Now that we have gotten your attention, let’s strip this topic down and delve into the exciting world of nagna yoga.
Who even knew that this was a thing, or is it one of the best-kept secrets of a bygone era?
Origins and History
The act of engaging naked yoga or vivastra yoga is a spiritual practice that has been in circulation since as early as the 7th century.
It is also mentioned in the ancient Bhagavata Purana scripts, which were composed in the years 800 – 1000 C.E. (How old is Yoga)
Ancient Indian philosophers, known as Gymnosophists, believed that items such as food and, in this instance, clothing, to be corrupting the mind from its pure thought process.
Modern man was responsible for its spike in popularity in the early 1960s. The culturist free-spirited group of individuals who referred to themselves as Hippies made this a widespread practice with their members.
1974 also saw the release of an educational documentary called Naked Yoga, which depicted the introduction of practicing yoga starkers by a group of women in Cyprus.
A Naked Yoga Class?
There are a few considerations to bear in mind when considering attending a physical naked yoga class.
Many yogis and yogini enthusiasts might ask straight out of the bat, like why? The most significant reasoning behind yoga practitioners’ transition to this phase of their journey is that they wish to feel more connected with themselves and also seek a more profound acceptance of their and other bodies in its most raw and natural form of all.
The practice is gaining more and more traction in the popularity arena. It can be classified as fully mainstream as yet, but if you look hard enough, you will find a studio or private group of practitioners in your area.
The class’s tone and setting are co-ed, which means that the classes are attended by both males and females alike. The class structure will be determined, like any other, by the personal style of the teacher and, in some cases, the experience level of the class attendees.
It is advisable perhaps to bring your own sticky mat or yoga mat. Your yoga attire normally absorbs the sweat, but sans clothing, you might, well drip sweat all over the mat. Just remember to give your mat a thorough cleaning after with a damp cloth and an antimicrobial detergent.
Some classes even dim the lights to create a more comfortable environment to the yogis and yoginis in the class, and clothing is not always shed in full, leaving you feeling exposed. Some classes are actually into the technique of removing clothing in a ritualistic manner as opposed to the former.
The aim and purpose of such a class are not to be deemed the go-to spot to pick up your next ex-girlfriend, but some of the energy might stimulate the senses in a sexually charged manner.
So you might find yourself wanting to go that route. Heck! It might make an exciting story to the grandchildren one day, but make a point of approaching your “next” when they are clothed and don’t attempt to approach them in a state of nature.
Some seasoned naked yoga practitioners might insist that the gains associated with practicing in the nude, is the most beneficial for individuals who do not feel body-confident. However, if you still find the thought of doing yoga in front of a bunch of strangers in your birthday suit, you must first try this in the safe sanctitude of your home.
Types of Naked Yoga Classes
There are three types of yoga classes available to suit every need:
This class type is attended by just males and predominantly by homosexual males. These individuals have their own beautiful way of communicating with each other. Not everyone might feel comfortable joining them in the class, as not everyone might be able to relate.
However, if you are a male and feel comfortable with yourself, there is absolutely no reason not to attend an all testosterone-based class. It might be slightly tricker for females as the instructor would be trained to facilitate the class so that the male species can benefit from it.
A class naturally attended by a female-only audience. This class might be slightly more daunting for both males and females.
The females in the class might not feel comfortable having a male counterpart attend the class. Other females might feel equal so that they might think that the stigma attached to a cliqué group, where they think they might compete with other females, might also not be suitable.
Lastly, this class might perhaps be the best idea and safest environment for all to attend a naked yoga class. Because there are both male and female counterparts, it might feel like safety in numbers approach for the shy yogi and yogini.
The hardest part might be the expectations one creates in their mind leading up to the very first class. Wondering when and where you would need to rid yourself from the safety of every piece of clothing can cause significant stress and excitement at the same time.
Yoga teachers know the challenges associated with joining a co-ed class and are excellent at managing and mitigating solutions. The class starts off with a set of rules, such as no staring and touching without permission.
Leniency is also shown to women and transgender folk, to allow them to be comfortable as well, in that they are permitted to keep their underwear on if preferred.
