There’s no question that doing “regular” yoga can feel both vulnerable and empowering. So you can imagine that those two experiences are majorly heightened during naked yoga in particular. Hundreds of bold yogis on Instagram are up for the challenge, though—using the hashtag #NYGyoga, they’re posting their most impressive poses in nothing but their own skin.
The hashtag was started by Instagram sensation @nude_yogagirl, an anonymous photographer, model, and yogi. She’s enthralled her 676,00 followers with her stunning photos featuring impressive yoga poses (in the buff, of course). Now, fellow yogis are getting in on the trend by posting their own creatively covered-up photos.
If you’re unfamiliar with naked yoga, this all may sound a little unconventional. But as it turns out, naked yoga isn’t anything new. And while @nude_yogagirl and many people posting with #NYGyoga hashtag are practicing solo, there are even naked yoga classes for especially brave yogis. They’re not offered everywhere (and you probably won’t accidentally stumble into one), but they seem to be growing in popularity. For example, NYC studio Bold & Naked Yoga is dedicated solely to naked yoga, and other studios offer the occasional stripped-down class among regular ones.
Whether it’s done in a class setting or alone, naked yoga isn’t intended to be sexual or “weird” in any way. And if you have your doubts, allow the #NYGyoga photos to paint a very different picture than the one you might have in your head.
“For me, nude yoga is freedom,” the woman behind @nude_yogagirl tells SELF. “When I first started practicing yoga nude, it made me see my body in a much more positive and loving way….Yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies and appreciate what they can actually do. Our bodies are wonderful mechanisms. Nude yoga can make this experience even more powerful because it’s so natural.”
Now, that’s not to say that you have to run out and sign up for a nude yoga class or strip down for your next at-home flow to truly appreciate it. But these striking images are worth admiring, whether a naked practice is out of your comfort zone or not. Heads up: While we selected photos without explicit nudity (think, PG-13), these photos may border on NSFW depending on where you work.
This yogi picked a creative spot for her inversion pose.
Joshua Tree National Park provides a stunning background for this photo.
This yogi shared a simple clothes-free Lotus pose.
While most yoga poses seem more up-close-and-personal in the nude, this one seems particularly intimate.
In her caption, this yogi quotes, “my skin breathes and beats stars.”
As for @nude_yogagirl, she says she’s excited that people are catching on and posting their experiences with nude yoga. “It’s much more than just the actual photo—I think about it as an experience to really connect with your body [and] be there with it in a natural way,” she tells SELF. “To know that people really take time to connect with themselves and celebrate their unique bodies, that makes me happy. We can support and inspire each other to love ourselves.”
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