Why I Started Teaching Naked Yoga…

DIVUS CXI – Heel Extension. Photo Credit: Jon Deshler Photography

Naked yoga (Sanskrit nagna yoga or vivastra yoga) is the practice of yoga without clothes.

When one thinks of naked yoga, there are any number of images that the mind conjures up. Unfortunately, if you’ve never tried the practice, most of the images have nothing to do with the actual experience. It can be challenging, confronting, nourishing and rewarding. Before I tell you how I started it’s important understand naked yoga is not a fad. It’s been around as long as yoga has… that’s some 4000+ years.

Yoga has been practiced naked since ancient times. In the Bhagavata Purana it says:

”A person in the renounced order of life may try to avoid even a dress to cover himself. If he wears anything at all, it should be only a loincloth, and when there is no necessity, a sannyāsī should not even accept a daṇḍa. A sannyāsī should avoid carrying anything but a daṇḍa and kamaṇḍalu.” [1]

As my father tells it, I used to run around as a child, pluck my diaper off and try to run outside naked. With that said, I was what most would call a late bloomer. It wasn’t until my junior year in high school my voice dropped and I sprouted up. As a result, I had a low self image. Most of that transformed as a result of doing yoga and practicing gymnastics.

In 2007 while in Los Angeles teaching I had this crazy thought… “I love being nude and I love yoga, why not do them at the same time?” I ran an ad and a week later I hosted my first class. Five students attended the class facilitated in my living room. As simple as it was, it was a huge step to break out of self shame we’re taught through societal conditioning.

As you might imagine with anything that’s not common there’s a lot of re-education that has to happen to get some people to wrap their minds around it. I found myself researching the benefits of naked yoga to answer everyone’s “why naked!?” question. So here are just a few of the many benefits… Aside from improving participants self-image and reducing body shame issues it also:

1. Lowers risk of infection: When clothes are soaked with sweat, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause various infections. Nudity lowers your risk to these harmful fungi and bacteria.

2. Improves fertility: Wearing tight elastic underwear can restrict the blood flow to the penis and genital area slowing killing semen.

3. Relaxes you: Nakedness is a sort of therapeutic massage for depression, low-self esteem and other mental problems. Lying naked helps to improve your blood flow, detoxifies your system

4: No ‘Red’ marks – Improves Circulation: Being free from your clothing will help you prevent those red pressure marks left by your too tight bra or panty elastic band.

“Liberate Your Mind and Your Body”

To learn more about Naked Yoga or attend a workshop visit: Go Bare Yoga.

Check out Naked Yoga Wiki for more info on the history.

Namaste

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