The question I’m asked most (even more than the “what if I get an erection” question,) is why naked yoga - what do you get out of it? That’s generally quickly followed up by my least favorite comment/joke “I just don’t want to see anyone naked in Down Dog.” (Are butts seriously that scary to you?? But maybe that’s another post.)
For me, naked yoga is truly the only time I feel 100% comfortable in my own skin. I know it seems crazy, but it’s true. I think there’s just some button that clicks and sends a signal to my brain - it’s all out there - you can let your body judgment go now. And I do. And it’s such a wonderful feeling of peace and freedom. Yep, there’s my belly, oh well. Yep, my balls are swinging awkwardly in this pose, oh well. Nope, I can’t really get “fully” into that pose, oh well. I’m just going to enjoy where and how I am now.
Another aspect of naked yoga that I love is how totally equalizing it is. I often say at the beginning of class - this is an opportunity to free ourselves of layers - obviously the physical layers of clothing - but more importantly to me, the layers of stuff we carry between each of us. Once the clothes are gone, I find it’s much easier to genuinely connect, to genuinely see one another, and to put down all of that perceived crap between us. We’re people. We’re bodies. We’re beautiful. We’re just the same when you get right down to it.
Another aspect I love, is the sensuality. It’s nice to be in a room full of naked men. It’s nice to be in a room full of naked sweaty men. Sure. There’s something sweet and sexy about that. However, in my opinion, it’s not the sexual/sensuality aspect that draws me - if I just wanted to see naked men being sexual, the Internet is full of that. Boring. What I find in naked yoga is the openness and acceptance of the group. Sure I may make a few side glances at the gym locker room, but (at least at my gym) it’s furtive, it’s taboo. We’re not really supposed to look at other men, much less enjoy it. We were taught that long ago. And I was taught it deeply. So naked yoga is a safe space to do just that. In most of my classes, I try to do some partner work to take that even one step father - it’s turns out we can be naked and touch one another. Gasp! And we can enjoy it! Shock! And it doesn’t have to be sexual. Heavens! So the class provides me an opportunity to feel very comfortable looking at another man’s body, skin color, hair, tattoos, piercings, belly, nipples, butts (even in down dog!) - maybe even touch that body and explore it a bit - in an environment that’s safe, accepting, and whose goal isn’t go for the genitals.