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What you need to know before trying naked yoga

Getting undressed is the hardest part.

I don’t think my heart has ever pounded so hard before a workout. When I got in the elevator with two guys who were clearly going to the same class, all I could think was oh, my god, they’re going to see me naked in five minutes. There’s no locker room; everyone just gets naked in the middle of the studio’s lobby and stashes their clothes in a cubby. It was like ripping off a Band-Aid — I did it as quickly as I could, made eye contact with no one, and hustled to my back corner spot.

Everyone will be naked.

There’s no option of starting in your underwear and stripping down once you’re comfortable — everyone walks in to the studio without a stitch of clothes, so everyone starts out on the same level. It may be equalizing, but it’s also a little terrifying. There’s a certain level of vulnerability in baring your naked body to a room full of strangers, but you just sort of have to suck it up and do it.

There is a reason for this.

Naked yoga can seem gratuitous, especially when you consider how little you wear during bikram. But, you know how yoga instructors always tell you to figuratively leave behind everything you brought with you and just focus on the day’s practice? That’s a lot easier to do when you literally have nothing with you. Naked yoga isn’t just about being naked — it’s about accepting your body and being confident in your own skin.