Naked Yoga is becoming increasingly popular worldwide due to its distinct nature and benefits.
If you’re curious to find out ‘what is Naked Yoga’ and ‘what is point of Naked Yoga practice?’
This article will guide you through everything you need to know about naked Yoga before trying it out. Learn how to prepare for your first class, what to expect during the session, and get answers to common questions and useful tips so that you can feel at ease and confident in your practice.
- What is Naked Yoga?
- Why Should You Practice Naked Yoga?
- Naked Yoga Controversy
- Ready to Try Naked Yoga? Here’s What to Expect.
- How to Get Ready for a Naked Yoga Class?
- 8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Naked Yoga
- Try These 3 Simple Yoga Poses While Naked
- Top Tips for a Naked Yoga Class
What is Naked Yoga?
Naked Yoga, known as ‘Nagna Yoga’ or ‘Vivastra Yoga’ in Sanskrit, is an ancient practice of doing Yoga poses without any clothing. This practice aims to foster body acceptance, and self-love, and help overcome clothing barriers. You can participate in naked Yoga individually or in groups. This Yoga practice promotes self-awareness, body acceptance, and a deeper connection with oneself and others. It challenges societal expectations about modesty and body image.
History Of This Naked Yoga Practice
Originating from ancient India, naked/nude Yoga was embraced by naked Sadhus or Naga Sadhu to detach from the material world and control the mind and body. By adopting this unique Yoga style, they aimed to achieve inner peace and avoid life’s desires. In their spiritual quest, these practitioners, known as Naga Sadhus, made nudity an integral part of their yogic practice.
This practice has been a spiritual tradition since early times and is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, written between the 7th – 10th centuries by the Greek geographer Strabo. According to Bhagavata Purana, people in a renounced life stage may avoid wearing clothes, only using a loincloth when necessary. Monks should not accept anything other than a danda (staff) and kamandula (water pot)
In the modern era, figures like Blanche de Vries and Marguerite Agniel pioneered Naked Yoga.
Did you know? When Alexander the Great arrived in India during the 4th century BC, he brought Greek scholars who wrote about Indian culture. One companion, Onesicritus, mentioned in Strabo’s book 15 (Sections 63-65) that Indian female yogis practiced various Yoga poses – naked while standing, sitting, or lying down – in seclusion.
Naked Yoga’s Journey from East to West
- Naked Yoga is believed to have roots in Switzerland and Germany through a movement called “lebensreform”. Since the late 19th century, lebensreform has played a significant role in combining Yoga and nudity.
- In the early 20th century, the term “gymnosophy” was used by groups practicing nudity, nude Yoga, meditation, and asceticism.
- In the 1960s, Western countries adopted this form of Yoga into the hippie movement to promote well-being. Institutes like California’s Esalen Institute featured in the 1968 film “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” and other notable examples like “The Harrad Experiment and Naked Yoga” in 1974 contributed to its popularity.
- Nowadays, naked Yoga is increasingly popular in Western societies where social nudity is more accepted. The practice emphasizes respect, consent, and boundaries, ensuring participants feel safe and comfortable—it should not be confused with sexual activities.
Why Should You Practice Naked Yoga?
Naked Yoga is a powerful practice that promotes body acceptance and self-love. By removing ego-driven fancy clothing barriers, you can connect with your body and practice on a deeper level.
Nude Yoga offers freedom and liberation, especially for those healing from body-related trauma or insecurities. Besides the emotional benefits, nude Yoga also improves physical health by increasing flexibility and circulation and reducing skin irritation. Going “au naturel” shifts focus from external distractions to the core of your practice.
For instance, a New York-based Naked Yoga school observes that newcomer students approach classes hesitantly, but afterward feel focused, calm, and at ease with vulnerability.
But, why practice it naked exactly? Many enjoy breaking societal norms, experiencing more freedom, and escaping the expectation of fancy Yoga clothes. There is no need for fancy Yoga pants when everyone is naked. If you’re at ease showing and being in your skin, naked Yoga can feel like a natural fit. It attracts those who enjoy other nudist activities and makes sense for those who prefer lounging at home without clothes. Moreover, gaining confidence in a vulnerable position like a nude downward-facing dog among strangers helps overcome other concerns. Naked Yoga offers a non-sexual environment with studios ensuring policies to prevent unwanted advances.
Naked Yoga Controversy
- Naked Yoga aims to break free from worldly distractions, helping practitioners calm their minds, which is the ultimate goal of Yoga and is often hard to achieve.
- Nude Yoga faces criticism for defying social norms, particularly when classes include both men and women.
- Advocates argue that this form of Yoga is an excellent way to reach the pinnacle of Yoga practice.
- Though newcomers may initially struggle to concentrate, supporters believe that after 15-20 minutes, discomfort fades and leads to a refreshing Yoga experience.
