In this article, we’re going to dive deep into everything nude yoga! You may feel intrigued or super weirded out.
Nude resorts, spas, beaches, and classes of different types are held all over the world…. Why should yoga be any different?
Nudity, in this form, is a celebration to connect us all back to our core; our flesh. At our roots, we are created of the same matter.
In a nude yoga class, we celebrate our bodies and the energy we hold within them. It is a great way to celebrate yourself and free your mind, body, and soul from socialized perceptions about the body.
Especially in the sense of what is right about the body, or how the body should look or feel.
In this article you will learn:
- Why A Nude Yoga Class
- What To Expect In A Nude Yoga Class
- Benefits Of A Nude Yoga Class
- Where To Take A Nude Yoga Class
A quick note before we start
Let’s first be honest.
This can go one or two ways.
- We can really dig deep into some beautiful expressions of yoga through a nude yoga class, co-ed, or non co-ed.
- We can also dig into a world of porn where naked yoga classes are a form of arousal.
You’ve probably already guessed which direction this article is leaning towards, but be your own guide on how else you personally choose to explore the topic.
Let’s talk about nude yoga classes as an extension of your spiritual journey to self!
Why a Nude Yoga Class?
Upon first beginning to research nude yoga classes, my search pulled up erotic sites, articles, and quite frankly porn. Yet, I knew there was something deeper to be explored regarding nude yoga classes and I consciously chose to keep scrolling beyond the rest.And I am happy I did! I found a naked yoga community based out of New York City, Naked in Motion. New York Magazine’s The Cut, did a visual piece to explore the ideology and inspiration for the class.
Naked in Motion’s fearless leader, Willow Merveille, spoke candidly about her choice to lead events in a nude yoga class style to the public.
She expressed the discrimination and lack of representation displayed in traditional, clothed yoga classes that inspired her to approach to building naked yoga class community.
Merveille expressed that typical clothed yoga classes showcase a certain type of body and archetype to represent yoga; white, slim, cisgender women.
Merveille acknowledged that although she fits this more accepted archetype, she does not wish to perpetuate an environment or community with the same viewpoints. In her naked yoga class, she expressed seeing more body types, genders, sexual orientations, and ages!
Merveille spoke to the topics of body shaming motivated by the likes of fatphobia and a societal collective disgust projected onto real bodies.
Her intention for creating a nude yoga class community came from the understanding that if we see our bodies more in their natural form – wrinkles, stretch marks, rolls and all, it becomes less of a big deal. From Merveille’s words, the next step is acceptance and self-kindness.
She also shed light on how to keep these spaces feeling safe and non-sexual. Merveille’s nude yoga class was led in a desexualized space, meaning none of the community events or classes were sexual or sexual themed.
A set of community rules were spoken before every event to protect the integrity of the community. There was also a strong consent policy shared with event participants.
If a participant did not desire touch or to even be asked permission for touch throughout the class, red cards could be used as a form on nonconsent. The participant would place the red card on the floor and their boundaries were respected and honored.
What was interesting is how far Merveille and team of Naked in Motion went to honor the safe space of the nude yoga class community.
Even compliments were not allowed in the space. Statements such as “you have pretty eyes” were forbidden to prevent sexualized feelings or actions within the space.
We do have to be mindful that it is a nude yoga class, and the body is fully exposed. There are certain things that cannot be managed as easily as no compliments or a system for consent.
The body is filled with nerves that inspire the body’s actions beyond our control at times such as erect nipples or an erect penis. Merveille instructed her students to just ignore if someone experiences an erection.
Merveille described it as “not a big deal”. She believes it is important not just to be accepting of how bodies look, but also how bodies function.
Members of the class spoke of being incredibly nervous at their first class, even feeling the need to hide in the back. However, something about that intimate and up-close experience with their bodies was healing.
Sharing this expression in a safe space with others also on this healing journey only heightened their experience.
What To Expect in a Nude Yoga Class
Here are some things that you can expect or may want to think about before you take on a nude yoga class:
- Bringing your own props such as mat and towel are encouraged for obvious reasons.
