Naked yoga is a new movement growing more popular across the nation focused around self-love, body positivity, and fitness. What is it, you may ask? Well, the name is pretty self-explanatory; it’s yoga, but naked.
Your next question is probably something along the lines of, “Why would someone do that?” It’s perfectly understandable, as most people’s idea of fun isn’t sitting in a room with a bunch of naked people and doing yoga. But if you open your mind a bit, there’s a lot to love about naked yoga that can be easily overlooked. If you’re intrigued, here’s some tips on how to do naked yoga for the very first time, what you should keep in mind, and what to expect.
Yes, it’s the most stock-sounding advice you can give to someone trying something new for the first time, but it only got to be that way because it’s true. When you resolve to do a naked yoga workout for the first time, it’s not at all unreasonable to be apprehensive and nervous. Most people aren’t used to being naked around a bunch of people they don’t know, after all.
The worst thing you can do is to stress yourself out before going, though. Just breathe and accept it. Remember that there’s probably a few people in class who are going to be having the same crisis as you, so you’re not alone. Even those who are used to it weren’t at one point, so follow their example and keep your cool while you get used to it.
2. Focus Your Eyes
Even more concerning than your own nudity can be other people’s bodies. It’s also just common courtesy not to be leering at the other students. For this reason, it’s a good idea to find something for your eyes to focus on while you’re there.
It could be your mat, a pile of clothes, the ceiling, a light; just about anything besides other people. Until you’re a bit more comfortable in the class environment, this strategy can help distract you from the reality of having naked people flanking you on all sides. Even after you’ve gotten some experience, it can still be helpful if you’re ever feeling a bit uncomfortable.
One thing you can do to help alleviate some of your fears is to research the class beforehand. For instance, what’s their policy on clothes? Is it just clothing optional or is nudity mandatory? What kind of naked yoga poses could they expect students to do, especially beginners? Is it a class for those who are already experienced with regular yoga?
Knowledge is power, and feeling powerful is part of a naked yoga workout. Having a better idea of what you’re getting into before you show up to class can be a real confidence booster, and it’s just good to be informed.
4. Make Peace with Yourself
A lot of the anxiety that comes from naked yoga is invariably rooted in our own self-consciousness. To counteract this, the best thing you can do is to make peace with yourself, the way you look, and how you feel about your body.
This doesn’t mean you should instantly like how you look if you didn’t before. In fact, you don’t even need to. The key is to simply accept it, and accept the fact that there’s nothing wrong with that. Love it or hate it, that’s your body, and accepting that will make it a lot easier to strip down in front of others. It’s great for your overall self-esteem, too.
5. Practice Before Class
A great way to help overcome your inhibitions is to practice some naked yoga poses at home before you go to class. Getting to be more comfortable doing the movements without clothes on can make you feel more prepared once it’s time to do it in a group setting. It can also get you feeling better about being naked overall.
Just like with researching, practicing different poses in the nude prior to class can help you gain confidence in yourself and your body in a safe location. While a reputable yoga class is designed as a safe space to work, it would be an understatement to say it can still be intimidating. Trying things out on your own helps to acclimate yourself to it.
With any luck, these five tips should be able to help you through your first class of naked yoga. It’s a challenging thing to do, especially for a beginner, but it’s a rewarding experience all the same.
Naked yoga is a great way to exercise and helps to promote body positivity and self-acceptance. Whether at home or in a group setting, it’s definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of yoga or just looking for something new and exciting to try.