48495783 - naked yoga. studio image of instructor talking to woman

In recent years, yoga has grown so much in popularity that innovators are constantly creating new ways in which to practice it. One of those more unusual ways is a class in New York City that offers naked vinyasa courses, where yoga participants take a yoga class whilst being fully naked.

The class, named Bold & Naked, was based on the idea that students should focus on celebrating their bodies, and reports have claimed it is not intended to be sexually evocative. Vanessa Kennedy, a naked yoga class attendee, told Reuters, “There are a lot of things that separate us in a normal yoga class, like what brand of yoga clothing you’re wearing or how you look when you’re wearing it. But when we’re naked, it’s like we’re all the same.” The studio also writes on its website: “While many equate being naked with sex, this couldn’t be further from the truth in a naked yoga class. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and the amazing confidence that comes with it. Practicing yoga naked frees you from negative feelings about your body and allows [you] to be more accepting and deeper connected with yourself and the world around you.” 

The studio charges $25 for naked yoga classes in a co-ed format, and gender segregated classes are also available. Bold & Naked, which is the brainchild of co-owner Joschi Schwarz, says that students should expect teachers to hand-administer postural corrections, just as they would in clothed classes. They also explain that partner work is also sometimes involved in the classes’ vinyasa flow sequences. It is firmly explained that any actions of a sexual nature will not be tolerated, and anyone who does lean towards this is asked to leave the class, and will not be allowed back in the future.

Their website explains with regards to those expecting anything more than a yoga class: “Don’t waste your time. The energy in the room is very clear and members who come to Bold & Naked are very focused on celebrating their bodies through yoga.” Naked yoga has taken place in the United States since the 1960s, and has grown increasingly popular since then. A short documentary was even made about it in 1975, titled Naked Yoga, and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary, Short Subjects category. This particular practice of yoga is called ‘nagna yoga’ in Sankskrit, and has been in spiritual rotation since ancient times, whilst still being practiced by religious figures in India.