Tag Archives: Naked Yoga

Naked Yoga Alliance Interviews nude yoga instructor Steven Russell


Steven RusselName: 

Steven Russell

City where you teach naked yoga: 

Matawan, New Jersey and Asbury Park, New Jersey

What inspired you to begin teaching naked yoga?

I have always loved being naked. I have been going to a nude beach for 30 years. I started taking nude yoga classes in New York City in about 2005. When I became a yoga teacher in 2010 it just made sense to start a nude class.

agoalen_yoga_steven-8800How has teaching and practicing naked yoga transformed you and your personal yoga practice? 

I find that when I am naked, especially when I’m practicing with other naked people, I focus much more on my own practice. I’m much less distracted by others. When I’m teaching naked yoga I find that I pay much more attention to the students’ bodies, their breathing, their alignment, than when they are clothed. I find the clothes are distracting. The opportunity to be naked and to move and breathe is a great motivator to get me to practice, and to attend classes.

What do you see as the unique benefits for teaching naked yoga?

I find that there is an instant bond among the members of the class that takes a long time to develop, if it ever does, in a clothed class.

Tell us an interesting story that occurred in your yoga classes.

About a year after I started a nude men’s class one of the men who had been coming for about a year came to class and told the class that he had attended one of my other, clothed, classes. He said with some delight that it was the first time he had ever done yoga with clothes on. Until then he had only attended my naked class.

What is your advice to a first time naked yoga practitioner who might be experiencing jitters about attending his/her first class?

If you hesitate, you might never do it. Go with the interest that brought you to consider naked yoga and just go. The people there will also be naked, and have had the same jitters you have. They will be completely understanding, and welcoming.

 agoalen_yoga_steven-How can people find out more about your class?

http://www.meetup.com/Central-New-Jersey-Yoga-for-Men/

www.becomingsoundyoga.com

http://www.kurstudios.com/

Naked Yoga Alliance Interviews naked yoga teacher Anya from New Jersey.

AnyaName:

Anya Castellano 

City where you teach naked yoga:

Asbury Park, New Jersey

What inspired you to begin teaching naked yoga?

I began practicing Naked Yoga years after I was practicing and teaching clothed yoga. My naked yoga practice began in my home and then I ventured into NYC and took a class. It was completely a different feeling then I ever experienced in a practice with my cloths on. The opportunity arouse for me to share this practice and so it began.

How has teaching and practicing naked yoga transformed you and your personal yoga practice?

Teaching Naked Yoga feels more like sharing. Sharing and exposing others to this practice has opened me up to new places within myself that I never experienced before. My chakras feel more open and balanced and there is more energy moving through me. Practicing Naked yoga like any yoga is a process. In this process, I have become aware of thoughts, beliefs and emotions that are causing blocks.  As I become aware of them I work on releasing them through the practice. In the naked yoga practice, you are in your own energy field without the energy of human made cloth, and that cloth takes on an energy.  In the practice you have the opportunity to experience your own energy, your skin is able to breathe, you feel more expansive and it becomes a more  liberating practice.

 AnyaWhat do you see as the unique benefits for teaching naked yoga? 

Unique benefits for teaching naked yoga include stepping outside of your comfort zone, out of the box and sharing a practice that you believe in.  Teaching naked yoga gives students an opportunity to experience it, without the teachers they would not have this opportunity.

Tell us an interesting story that occurred in your yoga classes.

A common but interesting story is a student coming in to a class both male or female expressing their nervousness. As a teacher, I listen and hold a space for where they are. My intention is to make them feel comfortable and safe. Within the class, the nervousness melts away and they feel comfortable and at ease. Recently, I had a male share with me before class about body image issues, cultural programming that made coming to naked yoga uncomfortable…after class he shared openly with the class about what he released and how much lighter he was feeling. He then went to write an extensive review and share his experiences that can be found on Yelp for Kur studios.

