What to Expect at a Naked Yoga Class

Why some yogis practice naked, and what a naked yoga class is like

Man practicing yoga on a rock, South Africa
Hans Neleman / Getty Images

Naked yoga is an alternate form of yoga to explore. Yoga is often about self-acceptance and individual growth, and for some, naked yoga is another way to help promote body positivity and feel empowered.

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.

Why Practice Yoga Naked?

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

If you are very comfortable in (and showing) your skin, you will probably feel right at home in a naked yoga class. Many 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, naked 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.

Naked yoga is a non-sexual environment, and most studios have policies to protect students from unwanted sexual attention.

What Happens in a Naked Yoga Class?

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 would otherwise 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, beginning with clothes on and then removing them. There are typically rules around touching others and making inappropriate comments.

Where to Find Naked Yoga Classes

A few big cities have yoga studios devoted to the practice of naked yoga. In other communities, traditional studios may offer the occasional (or regular) naked yoga class. Do a search for these options in your community, or call your local studio to ask if naked yoga is available there or if they know of a place that offers it.

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. There are many options for streaming yoga classes, and you can choose to do one of those without clothing, or look for a class designed to be done naked. Specifically designed naked yoga classes are available and will include dialogue that helps promote self-acceptance.

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.