Ready to Try Naked Yoga? Here’s What to Expect.
If you’re participating in a nude Yoga session for the first time, you might be curious about what lies ahead. Keep the following points in mind:
1. Everyone will be Naked
You’ll be practicing Yoga with fellow participants who are also nude, so be ready to both observe and be observed. Everyone’s in the same situation, so it’s easier to feel comfortable in your own skin. Many studios dim the lights for added comfort and clothes are removed gradually to follow a ritual.
2. Concentrate on your breathing
Rather than getting caught up in feelings of unease or self-awareness, try to direct your focus toward your breathing and your practice.
3. Touching is prohibited
Naked Yoga sessions are not designed for sexual purposes, and it’s important that attendees respect each other’s boundaries by refraining from inappropriate contact.
4. Pose adjustments are available
If a particular pose makes you feel uneasy or if you require an adjustment, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from the instructor. A certified, naked instructor leads you through various poses, focusing on mind-body-breath connection rather than awkward stretches or self-consciousness. Participants often forget they’re nude during this powerful practice.
5. Caters to all genders
Most classes welcome all genders, aged 18 and up, and are beginner-friendly. Male-or female-only options exist for those preferring to be with similar gender expressions.
6. Couples’ Naked Yoga
Couples can practice naked Yoga together, with exercises promoting openness and teamwork. A popular couple’s pose involves one partner wrapping their legs around the other’s waist while breathing deeply.
How to Get Ready for a Naked Yoga Class?
If you’re thinking of attending a naked Yoga session, here are some tips to help you prepare:
1. Find a suitable Naked Yoga class
Do your research beforehand to locate a reliable, non-sexual naked Yoga class in your area. Look for studios or teachers that have good reviews and create a safe and supportive atmosphere. For online classes, make sure you can switch off your camera if desired.
2. Bring a Yoga mat and towel
It is highly recommended to bring your own Yoga mat for this session and consider carrying a towel to put on your mat if you tend to perspire, since the sweat not absorbed by your clothes may cause your mat to become slippery.
3. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water before and after the class to stay hydrated and bring a water bottle with you.
4. Wear something comfortable
Put on loose, comfortable clothing to and from the class, as you will be doing Yoga in the Nude.
5. Practice good hygiene
Shower and groom yourself beforehand to make sure you feel clean and refreshed.
6. Practice Nude meditation
To get used to moving while naked, try a 5-minute nude meditation first and focus on bodily sensations. Achieving a relaxed state will aid in performing Yoga poses smoothly.
8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Naked Yoga
Though practicing naked Yoga may seem odd or uncomfortable, there are several benefits to doing Yoga in the nude. Here are a few advantages:
1. Promotes Positive Body Image
Body image concerns affect everyone, not just teenage girls. Many men feel dissatisfied with their looks, though they might not express it openly. Negative body image can harm mental health for both genders, often resulting from bullying or social media pressure.
Regular Naked Yoga helps people feel less embarrassed and insecure, leading to increased self-love, self-acceptance, and confidence. In a safe environment, people with low self-esteem can appreciate their bodies without shame, freeing themselves from negative emotions.
2. Unrestricted Movement
Clothes can be uncomfortable during exercises, even if you’re not wearing tight outfits. Dealing with sweaty shirts or awkward wedgies can be distracting. Practicing Yoga naked eliminates these issues and allows for better freedom of movement—essential for stretching-based activities like Yoga.
3. Enhanced Mindfulness & Self-Awareness
Yoga boosts mindfulness by focusing on breath and body movements. Being naked heightens awareness further by intensifying physical sensations—feeling the room temperature, the mat’s texture, or sweat on your skin. Heightened senses lead to a more immersive experience. Removing societal distractions like clothing helps us focus on the key yogic principle: the shared essence of all living things that inspires peace and spirituality.
4. Reduced Stress & Anxiety
Exercise lowers cortisol levels and releases endorphins. Naked Yoga amplifies these mental health benefits by improving self-confidence and body acceptance, thus reducing anxiety and fostering positivity.
5. Boosted Immunity
Stress significantly impacts physical health, including the immune system. Managing stress and cortisol levels is crucial for strong immunity; regular mindfulness practices like nude Yoga help maintain this balance.
6. Increased Libido & Stamina
Although not overtly sexual or erotic, naked Yoga can boost libido and stamina. These enhancements result from improved self-esteem, body image, and comfort in one’s own skin. Practitioners feel liberated, radiant, and deeply connected to their true selves – which is incredibly attractive.
7. Healthier skin
Clothes can trap sweat and bacteria, causing skin irritation or infections. Nude Yoga reduces these risks since no clothing traps sweat or bacteria against the skin.