Here is an excerpt:

I had my first taste of absolute freedom and carefree. The first naked yoga class was funny for me and I learned a lot about myself. This was a challenge to get out of my comfort zone.  This was a fight within myself, internal discussion of clothed yoga and undressed yoga. There was too much noise in my head.  This was a fantasy fight to win approval and acceptance of my body image and confrontation of beliefs. I was able to learn that removing clothing is a symbolic way to represent removing social restrictions and wrong beliefs.”

AnyaWhat is your advice to a first time naked yoga practitioner who might be experiencing jitters about attending his/her first class?

If you are a new student and contemplating going to a naked yoga class it is completely natural to experience jitters… I did. My advice is to go with an open mind and focus on one breath at a time. Be in your own space and witness your thoughts with a non judgmental attitude, observe how your body is feeling. With this you may have an experience of opening up and experiencing something within that you have never experienced before.

 How can people find out more about your class? You can either visit

www.kurstudios.com Or www.anyacastellano.com

Naked Yoga Alliance interviews Megan Leigh “Clothes Free” Yoga in Tempe, AZ

Megan Leigh YogaName: 

Megan Leigh Yoga

City where you teach naked yoga: 

Tempe, AZ

What inspired you to begin teaching naked yoga?

I loved the idea of stripping away the layers both physically and figuratively speaking, so I decided to try Katrina Rainsong’s R.A.W. Nude Yoga class and instantly fell in love with the freedom of practicing without the restriction and distraction of clothing. I wanted to teach my own clothing-optional yoga classes to help others find that freedom and comfort in their natural state.

How has teaching and practicing naked yoga transformed you and your personal yoga practice?

I have far less distractions and things hindering my practice now that I practice nude. Think of the freedom of never having to pick a wedgie from your bum after a lunge or forward fold ;) Both practicing and teaching naked yoga have transformed me into a more body-positive and self-loving person. It is beautiful to see a group of people of varying body-types, age-groups, and cultures all feeling comfortable enough in their own skin to strip away their ego and their clothing.

What do you see as the unique benefits for teaching naked yoga?

Less Restriction in movement and breath, less distraction, more mindfulness and connection to body-breath-spirit, release of negative body-image-issues, and a more clear and concise view and understanding of safe alignment in asanas.

Tell us an interesting story that occurred in your yoga class.

It was definitely interesting the time some very intense and dramatic classical music began blaring through the wall from next door during our savasana! :P

Megan Leigh YogaWhat is your advice to a first time naked yoga practitioner who might be experiencing jitters about attending his/her first class?

I always tell my students to treat nude yoga just like any other yoga class in the way that you honor your body and your practice as you are showing up in that moment. Only do what you are comfortable with, and remember it’s not a competition, ever. Do what feels natural and right for your practice, such as starting clothed and slowly taking off articles of clothing as your body heats up with the practice. If you only feel like shirtless yoga one day, then do that, the pants will follow when you’re ready :)

How can people find out more about your class?

They can find me on Facebook by ‘Liking’ Megan Leigh Yoga and messaging me there.

For the Yogis not on FB, they can always email me at meganrose89@hotmail.com

“Naked yoga will NOT break out into a full-on orgy”

The article is a bit sensational but I’m glad the word continues to get out about this practice.

“I tried naked yoga in NYC and here’s what you need to know” by Meagan Drillinger originally published on www.thrillist.com

“The first thing you need to know about naked yoga is that it exists. It is a real thing. A thing people do. Sure, it’s not as popular as some other great New York pastimes, like late-night ramen, strolling the High Line or, you know, regular yoga… but yoga in the nude is definitely something going on in NYC. I should know — I did it….”

Read the Full story HERE:

http://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/new-york/naked-yoga-in-nyc

“Naked yoga in Kelowna, B.C., promotes accepting bodies as they are”

Naked yoga — where participants bare it all for their practice — is gaining traction in Kelowna, B.C., with classes aimed at helping women accept their bodies for what they are.

“The general overwhelming intention is to try to integrate the entire body to allow yourself to breathe in and become one and not reject different body parts because they are aesthetically not pleasing to you,” said instructor Suzie Doratti, who also works as a (clothed) real estate agent…

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/naked-yoga-in-kelowna-b-c-promotes-accepting-bodies-as-they-are-1.3019621?fb_action_ids=569697899874164&fb_action_types=og.shares

7 Freakin’ Good Reasons You Should Do NAKED! Yoga

By Zen Marie Holmes via mytinysecrets.com

“Practicing nude yoga allows you to accept yourself, flaws and all. You begin to love and appreciate the unique characteristics that make you, You.”

