Naked yoga is gaining popularity all across America, but it is not without its controversy. While some see it as a natural extension of yoga, others view stripping clothes as an unnecessary distraction.
Most naked yoga classes are male-only. Last month Le Male Yoga added beginner nude yoga classes to their schedule. Joschi Schwarz, the owner of Le Male Yoga, disagrees with critics who perceive naked yoga as sexual. He feels that it is a freeing experience that encourages self-acceptance. He feels that his class is sensual, but not sexual in any way.
Le Male Yoga is not alone. Naked Yoga NYC instructors teach co-ed nude yoga classes throughout the city. Nevertheless, these classes still attract more men than women.
New York City is not the only place that caters to those interested in practicing yoga in the buff. Naked Yoga Philly offers clothing-free yoga classes for men in downtown Philadelphia. This year Austin Naked Yoga will host their eighth yoga retreat just outside of the city. At their last retreat, over 150 people showed up to practice yoga without the confines of clothing. Unsurprisingly, naked yoga classes are offered in San Francisco as well.
The practice does not come without its controversy. One month ago, a Los Angelos women attempted to practice yoga fully nude in West Covina Park. She was arrested and handcuffed for indecent exposure, but was soon released with a notice to appear in court. Nudity in general remains a contentious subject. Last month four people were arrested for protesting San Francisco’s public nudity ban upon the steps of City Hall, stark naked.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, America is not alone in picking up the practice. Shanti Yoga Studios offers male-only naked yoga classes in the Canadian city of Edmonton.
Naked yoga is on the rise as people steadily turn to yoga as a means of becoming fit and releasing stress from their lives at the same time that people are increasingly challenging the forces of materialism and body shame. Some venture out into classes, while others practice naked yoga in the privacy of their own homes. Videos are offered online with tutorials for those interested in practicing at their own pace.
Naked yoga is not for everyone, and for the time being, it is predominantly for men. The practice may be controversial to those who do not understand it, but practitioners often express heightened feelings of self-acceptance as they progress. Naked yoga is likely to continue to spread in the years ahead.
[Images via ShutterStock]