Naked yoga has emerged as a popular wellness and body positive trend over the last few years, boasting increased body confidence and empowerment. Just as you’d imagine, naked yoga is exactly that- practicing yoga, butt-naked. Here we’ll take a closer look at this practice, perhaps seemingly terrifying from the outside, and examine the benefits that naked yoga claims to have.
Nudity is natural.
For any brave souls who wish to venture into a naked yoga class, the first thing you’ll have to wrap your head around is that nudity in its essence is natural, not sexual. Naked yoga is part of a movement to bring us back to our roots, where we reject the common mentality that the naked body is sexual or even dirty, and embrace our bodies as well as others in a desexualized space.
Seeing is believing.
On the outside, naked yoga may just seem like a marketing gimmick, similar to other trendy hybrid yogas like cat yoga or goat yoga. However, nudity has actually been used for thousands of years in spiritual practices to shed material attachments. In its modern comeback, naked yoga is working to fight fat-phobia and body shame that so many of us struggle with. One of the main ways it does this is by simply giving us opportunities to see our bodies. As we practice yoga without the restriction of clothing, we are able to see every muscle, stretch mark, wrinkle, hair, etc. After awhile it becomes quite simply, less of a big deal. The next natural progression comes body acceptance and eventually self-kindness, learning to love your body with all its imperfections.
Naked yoga for body confidence
Unlike many of the traditional yoga classes we see today, naked yoga attracts a huge range of people from all walks of life. Willow Merveille, founder of Naked in Motion in NYC and Boston explains the importance of inclusivity in her studios. For Willow, naked yoga is a tool to develop a kinder relationship with the mind and body.
She explains, “Your body is awesome and deserves care and love. Not the body you used to have or the one you wish you had, but the one you’re in right in this moment. If you are trying to change parts of your body, that’s okay, but change happens most effectively with self-compassion, rather than the criticism that comes with pursuing “fitness goals” in this age of exercise fanaticism. My only hope is that you will have a liberating and empowering experience. If you have one moment of self-compassion, one kind thought about yourself during our classes, you've accomplished a lot. And if it takes you a few classes to get there, that's okay too.”
Are you ready to try naked yoga? Studios are popping up all over the place; if you can muster up the courage, we highly recommend you give this very different, yet empowering experience a shot! After all, we were all born naked, so what’s the big deal?