8. Contributes to a More Peaceful World
Through self-love and acceptance, naked Yoga cultivates compassion that extends beyond the individual practitioner. The positive effects ripple outwards, making the world a kinder and more peaceful place. Yoga Undressed embodies this idea by using clothing-free practices to harness our sacred life force while celebrating freedom from shame.
Try These 3 Simple Yoga Poses While Naked
- Child Pose: A child’s pose is an important asana in any Yoga class. In a workout surrounded by other naked people, a child’s pose is a safe resting place for you to take a few deep breaths if you begin to feel uncomfortable at any point in time. This pose stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles while also calming the mind. Practicing this pose naked allows for increased freedom of movement.
- Downward Facing Dog Pose: Downward Facing Dog is included in most Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga classes, so you may already be familiar with this posture. This pose strengthens the arms and legs, while also stretching the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and hands. Performing this pose naked eliminates any restriction from clothing, allowing for deeper stretching and more efficient muscle engagement.
- Chair Pose: Chair Pose is a great posture to include in a beginner’s class, but may not be as accessible for advanced students. This pose is beneficial for the thighs and glutes, while also engaging the core and upper body. Practicing chair pose naked promotes better body awareness, as it allows you to feel your muscles working without any barrier from clothing.
Top Tips for a Naked Yoga Class
- Get comfortable with nudity by practicing naked meditation.
- Make sure the room is cozy to avoid feeling cold while nude.
- Choose instructors who provide a secure and supportive environment.
- Maintain proper hygiene before and after a nude Yoga session.
- Bring a towel to cover your mat for hygiene and to place it over your private parts for extra comfort and modesty.
- Avoid staring, inappropriate touching, or making offensive comments.
- Focus on your breathing and movements, rather than distractions or discomfort.
- Keep curtains closed for privacy from outside viewers.
What is naked Yoga called?
Naked Yoga is precisely as intriguing as it sounds – practicing Yoga in your birthday suit. Whether you’re joining a studio filled with like-minded individuals or reaping the numerous benefits of nude yoga in the privacy of your own home, this unique form of Yoga promises an invigorating and liberating experience.
Why do Yoga au naturel?
- It’s comfortable and unrestricted, allowing easy movement during stretches.
- Feeling free and genuine, there’s no hiding behind layers.
- It helps embrace body self-acceptance, breaking from appearance expectations.
- Promoting mutual respect and healthy sexuality, stripping down loses its sexual association.
- Embrace empowerment by stepping out of your comfort zone and boosting confidence.
Is there a unique advantage to Naked Yoga over Yoga in clothes?
Naked Yoga, whether done alone or in a group, may offer extra psychological benefits compared to traditional Yoga. Studies show that naturist activities lead to greater life satisfaction, improved body image, and increased self-esteem. Practicing naked Yoga in a group also helps with better alignment, as instructors can easily spot incorrect muscle engagement or poor form.
What does a group naked Yoga session look like?
Each class varies based on the instructor and Yoga style, ranging from soothing Yin to intense Vinyasa. Naked Yoga can be demanding or relaxing. Classes differ across studios, typically beginning with mat setup and the instructor discussing rules and safety. After the cue to undress, the practice starts. There are usually 10 to 15 minutes of social time after class where dressing or remaining nude is optional.
What should I bring to a nude Yoga class?
Bring a Yoga mat and a positive mindset. For hygiene, studios typically don’t rent mats. Consider a mat towel for extra cushioning and comfort. Clothing is irrelevant; come as you like.
Are naked Yoga classes gender-specific?
Various classes cater to different groups. Some are exclusively for men, women, or specific communities. However, an increasing number of studios offer inclusive co-ed nude Yoga sessions for all genders, orientations, religious backgrounds, and beliefs.
Is a naked Yoga class sexual?
No, naked Yoga aims to break the link between nudity and sex. Various schools enforce strict rules for instructors and attendees, ensuring consensual physical contact. You can choose not to receive physical adjustments during sessions. Unsolicited compliments, comments on appearances, intense staring, and dating attempts are typically prohibited.
What if I get an erection?
Erections are a normal bodily function and not always sexual. They occur less often than people assume. If it happens, don’t worry – simply ignore it or assume a resting pose until it passes.
As you’ve already seen how naked Yoga helps release life’s constraints and offers freedom.
You don’t need to be a nudist to appreciate naked Yoga or similar workouts. If you’re interested in trying naked Yoga, start by researching reputable studios with clear guidelines for the class. Consider your comfort level, such as participating in a mixed-gender class or wearing minimal clothing, and choose from available options. Don’t forget your own mat and towel.
If group naked Yoga seems overwhelming, try it privately at home. Remember, naked Yoga isn’t about being seen; it’s an introspective journey like all forms of Yoga.
So, undress, grab your mat and towel, and give it a go!