- Mixed genders in a class (although Naked in Motion offered a diverse range of classes during their operation)
- Creation of a sacred and safe space
- No touching
- No compliments
- No sexualized manners or behaviour
- Strong forms of consent
- Starting the class clothed, and removing clothing as you get further into the class
- Promotion of complete self-acceptance
Benefits of A Nude Yoga Class
Pizer’s article invites those who already feel body positive to join a nude yoga class, as it will likely be a natural fit.
Yet, it is mentioned that the benefits are mostly felt by those who express a desire to create a deeper level of compassion and understanding for their bodies.
Another benefit could also be a deep sense of liberation that is felt through being naked in a space where you are not sexualized. This could go hand in hand with feeling increased confidence and self-esteem through spending more time nude.
Not to mention, the extra freedom that you have to move your body without the restrictions of clothing… who knows which asanas you might be able to get into?!
Your Body. Your Practice. Your way.
From personal experience, a nude yoga practice can be very freeing, even if you do it from the privacy of your own. The intimate time spent with my body has been invaluable. It greatly increased my self-compassion and gentleness toward myself.
In regards to my developing my practice, my naked practice allows me to see my body adapt, twist, and shift into a pose. It allows me a front-row seat to viewing where my body is making room and where my body could use more support.
Many testimonials from nude yoga class participants spoke about how freeing it felt to practice without worrying about your clothes and forgetting about what your belly looks like under your pants.
Although naked yoga classes are not sexualized, the environment is still intimate. You are on an intimate journey with your mind, body, and soul. And mostly the expression of yourself in your truest form.
Where To Take a Nude Yoga Class
After sifting through the search engine, reading testimonial articles, and informational pieces about nude yoga classes, here is a composes list of operating locations with current classes:
In-person private sessions
3. Doria Yoga
In-person and online
In-person and online
5. Naked Yoga
In-person and online
6. Gilbert Yoga
If you wish to see more options for naked yoga classes and hear more stories about the experience you receive in nude yoga classes, check out the Naked Yoga Alliance.
Practicing Nude Yoga
Trying new things can be scary and it can also be impactful for our growth and expansion. If you feel like you would be uncomfortable taking a class where you may see someone you know, try a class in a different city, state, or country.
Nude resorts and retreats are popular all over the world, many of which host activities such as nude yoga classes.
For some of us, practicing at home in privacy or an online instructed class may be enough of a stretch. Think about how much time you spend with yourself naked.
Do you enjoy your body? Do you enjoy the feeling of your skin to skin interaction?
When was the last time you embraced your body fully – outside of a shower, bathing, or the undressing to redress experience?
Mirror talking to our naked body is incredibly supportive for our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Giving yourself permission to continue this work in your nude yoga practice only elevates this level of healing and expansion. Wishing you well on your journey with self. Have fun exploring and accepting your body through a nude yoga class or practice!
Status of Naked in Motion
Unfortunately, Merveille expressed experiencing an extreme burnout after the rise of the global pandemic and ultimately decided to discontinue offerings and events for the time being.
All of the studios Naked in Motion held spaces for events were forced to close.
In addition to the global pandemic stressors, their Instagram was shut down due to “sexual content”. A ruling Merveille referred to as “bullshit” on a status update on Naked in Motion’s website.
This further speaks to the conversations and lack of acceptance surrounding the public scrutiny and shame of bodies int their raw form. A conversation nude yoga class instructors and students hope to change.
For now, Merveille has found a studio in Seattle for events and plans to do pop up events there and in other locations.
Her work will take more of a focus in the clothed world space as she expands her work in body compassion through her newest endeavor Soma Locus.
If you have an interest in experiencing the nature of a nude yoga class in your personal practice and wish to support Merveille’s work, Naked in Motion hosts a Patreon community.
You can support their continued mission and endeavors as well as begin your personal journey in a naked yoga practice there!
Check out the full video piece by New York Magazine, The Cut.