But many fewer, we'd bet, practice yoga in the buff. For yoga novices, it takes courage enough just to show up to a class, what with seasoned head-standers ohm-ing a mat over. But a new naked yoga Instagram account could be just the thing a burgeoning yogi needs.
Nude Yoga Girl shows that getting into a naked downward dog can be a spiritual practice all its own; her account serves as a handy instructional guide for newbies. The 25-year-old model-photographer has racked up 245,000 Instagram followers by sharing graceful black and white portraits of herself in yoga poses without clothes.
While "model" and "naked" might not sound like a recipe for empowering yoga beginners, the feed is all about showcasing the human body in a new way, while offering a clear guide to proper form: Yes, many of the yogi's poses are advanced and super twisty, but many of her photos work as guides to beginners who want to grasp the right alignment. And indeed, the lack of clothing makes it much easier to see the clear lines of each pose.
"I want to show that nudity can be something else than only sexual," the model behind Nude Yoga Girl, who prefers to remain anonymous, told The Huffington Post in an email. She continued:
The human body is beautiful and the poses and shapes can be seen very well without any clothing on. I wanted to take off everything unnecessary from the pictures on my account. Nudity in social media is a taboo but on the other hand the nakedness and rawness of my photos reflect well what I want to tell people with my account.
The artist said she's been practicing yoga for most of her life, ramping up to a daily practice about a year ago.
She mostly practices by herself at home, she said, and will sometimes use online classes to move her yoga forward. With nearly 100 posts, she has the process for practicing and capturing her poses down to a science. It looks a little something like this:
I set up the lighting and the camera settings ready. After that I do a short yoga practice to warm up before starting the photoshoot. Sometimes I plan the poses in advance by browsing the internet or books for some inspiration and sometimes I get creative in front of the camera! My boyfriend is kind enough to press the camera button and take the photo of me. I'm very grateful for his help.
If this type of art and exercise has piqued your curiosity, there are naked yoga classes available in cities nation-wide. If that's too much for you, might we suggest sleeping in your birthday suit? The practice is a little less risqué, but comes with plenty of benefits and you won't have to worry about slipping out of position on your yoga mat.
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