Riebicke-MyTinySecrets-Nayed-YogaHere are 7 freaking good reasons for you to take off your clothes during your next yoga session:

#1 Nude Yoga Improves Your Body Image

Everyone has parts of their physique that they are uncomfortable with: wide hips, no hips, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short and of course breast, butt, and penis size.

Women in particular have a tendency to feel insecure with their bodies. Especially after having given birth some feel their breasts hang lower, and their waist or abdomen may have stretch marks, excess skin or additional weight – all of which are very natural.

Read the full article HERE:

http://mytinysecrets.com/7-freakin-good-reasons-you-should-do-naked-yoga/

Winner of the Naked Yoga Challenge!!! HONTOUNIHEART

HontouniHeart After sifting through the beautiful pictures and inspirational quotes I received from the Naked Yoga Challenge, I realized I had created an impossible task of choosing a ‘BEST’ photo. Really, what was I thinking… Every photo was the BEST! Each one wonderful in its own way. Each person who submitted a photo varied from an absolute first time naked yoga practitioner who was inspired by Challenge and explored the idea of trying naked yoga for the first time, to seasoned naked yoga teachers who had their own movements. There was, however, one individual who wrote to me regularly about how the Challenge was taking her deeper into her own practice. She submitted three photos each quite different and capturing a different essence of what she experienced in the naked yoga practice. She wrote up an article on her experience of the Challenge that was posted on Clothes Free Life. The Challenge turned out to mean more to her than taking a cute selfie of a creative pose. It took her deeper into her own conscious inquiry of the human body / spirit union. I called her last week and we spent an hour on the phone speaking about her naked yoga practice and her experience of conscious nudity. This is her story…

Interview with Nude Yogi and Clothes Free Lifestylist Hontouniheart

When did you first start practicing naked yoga?

Hontouni Heart Day 24 - GoddessYoga has been a part of my life for three and a half years. I first began practicing naked yoga late last summer. I was tagged on Instagram for a yoga challenge called Naked Soul Yoga conceived by @iamreneewatkins / @nakedsoulyoga. It sounded interesting and I had a yoga practice and I thought “Sure! Why not?!” In the challenge, participants took a picture of themselves nude in a yoga pose each day for one month. I started taking pictures of myself and began sharing in the challenge. It went from there.

It brought me into a whole other aspect of being in my own skin. I’m tactile and movement is an important part of how I experience the world. I enjoyed being in my skin, didn’t have to think about what outfit to wear. At the same time I was feeling so many different things during the challenge. Sometimes I felt self-conscious about my appearance as I looked at the other yogis who were submitting photos. I found myself thinking, my body doesn’t look like that person’s body and their expression of the yoga pose. As I was feeling those feelings, however, I also began to sit with them.

After completing my participation in that round of Naked Soul Yoga challenge, I continued to share naked yoga posts here and there along with others who had dialed into the community. In time, I saw a lot of comments on posts using descriptions like ‘sexy’ and so forth. And some posts took on that theme as well. Sometimes fuller discussions within that theme would unfold. This brought up a lot for me. I began to feel like discussions strayed away from the actual yoga and were taking on more of a sexual tone. For me, it felt like the attraction and sexual energy that was being created was overtaking everything else. There were very few people I connected with about the actual experience of the yoga. I felt pretty self-conscious about that.

I committed to finish that particular yoga challenge even though it brought up many different feelings and emotions. I chose to stay present and complete my own inquiry rather than put my clothes back on and stop participating.  The leaders of Naked Soul Yoga, themselves, did a great job of presenting the yoga and keeping that focus consistently in how they offered it. And some shares from participants moved and inspired me as well. I also enjoyed participating in and co-leading Natural Foundations Yoga challenges in the fall, which was created by a clothes free lifer @homeclothesfreeyogi. He is also dedicated to the exploration of the yoga in practice, philosophy, action off the mat and reflection. It was offered to participants as clothing optional, and the focus never strayed; other co-leaders of that challenge maintained the focus on the yoga beautifully as well. There were a number of participants that gained a lot of personal depth from it, based on their shares. So, those particular clothing free yoga experiences were very, very positive and deepening for me.

