Embodying Grace: The Artistic Fusion of Yoga and Self-Love by Nude Yoga Girl
We had the pleasure of sitting down with the enigmatic Nude Yoga Girl to delve into her artistic journey and the powerful messages behind her captivating nude yoga photography. Fusing her love for art and yoga, she has managed to create a movement that encourages self-acceptance, self-love, and authentic feminine power. In this interview, we discuss her artistic beginnings, the impact of yoga on her life, the challenges of privacy in the digital age, and the importance of breaking free from censorship. Please note, this conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: What are your first memories of being an artist?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: I’ve always felt like I had an artistic soul. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved drawing and painting. In my early twenties, I truly discovered photography when I started taking photos of other models. I realized that editing photos and playing with light was like painting, but with objects that already existed. Through this, I found my way to express myself. The human body, skin, and shadows have always inspired me.
Q: What is the origin story of the NudeYogaGirl account?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: I’ve been a professional model and photographer for over 15 years now. I’ve always loved art, and yoga is a lifestyle for me. Back in 2015, it casually occurred to me to try and create artistic black-and-white nude yoga photos in our small home studio, which had just enough space for it. Upon seeing the end result, I really liked the work, and after some consideration, I gathered the courage to create an Instagram account for it. New York Magazine (The Cut) reached out for an interview about two weeks later, and the account went viral worldwide. My life completely changed.
Q: Can you talk about how the practice of yoga has influenced your life?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: Yoga has taught me a lot about being gentle and compassionate towards myself, as well as listening to my body. I’m not too demanding or critical of myself anymore, and that has affected every aspect of my life. I’ve learned that sometimes, instead of a physical practice, taking deep breaths and lying down in Savasana is all I need. Nowadays, I appreciate a slow life, being present, and living in the moment. I’ve always been intuitive, and yoga has strengthened that side of me. The practice of yoga and the people I’ve met through it have had an immense impact on my life. Yoga is for everyone, and I hope as many people as possible will give it a chance.
Nowadays, I appreciate a slow life, being present, and living in the moment. I've always been intuitive, and yoga has strengthened that side of me.
Q: You’ve talked a lot about the importance of self-acceptance and self-love. These ideas are often easier said than done. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting on their journey?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: We all have our own insecurities, and they all start in our minds. My work and the thousands of body journey stories shared with me have taught me that. Nude photography helped me a lot with self-acceptance. Because of it, I’m so used to my own body that it has just become normal, a part of me – not something separate like I saw it before. I used to focus on the details, looking for faults, not seeing my body as a whole. Now, I think that our personal, unique, weird, and different details in our bodies are our strengths. For example, I’ve always been insecure about my breasts, but motherhood and breastfeeding taught me to love them. Sometimes, focusing on what our bodies can do instead of how they look helps.
Q: ‘MEDIA LŪNA’ was one of our first pieces at AOTM. What is the story behind this piece? What was the inspiration? How was it received?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: MEDIA LŪNA was created during a time when my yoga practice was very physical, and I practiced several advanced poses weekly. It’s a pose that requires a certain amount of build-up, practice-wise, to execute correctly. It’s a little scary, too! It’s one of the most difficult poses I’ve created, and it’s captured in a place very close to my heart. Maybe one day I will talk more about that.
I’m grateful that the piece was very well received and collected by some of the most well-known collectors.
Q: In a world where we are surrounded by male leaders, I love that you highlight authentic feminine power and beauty. Can you talk a bit more about what it is like to lead from a place of feminine power?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: For me personally, it motivates me daily. For example, the NFT space is male-dominated, but I hope more women will become interested in the future. Diversity and different perspectives make conversations richer and bring new ideas. It takes much more strength, courage, and persistence to learn to break through in an area and surroundings that don’t necessarily feel the most natural to you, but it also is and feels very rewarding.
I think that our personal, unique, weird, and different details in our bodies are our strengths.
Q: With technology and social media continuing to take over everyone’s lives, what do you think is the future of privacy?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: I think we have seen a shift towards more authentic content from our everyday lives in general, which I prefer because authentic stories are much more relatable. However, it also means less privacy. In the end, it’s up to each individual to decide what technologies they use and how much they are willing to share. I do wish that popular platforms would do a better job at respecting people’s privacy and not collect so much information continuously, and that they would offer better options to people.
Q: How do you balance sharing your life vs. privacy?
NUDE YOGA GIRL: As Nude Yoga Girl, I’m anonymous, and I’ve always preferred it that way. I like the mystery, which I’ve understood many others do as well. In a way, it gives more room for Nude Yoga Girl to be about the art and the message, rather than personal fame. On the other hand, I’m an open person, and I appreciate that people share personal stories so that we can better understand, identify with, or feel supported by them. I think it’s good that controversial and vulnerable subjects are discussed more often, as it reduces taboos.
Q: Facebook and Instagram’s independent oversight board recently recommended that they drop their censorship of female bodies. Tell us more about how this has impacted your art in the past and where you hope this will go.
NUDE YOGA GIRL: I sincerely hope it happens. Our bodies are the most natural thing, and I feel that society has taught us to feel so much shame towards them and to hide them. I’ve suffered a lot from censorship rules, and my Instagram account was deleted a few times during the first years, as was my Twitter account. It’s quite terrifying to wake up and see all the hard work you’ve put in daily for years wiped off in a matter of seconds. For what? Just because a certain number of people have deemed our bodies offensive, which is ridiculous. I have been lucky in a way that, through my art, I was also able to build relationships with people who work in those areas and provide feedback to hopefully help make changes happen. The overall situation has improved a little in the past couple of years, and I think it will keep moving in the right direction. That’s what most people want.