Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Yoga is much more than accomplishing strange postures. It is about body and breath awareness and appreciation. There is no better way to do it than naked in nature.
I recently began teaching yoga at one of Minnesota's Nudist club's regular events. As a yoga teacher who regularly teaches at a studio that is steeped in the ancient yoga traditions, the naked yoga experience has been exceptionally fun in a variety of ways. But, before I get into that, a bit of naked yoga history.
Naked yoga has been practiced for thousands of years. Some believe it was originally THE way to practice. One passage in the Bhagavata Purana, one of the oldest Sanskrit writings, reads:
A person in the renounced order of life may try to avoid even a dress to cover himself. If he wears anything at all, it should be only a loincloth, and when there is no necessity, a sannyāsī should not even accept a daṇḍa. A sannyāsī should avoid carrying anything but a daṇḍa and kamaṇḍalu.
The idea was that the body is sacred and part of our connection to the divine. Covering it was considered a sign of an under developed spiritual center.
When Alexander the Great reached India in the 4th Century BC he brought historians from Greece with him who wrote that Indian yogis practices aloofness and "different postures – standing or sitting or lying naked – and motionless."
The Hindu Naga or Naked or Digambara or sky-clad Sadhu at the Gangasagar fair transit camp near Outram Ghat in Kolkata. Photo by Biswarup Ganguly