why not just call it Acrobatics? Not too much Yoga going on for the person on the bottom except for Vaparita Karani (Legs up the Wall pose).

    One might say “Acro” Yoga is “sexist, ego-centric, and unYogic” as the person on the bottom, typically male, is simply a prop to be used to put the person doing acrobatics, typically female, on a pedestal as a display saying “look at me!”. But I digress.

    • “One might say “Acro” Yoga is “sexist, ego-centric, and unYogic” as the person on the bottom, typically male, is simply a prop to be used to put the person doing acrobatics, typically female, on a pedestal as a display saying “look at me!””

      interesting, i’ve never thought about it that way, but perhaps it’s because the yogini I know who teaches ‘AcroYoga’ in Halifax is actually always the bottom, and she’s a ridiculously strong one at that. So my models have always been of her teaching other women how to be stable bases for their partner (sometimes men).

      of course, that is just one teacher, and since i wasn’t ever a huge fan of acroyoga (just because i don’T like partner yoga in general), i never thought much more about it.

      an interesting perspective. thank you.

  3. Yet, again, I think you have blown this out of proportion. It is acro yoga with her husband. Yes. They are half naked but go into any hot yoga studio across America and people will have on about the same amount of clothes. Yes, I know they are using the sexuality for advertising and a stunning presentation but It is no big deal. Even before yoga came to the west, the yogis would do demonstrations(advertising) on the streets wearing loincloth type things around their hips and that was it.

  4. Hmmmm, it seems from the comments above that the point Roseanne and other critics have been making about this and other such advertisements (in print and video) is STILL going over the heads of most people.

    The issue is not that they are naked; but HOW the video is shot and presented. Meaning is not merely in the explicit images, but in editing, framing, pov and other filmic narrative structures! Read “How To Read A Film” for a deeper understanding of this.

    Finally, that sexuality is being used to sell cars is already a ‘big deal.’ That it is being used to ‘sell’ yoga? And equating THIS kind of advertising with yogis in dhoutis and loincloths???? You gotta be kidding, right?

    • Thanks for commenting! I read the above comments and thought — what? Did they see a different video? I watched just the teaser and couldn’t figure out what, other than sex, was being “sold” even! I agree that it’s not the actions or the clothes in this case even as much as the way it is shot. My husband thought I was watching a porn film when he glanced at my laptop while it was on, ha.

  5. Thanks for another clear-headed and incisive comment, Frank Jude. It is absolutely a big deal that sexuality—mostly women’s sexuality—is being used to sell things. Objectifying women to sell yoga is antithetical to all five yamas. I also had to wince at the comment about equating Indian yogis in dhoutis and loincloths to sexually charged advertisements of a couple performing poses in expensive underwear.

    • i agree with Charlotte 100%. using women’s bodies to sell things, no matter if it’s common practice, is never cool, or ok.

  6. All this and until someone pointed it out, I wasn’t sure what the hell was being sold here.

  7. I finally decided that I will try to keep as open a mind as possible on this. Well, I turned it out at 1:58.

    Eros rather than Agape is being represented here–by commission and not omission.

    [And I’m older, and relatively uninterested in sex.]

    Sorry, but I’m not that advanced as a yogi yet (in non-attachment) … maybe it will take another few of these campaigns from Equi-noxious. Seriously!

    I have not even started on my OTHER objection: that this is not yoga, but acrobatics.

    Yoga is not meant to be an exhibition.


    Equi-noxious even admits that they’re full of it …

    So, yes, it’s bull$#it unless you are pretty much young, lithe, bendy, and able to plunk down a lot of dough and … time … don’t forget about time … most of us are not born with that kind of raw talent …

  9. well, i like it! it’s beautiful to watch and very inspiring. the fact that they are husband and wife makes it even better! yoga purists and feminists should lighten up a little. yoga is sexy. get over it!

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