Toronto: The `oversexualization` of yoga in a US magazine has received criticism, as not everyone is happy to see the practice portrayed in a sexy, commercial context.
The October issue Yoga Journal has a black and white Toesox ad featuring well-known yoga teacher Kathryn Budig in a variation on a handstand, reports the Globe and Mail.
Apart from a pair of the organic-cotton non-slip yoga socks, she``s naked, strategically positioned to reveal no body parts that would be considered scandalous on Sesame Street.
Respected fitness photographer Jasper Johal has shot the image.
Judith Hanson Lasater, one of the founding editors of Yoga Journal 35 years ago, wrote a letter to the magazine that ran in its September issue.
In it, she expressed her sadness and confusion over the "photos of naked or half-naked women" and how they relate to the practice of yoga.
Yoga blogs and message boards jumped on her response, mostly in agreement.
"Hats off to Judith for having the courage to speak out against sexualized yoga advertising!" wrote Montrealer Roseanne Harvey on itsallyogababy.com.
"Everyone thinks they know what yoga is and it`s become just about asana [poses] and body," said Hanson Lasater, the former Yoga Journal editor.
"[Nudity] is a natural thing and not a bad thing.
I love beauty in all its forms, but is this objectification what we want to combine with yoga? ," she added.
Kaitlin Quistgaard, Yoga Journal`s editor-in-chief, doesn``t think readers are necessarily prudish or unaware of the way advertising works.
"It`s that they``re protective of yoga," she said.
"They might subscribe to Yoga Journal and also to Vogue ... and have different expectations," she added.