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Are sex appeal and yoga mutually exclusive?

That's the debate over a titillating yoga video causing an uproar on YouTube, in which a well-toned woman in sexy black underwear does the upward dog in front of a bed with tussled sheets, showcasing a sleepy lover.

A strategically placed camera leaves no angles out, and even peers at her, voyeuristically, through gauzy curtains.

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Some call it beautiful and "inspiring", others have criticized it for going too far – and contradicting what yoga is supposed to be about.

The video, which is an advertisement for Equinox Fitness clubs and has now generated nearly 800,000 hits, features 30-year-old yoga instructor Briohny Smyth, and the company says the video was shot at the Mondrian Hotel in Sogo, where Ms. Smyth took "athleticism, artistry and sensuality of arm balancing to a new level."

As to what level, the online discussion is mixed. One male commenter suggested Ms. Smyth was portrayed as an "erotic, soft-porn actress."

But at Elephantjournal, writer Jeannie Page defended the video, comparing it to was "watching a ballerina move across the stage, this was the ultimate expression of the raw beauty and power of the human form."

Ms. Smyth responded on Facebook to her critics saying, "I respect the opinions of those who are disgusted and thankful for those who feel inspired. In all honesty, it felt damn good to be confident in my own skin."

When was the last time you did yoga in black lace underwear? What do you think of the video: Too racy or just effective advertising?

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More

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