Naked yoga is reportedly the new trend among Hollywood and other celebrities.
Unconfirmed reports link Oscar winners Nicolas Cage (Adaptation), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love); Oscar nominated Naomi Watts (21 Grams); Golden Globe nominated Jennifer Lopez (Selena); Rita Wilson (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), etc., with naked yoga.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, criticizing Hollywoodization of yoga, has urged celebrities and others to take yoga seriously as, being one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy, it is highly revered in Hinduism. It is actually a mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) unites with universal-soul (parmatman).
The proponents of naked yoga say that it is taboo-breaking, thrill, liberation, unique perspective, profound spiritual and healing experience; unifies body-soul-mind; sheds barriers/inhibitions/masks; provides greater freedom of movement; saves the hassle of buying expensive yoga outfits; offers acceptance of body with all imperfections; makes one feel comfortable in one’s own skin; overcomes weight/body image issue; etc. But they insist that it is not about sex.
Many practice naked yoga at homes, but various naked yoga clubs/studios/groups have reportedly popped up across USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Australia, etc., for group classes and many yoga teachers offer private instruction also. Tagline of one such place is “expose your asana”, and names of classes offered include “Bare Energy Yoga”, “Lunar Candlelit Nude Yoga”. Many naked yoga retreats are organized, including on the beaches, Costa Rica, Arizona desert, Thailand, Las Vegas, etc. One such fortnight long retreat headlined “Pilgrimage to India” is being advertised by an American nude yoga group, which will take participants through Varanasi, Taj Mahal, Chitrakoot, etc., for $3,000 (airfare to India and back not included).
Rajan Zed, who is the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, further says that some sages have described yoga as the silencing of all mental transformations, which leads to the total realization of the Supreme Self. Some have used yoga attempting to gain liberation by removing all sensory barriers. According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, who codified yoga after being founded by Yajanavalkya, yoga is a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
Naked/Nude Yoga is practicing the traditional yoga without the clothes. In order to treat everybody equally, no participant/instructor is reportedly allowed to wear clothes in the group classes.