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Woman Who Takes Yoga Pose on Ledge Sparks Debate

Rachele Brooke Smith

First there was yoga on the beach, then yoga in the park, and now yoga...on I-beams? Rachel Brooke Smith, an actress and dancer, showed the beauty of her version of aerial yoga when she performed variations of Dancer's Pose on a beam 25 stories in the air during a photoshoot for Cassal activewear. Showing some intense concentration (and steely nerves), she balanced on a ledge not even one foot wide. 

"Phew! That's not scary at all," she joked on the video she posted to her Facebook page, noting that there were no nets or other safety equipment used. (That is the definition of scary!)

RELATED: #YogaPostureOfTheDay Takes Over Instagram

But while the rest of us get sweaty palms just watching the bendy brunette, she says she was never really in any danger. "I did feel safe on that ledge otherwise I would never have done it," Smith said on NBC's Today. "I practice every day and feel extremely confident in the moves that I was doing."

The video reignited the ongoing controversy over featuring "extreme" yoga poses on social media with some viewers questioning whether this stunt overshadows the mind-body connection that yoga, at its core, is really about. Others fear it would inspire copycats. (And unlike cats, us squishy humans definitely don't have nine lives.) But some yogis came to her defense, saying that it's inspiring to see and can help others to push their limits in their own fitness, no high wire required. When your yoga teacher tells you to "push yourself to the edge," we're not sure this is exactly what she means (and you definitely shouldn't try this at home), but it's still a stunning display of athleticism.

But we want you to make up your own minds. Check out the awe-inspiring video clip below and let us know what you think in the comments or tweet us at @Shape_Magazine.  



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