Naked Yoga | Spiritual Nudity and Freedom

Published: Dec 18, 2021 | Updated: Mar 7, 2022

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Naked Yoga | Spiritual Nudity and Freedom

Naked Yoga, as the name already implies, is the practice of Yoga without clothes. Also known by its Sanskrit names Nagna Yoga or Vivastra Yoga it has existed in India as a spiritual practice since ancient times.

The Bhagavata Purana (7th-10th century), one of the main texts of sacred Indian literature, mentions that those who renounce worldly life to embark on a spiritual quest should try to avoid covering themselves; if they wear something, it should be only a loincloth. There are also records of the 4th century BC in which a Greek academic describes the Yogis of India, claiming that they would practice different postures naked and motionless.

The idea of “spiritual nudity” is common among a range of Indian religions and ascetic groups, and is often seen as a way to practice detachment and renunciation.

In modern times, this practice has been revived in the West by the Lebensreform movement in Germany and Switzerland at the end of the 19th century. This movement defended a natural way of life and had different religious and spiritual views and influences, which included the practice of Yoga. About the same time, in the US and other European countries, the Gymnosophy movement gained traction, defending nudism and naturism, as well as practices of asceticism and meditation.

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In the 1960’s Naked Yoga was widely incorporated in the Hippie movement and started to become increasingly popular. As normally practiced today, the goal and benefits of Naked Yoga are to experience, accept and connect to your own body in total freedom, get rid of limiting inhibitions and feelings of shame, and learn to love and respect yourself wholly.

Throughout the years there have been Naked Yoga classes offered with different characteristics and motivations, such as male-only groups or women’s naked Yoga classes, or modalities which focus on the gay community, sometimes being a fitness practice as well as a sexual one, to give some examples.

There has also been quite some reserve and criticism from many who addressed the objectification of women and sexism in Naked Yoga classes, especially since so many Yoga modalities are already suffering from sexual abuse scandals involving the Gurus. Thus, many prefer to just practice Naked Yoga alone in the privacy of their own homes.

Nowadays, Naked Yoga classes are offered in Yoga centers around the world, mainly in countries with a strong Naturism and Nudism history and support.


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