What’s worse than a grunting, sweating man putting his yoga mat next to yours? Try a naked, grunting, sweating man. That’s the exciting promise of naked yoga, which makes way more sense for gay men, who have popularized the practice. The co-ed version may have have its roots at free-lovin’, nudist-leaning Esalen in California, but the idea of classes popping up around NYC inspires a Silkwood shower. At least bringing your own mat is mandatory. Too bad bringing your pants isn’t.
Naked yoga may not be sexual, says Vital Juice today, who quoted Isis Phoenix, a sexual shaman and member of the Association of Sexual Energy Professionals. She says it’s intended to promote body acceptance. But it’s not exactly grounded in athleticism or the sutras. The hatha-vinyasa style of the practice seems like an after thought, as does the who-cares creds of the teacher. Buy hey, that doesn’t matter, Everyone’s naked!
In protest, I think I’ll join a class, and show up freshly showered. And in clothes. On my tanktop, a message for my fellow students: Your happy baby is the source of my unhappiness.