In the past nude beaches were looked on in dismay. Parents would quickly cover their kid’s eyes when getting a glimpse of one from a boat on a sun holiday. These days nude beaches are no longer breaking news. However there is a new craze beginning.
Fancy stretching out in front of a room of people with no clothes on?
Perhaps not but the dolphin pose, the scorpion pose and the half moon pose amongst others are now being done naked in a new nude yoga practice that is sweeping the nation.
Praised by stars such as Gwenyth Paltrow and Halle Berry nude yoga has been around since the early 1960’s in Western society but has only recently reached Indian plains.
Nude yoga clubs are dotted around the US and Europe and it is only so long before there will be some here in Bangalore. Experts claim ‘it liberates people from their inhibitions and helps unification of the mind, body and soul’. However we must question whether India is ready for this.
In the USA 29 year old female Nadia Domino has been practicing nude yoga for almost 3 years. She says “in the beginning I found it strange but my friend dragged me along and I like it. No one cares that you are naked and I have learnt to love my body for the way it is”.
Elsewhere 34 year old Mark Twohig from Dorset in the UK says ‘I’m not so sure it would be a good idea, because I think it would totally distract from the purpose for me. I would be too interested in admiring the female form and not focusing on proper breathing techniques”
Of course the venue is important when setting the scene. Anywhere from a living room to a community centre, a yoga centre or a club can be used. Rooms are usually dimly lit so as to make the individual more comfortable. Most classes offered are co-ed so the individual would have to be very comfortable with their own body. Nude yoga is said to have the advantage of practicing yoga without the confinement of clothing and accepting the body in its natural state.
While practitioners and clubs insist there is nothing seedy about the practice yoga sris in Bangalore do not like this new trend. One yogi says “India is not ready for nude yoga, it is too sexual. I do not approve of the practice. I would not do it and I would not encourage others to take part”.
Despite this rejection nude yoga is said to have existed for thousands of years amongst Naga Sadhus(naked mind) yogis in India. These yogis free their minds and the nudity symbolizes the rejection of all things of material value. In the begging the individual will feel the judgmental eyes of others but this soon disappears.
Benefits of nude yoga
It makes the individual more comfortable with their body and allows the practice without the constraints that clothing bring.
Disadvantages of nude yoga.
Many cases have existed where the location was not approved and individuals took advantage of the chance to see others nude.
Nude yoga classes also exist for children which can invite unwanted attention.
Mel from Exeter in UK Well it would never catch on here in the UK – we’re all too prudish to cope with the idea of nude yoga!
I can see its appeal though – no clothes constricting movement, which is kinda the idea – I always wear fitted but stretchy clothes to do yoga or pilates because then nothing is flapping in my way and its easier to see whether your posture is correct or not.
There is nothing wrong with the naked human form. And if you were doing yoga the whole point is to be focused on your inner self and your breathing – I know I hardly ever notice the people around me when I’m doing a class because you’re supposed to listen to the instructions and focus on your movements.
Hannah from Ireland
I wouldn’t, no. For the same reasons I wouldn’t attend a naked cookery class, a naked book group..you get the idea.
I have done it.I was at a naturist camp and there was a naked yoga class, which I took. I liked it, but not more than ‘clothed’ yoga class, but as it was very hot at the time and I was naked the rest of the day, it would have been silly to get dressed. I think that it’s essential that everyone is actually doing it, so you don’t have to worry about people looking at you and you don’t have time to look at others, after all, you’re supposed to be concentrating on the asana’s so it doesn’t really matter what anyone is or is not wearing.