Benefits of Naked Yoga
Shedding one's clothes brings a new level of honesty and authenticity to yoga - an authenticity that can sometimes get lost in the fashion and branding surrounding yoga, said Isis Phoenix, a yoga instructor at Naked Yoga NYC in New York City.
And the practice helps people let go, offering freedom from the constraints of life, which might include your job (or even just spandex), Phoenix said.
Some might feel self-conscious at first, but Phoenix has seen participants undergo a metamorphosis of sorts, a change only made possible by baring it all, she said.
Naked yoga gives a chance for participants to "lay down their armor, in a sense," and breathe, stretch and mediate, she said.
Some people become more familiar with their own bodies, such as discovering a mole they never knew they had, Phoenix said.
"[There's] a level of living with your body your whole life and then really, truly seeing it for the first time," she said.
However, experts agree there are psychological benefits to naked yoga, but not physical ones.
"If you're wearing loose clothing or spandex, there's nothing to stop you from doing all the postures or stretches or movements in yoga with the proper clothes," said Janet Konefal, assistant dean for complementary and integrative medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
"The sense of freedom is not a physical, it's a psychological," she added.
"You don't want have a cut or nick and risk of infection," Konefal said.