Bare-asana: Meditations on Naked Yoga
by Jeff Carmack
What’s the scariest three-word phrase you have ever heard?
“Ted Nugent interview” would rate high in my book. “Day-old sushi” is up there, too. And under the right (or wrong) circumstances, “Honey, I’m home” could trigger cardiac arrest.
The most frightening three words I have ever seen:
Men’s naked yoga.
Seriously. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
And that means just what it seems to mean: A bunch of dudes, twisting, bending and stretching. Naked.
I’ve been practicing yoga for years and I have never wanted to do yoga naked. If you have ever done yoga you know how hard it is. Now imagine doing it with your eyes clenched shut.
I have nothing against nudity. Lots of things are best done naked: showering, for example; also, skinny-dipping is a lot of fun. But yoga? Whether it’s men’s yoga or a co-ed class naked seems kind of…well…gross.
Poet Kahlil Gibran says, “Your clothes conceal much of your beauty and hide not the unbeautiful.” Clearly, he has not spent much time in locker rooms or doing naked yoga. Speaking for myself, my clothes hide plenty that’s unbeautiful; maybe Gibran just needs to buy a size or two larger. Tight ain’t right, Gilbran. He continues: “Forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the Winds long to play with your hair.” Note that he does not say anything about either the Earth or the Wind wanting a close-up view of your junk while contorting like a human pretzel.
On the other hand, doing yoga while surrounded by a bunch of naked guys with their asses in the air would do wonders for your concentration; no way you’re going to raise your head and start looking around. And if you do, you’ll soon realize why proctologists make so much money—they earn it.
If you’re a guy and you’re into guys naked yoga would be a great place to meet men: men who are spiritual, fit, and most importantly, limber. Plus, you’re both already naked, so it’s easy to check out other qualifications.
The business side of running a naked yoga studio could be interesting. The dress code would be pretty simple: Don’t. And how about this answer on the membership application: Eye color—two blue…one brown. Choosing which styles of yoga to offer might be tough. Hot yoga? Could get sticky. The popular Flow style? I don’t know about you, but naked men and flow are not two words I want used to describe any yoga class I’m taking—especially if I’m using a borrowed mat.
Eating before yoga class—naked or not—is always a question. Some say no food for two hours prior while others say something light, like a protein shake or a snack bar is cool. If you’ve done yoga before you know that the exertion can cause a little—well a lot—of unintended Karmic Wind. Needless to say, best to skip the lamb vindaloo at lunch unless you want to be remembered as the guy who invented the Squid Pose.
I wonder if anyone has come up with new names for naked postures? The Jay Bird pose comes to mind. At the very least, men’s naked yoga brings a new meaning to Eka Hasta Bhujasana—the Elephant Trunk Pose.