But, after completing a final round of Naked Soul Yoga in December, I eventually decided to dial down my Instagramming. I realized I was spending hours looking at other posts and associated discussions rather than being present with other things in my life. I spent a lot of time comparing myself to others or thinking about what was wrong with me.

When I saw the Naked Yoga Challenge posted on Naked Yoga Alliance, I was hesitant to jump into another one because of everything that had come up for me in the recent past. But I also realized that this one was different. I didn’t know who else was participating. There wasn’t a sexual vibe to it. It seemed to be about yoga. There was a quote each day I could think about and I could simply try on each pose you offered to see how it felt in my own skin. All I had was to explore the moment, my body and my yoga. Sometimes I cried, other times it was peaceful and some days it was jolly and joyful.

Has your naked yoga practice opened up other opportunities for you to explore conscious nudity?

After my first naked yoga challenge, my naked explorations slowly began to take me off the mat. They started small with something like, walking to the kitchen to get a drink of water after my yoga practice. Next I found myself sleeping naked and getting out of bed and making my morning tea without clothes as well. I kept exploring.

“What would it be like to sit at my computer and answer emails without clothes on?” I wondered. Eventually I began to eat some of my meals naked. Finally I thought after practicing naked yoga one day, what if I just rolled up my mat and stayed in my skin… period. It was a fun rediscovering – I have a body. My armpits were feeling the air. My belly button came back – I have one – wow! I have awareness of toes and toenails now, not just a block of foot under my ankles. I have breasts and nipples and when I sit down they hit the table. It was a slow process of moving from self-consciousness to consciousness. Little parts of my body would come alive. Little moments of awareness would creep in.

It sounds like you didn’t grow up in a nude friendly environment and that being naked is a new practice for you.

Yes, that’s true, I didn’t grow up like this but I did share with my mom about the naked yoga challenge. We’re very close and can have a woman to woman conversation. She heard how excited I was about exploring this and the excitement is what landed on her. She noticed I started writing again and my whole personality was opening up more. It felt special to have her support and to have someone I could be open and honest with about this. This part of myself that was opening up started showing up in my other relationships. Parts of myself I had hidden away began coming out. I was talking to a friend and found myself telling her about parts of my past that I had never told anyone. The conversations I was having started including my whole self. It was incredible to be honest with myself, to own past experiences that I had locked away and to speak about them openly.

Tell me about your experience of your yoga practice right now.

Hontouni Heart Day 18 - BoardOne of my friends recently gave me a naked yoga DVD called Yoga Undressed. With this DVD, I began to explore a flow style of yoga. It has completely transformed my yoga practice. I felt so powerful. It was a whole new yoga. As my clothes free practice continued to open and evolve, I’ve been referred to as  ‘Goddess’ and ‘Queen’ and would receive tag words on my photos like ‘beauty’ and ‘power.’ This was not language I used or I had in my life much. It was new language and it was new to see myself that way.

The teachers at the studio where I practice clothed yoga say the phrase “Consider the possibility…” They would say it around places where we encountered challenge. “Consider the possibility you can touch your toes, even if you can’t right now.” Considering the possibility begins to fire the muscles and nerves in your body and creates new pathways for opening into a deeper space. I began to also consider the possibility around being beautiful, being powerful, being a Goddess. After considering it, I began to feel it. I began to feel powerful and beautiful. I began to feel like I was enough.

Have you taken any group naked yoga classes yet?

I haven’t gone to a social event yet. I’m scared, but I want to.

What advice would you give to someone considering the possibility of practicing naked yoga for the first time?

At first it might seem weird. Try it anyway without feeling the need to ignore your current thoughts. Get in a pose and just let it land. Accept it. Be with whatever comes up.