The Yoga The Camera

Photographing Yoga in Boulder, CO

Kaare Iverson Photography
3 min readNov 18, 2013

I've always had trouble resolving the separation of my yoga practice (done primarily indoors on hardwood floors) from my love of the outdoors (spent primarily frolicking through the trees from which those hardwood floors are made). The two seem completely inseparable in many ways, except for the part where you're trying to manage an inversion on uneven ground with a nest of hidden cacti all around you. Through the lens of photography (pardon the pun) however, the two are a beautiful match - personally I'm just too much of a baby to develop my practice in such a setting...

Earlier this year, in the Spring, before moving to San Francisco while in the wonderful hamlet of Boulder, Colorado, on a day now known as the-day-of-overexertion, I successfully woke early for yoga, trekked several miles, climbed with a loaded pack and trekked back out (altogether a 12 hour slog). I think all of this activity would normally have been digestible for my level of fitness were it not for the brutalizing (though excellent and well balanced) yoga class led by the wonderful Matthew Champoux. Matthew is an experienced yogi, climber, ornithologist, general badass and fellow photographer. He also likes to lead yoga classes targeted towards climbers - basically an hour in his class equals 4 hours in the bouldering gym. I was shattered.

After consuming many hamburgers and sleeping for about 72 hours I awoke with the idea of casting Matthew for a yoga shoot in the stunning meadows we had trekked through on that day. Being a regular birder accustomed to waking up before sunrise he had no problem meeting me for a 5:30am trek below the flatirons. Perhaps the great birding that we got in on the way up was part of his motivation. At any rate, we spent a beautiful morning in the hills; Matt proving that hamstrings are capable of all sorts of things the average person has no notion of and I boot-scooting around among the cacti I so fear with my camera.

Yoga Photography - Matthew Champoux - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 1 (Modified Pidgeon) in Boulder, CO by Kaare Iverson Photography

It took over a month to work all the prickly pear spines out of thighs for the shot above…

…and another month to work the last of the barbs out of my abdomen for this one…

Yoga Photography - Matthew Champoux - Warrior One in Boulder Colorado by Kaare Iverson Photography

For this shoot I wanted to exercise my right to use natural light as much as possible. I brought along a ScrimJim for the closeup part and that saw a lot of use, but I like the integrity and authenticity that was maintained without introducing too many electronics to this beautiful place.

Also, I love Matt's PrAna Mojo shorts in this shoot - mental note to pick some of those up...

San Francisco Photographer Kaare Iverson

San Francisco Photographer Kaare Iverson — advertising, portrait, product, lifestyle @ikaare

Advertising // Portrait // Product // Lifestyle

Creating imagery that captures the actions and emotions of people and their products as they take on life and the world.



Kaare Iverson Photography

San Francisco based photographer who jams on portrait, lifestyle and product photography - also a human with a passion for mountain life.