the evolution of nude yoga advertising, 2010-2012

YogiToes ad in September Yoga Journal – photo by Jasper Johal

While flipping through the September issue of Yoga Journal, I came across an ad for yogitoes featured two shirtless men in handstand, heralding perhaps the first use of dudes in nude yoga advertising. The tagline, Naked Matters, leads us to believe that they have nothing on under the yoga mat and yoga towel.

Two years ago, at the beginning of a hot and humid August, the yoga industry’s use of nude advertising came under scrutiny. As the Ms. Magazine blog summed up:

It all started when the grand dame of U.S. yoga and Yoga Journal co-founder Judith Hanson Lasater wrote a letter expressing her unhappiness with the increasing frequency of “naked or half-naked women” inside the pages of Yoga Journal. There’s speculation over which ad prompted Lasater’s letter, as she herself has not identified it, but there’s no shortage of potential culprits.

Which is true. I recall going through the issue that Lasater’s letter appeared in and counting at least five ads with naked women.

What has changed in the past two years? In the 108 pages of the September 2012 issue, I counted no ads with naked advertising (we won’t count the yogitoes shirtless dudes, as they’re not fully naked). Zero!

Also, I couldn’t help but notice that Kathryn Budig is wearing clothes in the latest ad ToeSox! It’s possible that this may not be a super new development, as I’m not a regular YJ reader. And it also appears that ToeSox has expanded their product line beyond socks to include “sandals and more.”

Sometimes change takes time, but it’s refreshing to see the aftereffects of that legendary blog conversation.

Now if Yoga Journal would just do something about advertising useless products such as Yoga-Paws and YogaToes (not to be confused with the aforementioned “yogitoes”) and teacher trainings that claim you’ll “be a certified yoga teacher in 11 days,” it’ll all be good.