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Dare to Do Yoga Bare?

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— April 25, 2019

Dare to Do Yoga Bare?

  • Doing yoga without clothing? With other people in the room? Uh… It’s an experience that everyone should try at least once, according to Monika Werner, of Bold & Naked in New York City’s Theater District.
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Doing yoga without clothing? With other people in the room? Uh… It’s an experience that everyone should try at least once, according to Monika Werner, of Bold & Naked in New York City’s Theater District.

The vast majority of her students “absolutely loved the experience and come back for more.” Werner believes that naked yoga can be life-changing. “You gain a self-confidence that you can take everywhere,” Werner says. “In a clothed class people do their practice and leave, but in a vulnerable setting like naked yoga, people feel connected, they communicate before and after class, and it’s the most open, energetic, non-judgmental atmosphere you will ever experience.” Willow Merveille, owner of NYC-based Naked in Motion, notes that when people hear about naked yoga, “the first thing they’re gonna feel is fear. Maybe you’re fearful of your safety, you’re fearful that people are going to judge you. Some people think that naked yoga is for thin, athletic people, but I would argue that it’s the opposite—we are very focused on trying to make all people feel welcome, especially those who are struggling with their bodies. The more that you face that fear, the less scary it typically becomes.” Naked yoga “is particularly beneficial for people with body image issues,” adds Werner. Really, everybody should try.” Interested? Start by learning as much as you can about what kind of session you are booking. Merveille strives to create a “safe space” for her clients, noting that “because nudity is so tied into sexuality, the questions that people have are about sex: ‘Is this a sex party? Are people going to be touching me?’”

Case in point: In a regular class you might welcome a teacher correcting a pose or position through touch, but you may not feel as comfortable if you’re in the buff. It’s a good idea to inquire about studio policies so you know exactly what to expect. Also, ask about the policy on nudity; some studios require full nudity at all times, a concern for women who are menstruating. Presently there are a lot more all-male naked yoga classes available than anything else, but other options are available.

Be sure to inquire: “It’s important to figure out who is welcome to this space. If it is just a straight-up all-gender class like our classes, it totally varies on who will show up,” says Merveille. Ultimately, a positive naked yoga experience boils down to preparation and managing expectations. “I know a lot of people are nervous to do naked yoga for the first time, but there is nothing to be scared or nervous about,” says Merveille. “Just show up as you are and you will be fine.”

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