When's the last time you got naked? Not sexy naked, or lazy naked, but naked for the sake of wellness?
It's January, which means you're still honoring those New Years resolutions: you might call your parents more, you maybe bought a class pass that you're absolutely going to use this time around and perhaps you're drinking more water.
That's all well and good, but you're probably not doing these things in the nude, and that's a big problem. Why? Because, as it turns out, there are a whole host of benefits to being in your birthday suit.
Joschi Schwarz and Monica Werner, co-owners of Bold & Naked yoga studio in New York and authors of Bold & Naked - Let Your Body Talk, tell us what's to gain from taking it all off.
Is it really that good for you to get naked?
There are a plethora of reasons why stripping down is the way forward, not the least of which is the immense impact on your self-esteem. Having a positive and realistic body image and implementing body acceptance into our life are key parts of self-esteem. Being naked gives you a concept of what a real body looks like, not heavily-photoshopped or filtered, but a fine-tuned machine. Naked Yoga will give you the opportunity to learn how to embrace yourself and leave feelings of shame and embarrassment about your body as well as yourself as a person behind, allowing you a child-like loss of inhibition.
The clothes that we wear subconsciously create insecurities about ourselves and build an inability to accept and love each other just the way we are. It is also impossible to appreciate the beauty of nature if we're not able to pay full attention, and we cannot pay full attention if we are still attached to mundane things. To get in touch with nature, we must get in touch with our human nature. When we are naked and accepting, equality blossoms. A university study in Florida concluded that out of 384 participants students who were pro-nudity were significantly more accepting of other religious beliefs as well as sexual orientation when compared to students who were anti-nudity. They also showed much less prejudice towards people who are ethnically dissimilar. When we strip away everything that is restraining us and present ourselves fully to the world, the feeling of freedom will be like a warm embrace.
Joschi Schwarz and Monica Werner
Should I be nervous?
We were able to attract a fantastic group of regular Naked Yoga students who created a non-judgmental community who embraces new students with open arms and makes them feel welcome in an instant when they may be a little nervous trying Naked Yoga for the first time.
Is naked yoga just another "wellness trend?"
I think wellness is a detrimental part of a healthy lifestyle in our fast-paced world. We need to make exercise and wellness part of our daily routine, not just for the physical benefits that we are all aware off, but also the psychological, emotional and mental benefits it can provide. Research shows that physical activity has a hugely positive impact on the brain and with more stress than ever before, working out can help calm us down and give us the energy to tackle the challenges of our hectic daily lives.
How can I live a healthier life in 2018?
Exercise daily, eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, meditate and make time for 'Me' time on a regular basis to recharge your energy and have a healthy work-life balance. Get off your gadgets on a regular basis and make time for face-to-face interactions to build a strong support system.
Purchase Bold & Naked - Let Your Body Talk here, and go and check out their sessions and services here.