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Gulnara Karimova is a poser.

The eldest daughter of authoritarian Uzbek President Islam Karimov is also a fashion designer, a jewelry maker, a pop singer, a diplomat, a UN envoy, and a screenwriter.

But in her latest effort at self-promotion, Karimova took to Twitter (@gulnarakarimova) to tout the benefits of yoga and to personally demonstrate some of its more common positions -- the Downward-Facing Dog, the Plow, the Cobra, and the Angry Cat, among others.

But while yoga certainly seems to agree with the 40-year-old Karimova, who looks quite fit in a pair of short black shorts and a pink T-shirt, her outreach efforts are receiving mixed reviews inside Uzbekistan, according to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service.

While some reactions on Twitter welcomed her advocacy of the ancient discipline, which is credited with improving strength, flexibility, and spiritual well-being, many said they were offended by her skimpy workout clothes and the prurient nature of some of the yoga poses, which they said overstepped the boundaries of propriety in her conservative Muslim country.

Cynics say the staggering scope of Karimova's extracurricular activities of late is a public-relations onslaught aimed at repairing an image tarnished by links to money-laundering in Switzerland and a scandal involving mobile-phone operator Uzdunrobita, as well as other alleged improprieties. Not to mention widespread reports of gross human rights violations routinely perpetrated inside the country by the Karimov regime.

There is even speculation that Karimova may be gearing up to run for president herself once her 74-year-old father, who's led the country since 1989, finally steps down.

"Big Papa" leaving anytime soon? Now that's a stretch.

-- Grant Podelco

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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