The spiritual and physical practice of yoga has become an industry in which modern body culture has taken over, leading to the commodification of the yoga practice. In many ways, these changes have been achieved through images. Contemporary images of yoga denote a particular type of photography and a particular type of body. The images encourage bodies to be critiqued and re-shaped through yoga into an acceptable form.
I was drawn to photograph the physical postures of yoga because what I really wanted to capture, the transformation nature of the practice, was inaccessible visually. At the same time, capturing the physical postures allowed me to see how the practice itself resists our modern culture of commodification and consumption. The physical difficulty of the practice requires constant patience and diligence to achieve results, which is a very different experience when contrasted with our culture of immediate gratification.
The darkness of these photographs serves to make the body inaccessible to our consumptive gaze. While the photographs in this series are a critique of modern posture practice, they also highlight those same physical elements of the practice, embodying (and accepting) it. The photographs themselves confront the commodification of the yoga industry by refusing to conform to the ideas and standards of what is acceptible and beautiful.
– Ottawa, 2012