While the SNEWSÂ® team has heard of just about everything, we have to admit it was snicker-city here at world headquarters when we read about an alleged new trend in yoga that's guaranteed to add an entirely new perspective to "downward dog" poses â€“ naked yoga.
Certainly, we can appreciate twists and turns on current fitness successes -- yoga in pools, yoga in heated rooms, yoga to disco (that's just wrong on so many levels), yoga boxing, and more. But is naked yoga something that will really help you get in touch, mindfully, with the inner you?
The theory behind naked yoga is that by doing it as a group (doing yoga, and not the other "it"), there is less opportunity for distraction from apparel and possessions and more focus on the body as natural and beautiful. A San Francisco Chronicle story on May 24 ("Doing it in the altogether is what makes this yoga practice altogether free from distractions") about the new yoga program talked about the instructor offering a pep talk before the naked group entered the classroom "emphasizing the idea of the body as a vessel and getting them to calm their thoughts."
Given that each individual vessel comes in distinct shapes and sizes, our naturally imaginative minds couldn't help but visualize being caught directly behind a rather large vessel while he or she attempts to warm up with a series of cat and cow poses or perhaps a standing forward bend or two. You know, some things we just don't want to see, and we're certain that doing so would play havoc with our pranayama. We know, we know, we should be so focused on our own cat-and-cow warm-up that we wouldn't even see what's going on around us, but we're not convinced everybody is at that level of inner focus. Ohmmmmmâ€¦. Oooooo!
Very little of this is good news for retailers and suppliers. If the naked yoga trend filters out of the San Francisco community center (hard not to be communal when you are all naked, we imagine) demand for yoga clothing is sure to plummet.
Of course, opportunistic retailers will likely benefit as mat sales may increase since we'd image when naked folks begin practicing their asanas they will find it far more pleasurable on smooth, soft and pampering surfaces as opposed to the traditional sticky mats.
For the plucky few who remain too attached (literally) to their current favorite mat, we suspect that clubs and retreats will be quick to offer branded yoga spatulas to help naked yoga practitioners detach themselves from the aforementioned rubber mats. Or maybe some of those anti-chafe jellies now focused on markets such as biking and running could find another demographic.
As for those establishments that provide mats for their clients to use, we suspect the naked aspect will not go over too well. After all, who's going to want to salute the sun or even prep a cobra pose with nose and face down on the same mat on which someone else just finished resting his or her sweaty buttocks? Ewwwwwww.
Now for some real fun. Wanna see the rather artsy photos the San Francisco Chronicle ran? Then click here.