and I have seen the ocean
Since I washed my mind
and my body, I too,
am new, each moment new.
My teacher told me one thing:
Live in the soul.
When that was so,
I began to go naked and dance.
1. It Honors the Body and Encourages Positive Body Image
Naked yoga helps you discover an entirely new way of looking at your own body, inspiring you to take pride and pleasure in your unique physique and capabilities. It teaches you to embrace your imperfections and open your heart to yourself and to the world with courage and confidence. For people who suffer from low self-esteem and poor body image, when they practice without clothing in a safe, nurturing environment, they come to appreciate their bodies and understand that their feelings of shame are not their own, but a kind of inherited mind-state that comes as a result of societal judgments. Naked yoga helps anyone who wishes to be free of the emotional shackles that prevent us from celebrating all that we are, and all that we can be.
2. It Furthers the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
Well-crafted naked yoga practices remove any sense of restriction from clothing, promoting a greater sense of freedom, confidence, and an enhanced appreciation for the body. Seeing and feeling the body as it stretches and moves from one pose to the next results in a more mindful, sensual and connected practice. And when we are connected to ourselves, we are able to cultivate an inner awareness that leads us to a place where we can transcend earthly concerns and embrace a higher consciousness. Also, when we consider the role that clothing has played in society, it seems to be in direct opposition to the spirit of yoga, which speaks to “oneness” and union. By design, clothing reminds us of our differences, and serves as a distraction that leads us away from a central yogic principal: the commonality of all living things, which inspires peace, compassion and dedication to spirit.
3. It Has Innumerable Health Benefits
Aside from the well-known physiological benefits from practicing yoga, stress reduction, increased energy, enhanced overall strength, stamina and flexibility, improved respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine and brain function, naked yoga practitioners experience greater self-acceptance, appreciation and self-actualization. Feeling good psychologically is a powerful immune-booster, and everyone knows that when we feel better mentally, we feel better physically as well. Naked yoga allows people to experience freedom from inhibitions, opinions of others and any shame about the body, which can lead to low energy and poor health. As you learn to love and respect yourself, negativity burns away and any of the physical repercussions from harboring or holding toxic emotions get resolved. The body, mind and spirit unite and heal, and you feel deeply energized, vital and calm.
4. It’s Genuinely Sexy
While naked yoga in its true form has little to do with society’s preconceived notions of sex or eroticism, make no mistake: naked yoga is sexy. It’s the sort of sexy that comes from inside, when someone feels authentically connected, confident, and alive. Naked yoga gives people permission to feel joyful and radiant, at home in their own skin, blissfully unselfconscious and aware. It encourages practitioners to claim their birthright: freedom and happiness, and to uncover their most primal, powerful, sacred, sensual, integrated, original selves. And that’s truly sexy.
5. It Makes the World a More Peaceful Place
The practice inspires self-love and acceptance, and these effects ripple out in concentric circles of compassion and kindness. You will cultivate love and compassion, and be so moved by your own discoveries, that you’ll be inspired to share this sacred sense of celebration with others, and as a result, the world becomes a kinder, more compassionate, more peaceful place. I was so inspired by the notion of people embracing their innermost, natural selves, of finally vanquishing negative thoughts about their bodies, and deeply connecting to spirit in their practice, that I created the DVD series Yoga Undressed so that I could help others experience this same kind of empowerment, freedom and joy. The practices in Yoga Undressed go beyond conventional “naked yoga” because they teach us how to harness the transformative kundalini shakti, our sacred life force, while experiencing the freedom of moving through space without clothing to restrict our movement, and more importantly, free of shame that restricts our souls.