Naked Yoga Exercises

Liberate yourself from your clothes and try naked yoga.
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Naked yoga exercises are the same as clothed yoga exercises, with one obvious difference. Naked yoga beckons folks who yearn to break free of their clothes. While you can experience naked yoga in the privacy of your home, some daring yogis practice with others in clothing-optional classes.

Why Naked

Naked yoga classes have popped up in many large American cities, including Austin, Texas and New York. Many students first attend class because they want to transcend body image or nudity issues. Some gain confidence from naked yoga and become regulars. Bryan Harrelson, a naked yoga teacher, wrote on his website that some of his students just enjoy being naked, while others want to get over fears about penis size. While a few women attend naked yoga classes, students are overwhelmingly male.

Standing Exercises

Tree pose is easier in the nude, as your foot won't slide down your pants.

While naked yoga faces gender disparity, participants are diverse as far as age, shape and size. Isis Phoenix, founder of Naked Yoga NYC, embraces this difference in her approach to the standing poses. She leads her classes in the standard yoga exercises, such as Tree and Warrior I, but allows for a wide variety of interpretations of the poses. If you’re new to naked yoga, be especially certain to pick a good gazing point for the standing balance poses. Resist any urges to check out other students, or to see if they’re looking at you, as this can make you topple. Instead, pick a non-moving gazing point, such as a yoga block or the corner of somebody’s mat. You might find that Tree pose is easier when nude, as your foot is likelier to stay put when touching skin than cloth.

Seated Exercises

The seated yoga exercises are often held longer than standing poses. They include forward bends, which may feel more meditative as they limit opportunities for eye contact. Use these interludes to look inward and focus on the breath, thereby dispelling self-consciousness. Note that sitting on a studio mat while naked raises hygiene questions. If you’re investing in naked yoga classes, invest in your own mat and carry it with you to and from the studio. Keep your mat clean by washing it in the washer and hanging it to dry, or wiping it down with disinfectant.


Even though you’re naked, many of the same yoga rules apply. If you’re choosing a class, select one that’s appropriate to your experience level. Let your teacher know about any injuries, and then try to relax. You might lose your acute self-consciousness 10 minutes or so into class, and finishing practice feeling exhilarated.

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