Woman risks her life to strike yoga pose, sparking severe criticism

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Friday, September 26, 2014

A video of a woman calmly performing yoga poses on a rooftop, 25 stories above the streets of New York City, has sparked a social media backlash. Critics are saying she put herself in unnecessary risk just capture the perfect shot.

Uploaded to Instagram, the nail-biting video shows Los Angeles-based actress and dancer Rachele Brooke Smith, 27, as she stands atop an I-beam hanging off the edge of a NYC building, 25 stories high. While the NYC skyline provides for a stunning backdrop against the meditative yoga stretching, many are questioning Smith's motives as she took the ultimate risk to capture the shot. Critics are calling Smith's actions 'egotistic' and 'damaging' to the public perception of yoga.

"Could be a lot of dead yogis trying to copy you," said one Instagram user.

"As both a yoga teacher and a nurse all I see is ego doing something so dangerous for a yoga pose," said one woman on Smith's Facebook page. Check out more comments in the above gallery.

Many commenters liken Smith's actions to the growing trend of social media users posting photos of themselves performing yoga along cliffs and other unsafe backdrops. Critics claim it distorts the purpose of yoga, saying its true intention teaches "selflessness" and "spirituality," and into an "egotistical show-off."

According to Smith, the posted video was a "sneak peek" of a video shoot for Casall, a Swedish fitness training and workout clothing brand.

Smith also posted this, arguably even more dangerous, video of herself dancing atop the same highbeam to "promote kindness."

Do you think she's setting a dangerous example with these stunts? Let us know in the comments below.