Before You Try a Nude Yoga Class

Man practicing yoga on a rock, South Africa
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Doing yoga in the nude is becoming increasingly popular, and it's gone way beyond some naked stretching in your living room. Though not quite mainstream yet, nude yoga classes are being offered in more diverse settings, including yoga studios and community centers, as well as private clubs.

As you might imagine, the venue of the class sets the tone and helps determine the clientele. There are many different motivations for practicing yoga nude, but a common thread is working on accepting the body in its natural state.

Available at Your Local Yoga Studio?

Naked yoga classes offered at yoga centers tend to be co-ed, with an emphasis on practicing unencumbered by the confines of clothing. The style of instruction will vary depending on the teacher. You're definitely going to want to bring your own yoga mat for this one, as well as a towel if you get sweaty, since the perspiration that is usually absorbed by your clothing can make your mat slippery.

Devotees of this type of nude class find liberation in practicing naked in a safe environment, which they insist is strictly non-sexual. The room is often dimmed to make students more comfortable, and clothing is sometimes removed ritualistically.

Many get a thrill from dabbling outside of society’s norms, as well as enjoying greater freedom of movement and liberation from the tyranny of cute, matching yoga outfits. There's no pressure to wear status yoga leggings when everyone is nude.

Members Only

Private groups that come together to do yoga in the nude tend to cater to gay men. Although these groups have some of the same interests as those mentioned above, notably accepting the body, freedom of movement, and the lure of the forbidden, the atmosphere in these classes can get sexually charged.

Classes, which are usually taught by certified yoga instructors (though this is unregulated, given the private nature of these organizations), often include partner work, so a certain level of comfort with touching other naked men is a must. And while wild orgies may not break out, most admit that it can be a pick-up scene.

Are Naked Yoga Classes for You?

If you are very comfortable in (and showing) your skin, you will probably feel right at home in a nude yoga class. A lot of people are motivated by the same urges that drive other nudist and naturist activities and lifestyles. After all, if you like to cook your dinner and watch TV naked, it doesn't make much sense to put on clothes for yoga.

However, nude yoga advocates feel that it's the students who don't feel entirely comfortable and want to work on their body image who stand to benefit the most. If you can feel confident doing a naked downward facing dog with a bunch of strangers, not much else will worry you. If you have a real desire to do naked yoga but can't quite bring yourself to strip off in public, start with your home practice.

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