Naked Yoga (Sanskrit nagna yoga or vivastra yoga) is the practice of yoga without clothes. It is based in ancient yoga philosophy where yogis would undress themselves both physically and spiritually from all material possessions, sexual desires and anything physical of this world. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (400CE) presents the eight limbs of Yoga, guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life, they direct attention to one's health and help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature. The practice of naked yoga can help a yogi deepen their practice and relates directly to Pantanjali's 8 Limbs.


Limb 1 is Yama which regards our ethical standards and our sense of integrity. There are five yamas which are concerned with nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sexual restraint, non-avarice. The practice of naked yoga strips away any social constructs or masks, you are presenting yourself in a vulnerable, true state. The body and mind becomes free and open to the practice. Embarrassment, shame and other negative harming emotions soon begin to be shed and seen as the social constructions they are. Feeling good about your body and true acceptance of your image are key aspects in self-esteem. In our modern society which is flooded with photoshopped images of unrealistic bodies, this can seem impossible to achieve. By making the commitment to practice yoga naked those social pressures are removed and the constraints of what is considered beautiful are debunked. It leads you to find your inner beauty and allows you to connect with the deepest part of you.


The fifth limb of yoga, Pratyahara, calls for us to draw our awareness away from the external world, to transcend the sensory, so we can focus internally to objectively view and observe our cravings. The practice of naked yoga really does enable you to take a deeper inward introspection, you are more aware of the sensations within your body which is purely a vessel, a temporary temple for your eternal spirit.  This leads to the sixth limb of Dharana, concentration. When we relieve ourselves of outside distractions we can deal with the distractions of the mind itself. The ability to observe our internal thoughts can lead us to limb 7, Dhyana, mediation or contemplation, uninterrupted flow of concentration.


Whatever your reasons for practising yoga, naked yoga provides many psychological benefits and spiritual rewards but also, it could be just the fact that you are able to move your body more freely and with more flexibility when you don’t need to worry if your leggings are see through in down dog.

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