Naked Yoga 101 + 5 Reasons To Bare Your Asana In Class This Year

If you've heard the term ‘naked yoga,' you likely thought it's just the latest fad and has nothing to do with yoga's true roots.

But surprisingly, this isn't the case at all.

The truth is yoga has been practiced naked since ancient times, serving as a spiritual practice of renunciation. 

But is modern-day naked yoga the same? Or has it turned into a hippie, new-age, or toxic spiritual movement?

Let's find out!


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In Sanskrit, naked yoga is known as Nagna yoga or Vivastra yoga. You do the same poses as in other yoga styles; the only difference is you practice them in the buff.

Naked yoga has existed as a spiritual practice for centuries. It was first mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana (written c. 800–1000 AD), which states the following:

“A person in the renounced order of life may try to avoid even a dress to cover himself.”

It's common for people on spiritual paths to renounce their possessions. However, the Bhagavata Purana suggests that renouncing your clothes is integral to this practice.

In his book, Ancient Greek geographer Strabo also wrote about his encounters with Indian yogis. He described how they practiced standing, sitting, and reclining naked postures.

5 benefits of naked yoga 1. Increased body awareness 2. Heightened sensory experience 3. Enhanced self acceptance and confidence 4. Deeper connection with oneself and nature 5. Liberation from societal norms and judgements.

Nowadays, naked yoga is becoming a widespread practice that promotes body positivity, self-acceptance, and a deeper connection with oneself.

This yoga style is nothing about fitness but all about feeling sensual, liberated, confident, and beautiful in your skin.

Here’s what you will gain by giving nude yoga a go!

  • Increased body awareness – When you are nude during yoga, you are more aware of yourself and your body. Without the distraction of clothes, you can better observe your alignment, movement, and posture.
  • Heightened sensory experience – Being unclothed can increase sensitivity to touch, temperature, and other physical sensations, leading to a more immersive experience.
  • Enhanced self-acceptance and confidence – Practicing yoga naked can help you become more comfortable and accepting of your body. While it will initially feel very uncomfortable and awkward, it can help foster a positive body image over time.
  • Deeper connection with oneself and nature – Not only does naked yoga help you become more connected to yourself . Practicing it in a natural setting like a beach or forest can also enhance your connection with nature and the elements.
  • Liberation from societal norms and judgments – Many people like naked yoga as it allows them to break free from the constraints of societal expectations of clothing and appearance. This can feel highly liberating and empowering as you defy conventional beauty standards and rise above body shaming. 

While naked yoga can be very beneficial, there are precautions and preparations you should take to ensure a positive experience. 

While finding an instructor you resonate with is essential in all styles of yoga practice, it is especially vital with naked yoga. 

Naked yoga instructors should feel comforting, welcoming, and inclusive. They should not promote comparison or competition or sexualize the practice. 

Additionally, they should create a calm, supportive environment. This could be by dimming the lights, playing soothing music, or setting the mood with candles.

You might feel more comfortable attending a gender-specific class. Luckily, many naked yoga classes are men-only or women-only.

Before attending a naked yoga class, you might want to try it out at home to see how you feel. 

In fact, I recommend at least a few sessions of private at-home naked yoga practice before you experience it in a group setting.

This will help you prepare mentally and emotionally for the experience of being naked in front of a group of people – and seeing others in the nude. 

Another way to mentally prepare yourself is to reflect on why you're choosing to practice naked yoga. Set positive intentions for your practice, such as:

  • Cultivating self-love
  • Embracing vulnerability
  • Deepening your connection with your body

Another thing you should consider before trying naked yoga is your comfort level around nudity and physical touch. 

Think about what feels safe and appropriate for you when practicing naked yoga. 

A good naked yoga instructor will create a space for you to communicate your boundaries. Chat with them before class, letting them know it is your first time and voicing your concerns.

It's totally normal to feel uncomfortable and awkward the first time you attend a naked yoga class. But if you keep at it, it will gradually feel more enjoyable and empowering.

Here are a few things that can help you have the best experience:

  • Focus on breath and movement – Use your breath as an anchor to calm your mind and stay present. Pay attention to the sensations of your breath, letting it guide you through each yoga pose.
  • Respect others' space and boundaries – Be mindful of the comfort levels of other practitioners. Avoid staring at other people, as it may make them feel insecure.
  • Embrace vulnerability – Remind yourself that it's normal to feel vulnerable or self-conscious when practicing naked yoga for the first time. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and let go of any expectations or judgments about your body.
  • Listen to your body and practice mindfulness – Practice being present and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This will help you stay grounded and centered, allowing you to experience each pose with full awareness and acceptance.

Still sitting on the fence about naked yoga? Here are five reasons why you should give it a go this year!

If you don't feel good about the way you look, you might hate the idea of naked yoga. However, many naked yoga practitioners comment on how much the practice has improved their self-confidence and self-image. 

Practicing yoga in a room full of other naked people reminds you that our bodies all look different and we all have imperfections. 

This is particularly beneficial if you often get caught up in the facade of perfection on social media. Attending a naked yoga class can serve as a refreshing reality check of ‘real bodies.' 

Shedding clothing during yoga practice takes guts and courage. While it feels scary initially, you will feel an incredible sense of liberation, freedom, and empowerment as soon as you do it. 

Think about it; once you can comfortably do downward dog in the nude, there's not much else that can scare you!

During naked yoga, you become free from the constraint of clothing, which heightens all sensations and movements. You might notice your breath and the subtle nuances of movement within the asanas more than usual. 

This heightened sensory experience deepens your mind-body connection and sense of intimacy. It also fosters a more profound sense of presence and mindfulness.

In the modern world, nudity is often frowned upon and viewed as wrong despite being completely natural. So, naked yoga offers a way to challenge the societal taboos around nudity and the human body. 

What's more, naked yoga has nothing to do with sex. It celebrates nudity and the human body in a non-sexualized context, promoting body positivity, self-acceptance, and sensuality.

The welcoming and accepting nature of naked yoga communities is one of the top reasons yogis keep practicing nude yoga.

Naked yoga communities can inspire you to embrace nudity in a safe and supportive environment. Through nude yoga, you break free from societal norms and expectations and learn to embrace your authentic self without shame or inhibition.

Has your opinion on naked yoga changed?

I'll admit I was highly skeptical when I first heard about nude yoga. I wrote it off as a fad and another superficial, westernized take on the Eastern spiritual practice. 

But naked yoga has been around since the start. If ancient Indian yogis found it liberating to practice yoga in the nude, perhaps we can, too.

Even if you can't find the courage to strip off in public, why not give it a go in your home practice?

Some online yoga studios, online yoga teacher training programs, and brands that we write about may offer us a small percentage should you decide to purchase after reading our content. Thank you for enabling us to exist!

Gemma
Gemma

Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

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