For the guys, hey, it is, of course, completely natural to get an erection. It is not something that you want to put on display for the entire yoga class to gape at. Don’t fret! The yoga teacher will explain to you exactly what your out is in this instance.
Engaging in naked yoga is beneficial to the yoga enthusiast for the following reasons:
Eliminating outside judgments. Shedding your clothes and leaving it on the floor, as you transport to a different place, is a metaphor to free your mind, body, and soul, of any such criticisms from a society that wants to force its idea of how you should be on you, wanting to confirm you to their standards.
This can be from both a mental and physical perspective. The world will find anything to judge you on. Your clothes, your car, how you live, the job that you do. And all the way straight to your belief system and even your deeply rooted values.
Uncladding in full, will leave all those judgments behind you, and leave your mind free to transport to a deeper connection with yourself, taking with it the stress and anxiety caused by outside factors.
It is not always as easy for every person to heed the advice of their friends and loved ones by simply switching off and ignoring them, etc. Focussing on yoga will take your mind away from this negativity.
Acceptance. Disrobing yourself either alone in the comfort zone of your home or private yoga space, or a yoga class will instill a new sense of recognition in yourself and your body.
We all tend to be super critical of ourselves, and no matter how many compliments we receive, if we are not of the self-belief that we look right or feel that we look good, nothing will be achieved.
We can all do with being a little kinder towards ourselves. Seek out the positive in yourself, instead of wanting to always focus on the sides and components that you are not satisfied with.
Confidence. Being bare in every sense of the word will make you feel liberated and inculcate thoughts of faith. The majority of people tend to sleep in the nude or just want around the house nude, so why should the practice of naked yoga not form part of this?
Safety in Numbers. If you believe that you are going to be ogled out by every other person in the class, think again. You will be pleasantly surprised that you will not feel sexualized by another man or woman, as hard as that might be for you to believe right this instant.
You are going to experience a refreshing outtake on how it feels not to be ogled at! Trust us; you will feel like you are in a parallel universe in the body of another version of yourself.
Naked Yoga Flow Poses
Some say it is very beneficial to engage in naked yoga, close to bedtime in the evening. When participating in yoga poses that are flowy, you will become more relaxed, preparing your entire being for a night of peaceful sleeping.
These poses are so great that you can do them while you are already in bed. Start by making the room comfortable, setting the mood, adding gentle music, changing the temperature setting, and even lighting some candles while making the rest of the room dark. And also adding sticks of incense in your favorite flavors that help you unwind and relax.
Setting the ambiance will set an excellent foundation for your nightly routine. Next, you can relax and prepare the body by applying aromatherapy lotions and creams, and massaging them deeply into your skin.
- Clear your bed by removing any items that might hamper your flow, such as clothes and duvets.
- Get into a seated position, crossing your legs, in the center of your mattress.
- Sit up straight, lengthening the spine and opening up the chest.
- Close your eyes, and place one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest, close to your heart.
- Let your mind flow and practice sets of deep inhaling and exhaling, utterly relaxing and forgetting about any other factors.
- With one exhale, begin the flows, by inhaling deeply and extending the arms fully above the head.
- Exhale by extending into a forward folding pose, over your crossed legs.
- Repeat a few times.
- With the last exhale and forward fold stretch, walk your hands to your body’s right side, stretching your left side.
- Repeat on the other side.
- With the last repetition, bring the body back to the center, then gently walk your hands back up, until you are in the seated position you started with.
- Remain seated, but switch legs so that the other foot is now in front.
- Sit up tall and go into a twist, from the tummy, and twist to the right side.
- Inhale and exhale in this position.
- Release on an exhale and repeat it on the left-hand side. Ensure that you sit up straight.
- On an exhale, return to the center, finish off by inhaling and extending the arms over the head, and end in a forward fold over the crossed legs.
Challenge yourself and give the experience a go of attending a naked yoga class. It is an experience that is packed with all the raw, vulnerable expectations you might have, yet, you will walk out of there feeling like a badass empowered. Namaste!
Quote of the day:
“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.”