If you feel that your clothing is restricting to your yoga practice or you want to practice yoga in the traditional way, consider giving nude yoga a try. Nude yoga allows you and your instructor to take a look at how your body moves during poses, without the need to stop and adjust clothing that might get in the way.
Reasons to Practice Nude Yoga
Nude yoga is intended to be an experience that breaks perceived boundaries and encourages yogis to develop a new appreciation for the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga.
According to Yoga.com and naked yoga instructor Wendy Tremayne, the goals of naked yoga are as follows:
- Allow for viewing proper alignment during poses
- Encourage an enhanced awareness of the body
- Eliminate concerns about negative body image
- Help participants develop self-esteem
- Allow greater freedom of movement without clothes
Nude yoga is not about sex, orgasms or the other participants. Like all forms of yoga, it is about the self and what you can find there.
Is it Right for You?
Before you sign up for a class, you'll want to make sure naked yoga is right for you. Generally, this form of yoga is best suited for people who agree with the following statements:
- "I have a serious interest in understanding the benefits of yoga."
- "I want to become more comfortable with my body."
- "I enjoy trying new things."
- "I understand the difference between nudity and sexual behavior."
Where Can You Practice Yoga in the Nude?
Many yoga studios in larger communities offer nude yoga classes that are intended for people with intermediate level yoga skills. However, if your studio doesn't have a class, you might need to speak with your fellow yogis to determine if there's enough interest to start a program. Since naked yoga is not quite mainstream, there's a good chance nobody's thought of offering this option before.
Popular Locations for Practicing
You may find naked yoga practiced more readily in the following contexts:
- In the home
- In a single-sex studio
- In a private studio
- In a studio or class dedicated to nude yoga practice
One word of caution: don't decide to practice nude yoga wherever you feel like it. In 2004, San Francisco's George Monty Davis earned the nickname "Naked Yoga Guy" for his insistence on striking various nude yoga poses on Fisherman's Wharf.
Locating a Class or Group
If you're hoping to find an established class or a group of like minded people, there are a few places you can look, in addition to the studio you may already attend:
- Meetup: There are several meetups dedicated to the practice of nude yoga. Search your area, or start a new meetup group of your own.
- Yoga magazines: Sites like Yoga Journal and Yoga Mag often list classes, directories and teachers. They may have listings for nude classes in your area.
- Yoga teacher directories: Nearly every major city publishes a list online of yoga teachers and studios. Look through yoga teacher directories within your area to help narrow your search.
If you have difficulty finding a teacher or a studio, you may also wish to begin your practice at home by using a naked yoga video.
Naked Yoga Etiquette Tips
Although nude yoga is a bit out of the ordinary, there are still a few rules you should follow when attending your first class:
- When it's time to remove your clothes, don't hesitate. Most nude yoga classes expect all participants to remain in the buff.
- Don't stare at your classmates. It's simply not polite.
- Be prepared to work. Nude yoga is just as physically challenging as any other type of yoga class.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about the best way to perform a particular pose.
- Don't let your discomfort about being naked keep you from enjoying the class.
- Shower before arriving.
- Bring your own towel and yoga mat.
Open Your Mind
Nearly all forms of yoga demand an open mind and an open heart to take the practice seriously, and nude yoga is no different. Leave your ego and your inhibitions at the door and step into a completely new and liberating way to practice.