So You Want To Start A Nude Yoga Class? By Naked Yoga Instructor Isis

| June 3, 2015 | 7 Comments

Isis Offers Tips On How To Start A Nude Yoga Class

So you want to start a nude yoga class … Having founded Naked Yoga NYC and being a nude yoga instructor for many years (now in Massachusetts), I get asked about this a lot.

If you are ready to expand out of your living room practice of watching a yoga DVD and perhaps inviting the occasional clothes-free buddy to practice with you, here’s what you need to know.

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Nude Yoga With Isis

First, be a yoga teacher or find a certified yoga teacher who is willing to put their name and energy behind naked yoga. A group led by a yoga enthusiast or student without certification is likely to run into a variety of health issues. When you have a group of people practicing together, each person will have a unique body and perhaps even injuries that will need to be navigated in class. There are also proper ways to sequence a class and warm-up the body to avoid incorrect alignment and injury. A certified yoga instructor will have the knowledge to keep you and others safe. If you’re a nude yoga fan, consider going through certification yourself in order to bring these practices into your community.

Who is going to attend my naked yoga class?

Yoga Community
You don’t have to build your class from the ground up. Chances are, there are communities that already exist that are waiting for you to start a naked yoga class. The words themselves “Naked” and “Yoga” describe two different communities that are your primary potential participants.

Let’s start with the “naked” community first. This group of individuals defines themselves as enjoying clothes-free recreation and the au naturel lifestyle. Naturist communities tend to be a pretty sociable group.

They like gathering together for various reasons, the main one being they enjoy being naked with others in a social context. The naturist community around you will be your most supportive ally in starting up a naked yoga class. A brief search on the internet will reveal much.

There are landed clubs listed with AANR and non-landed, informal groups, also known as “travel clubs” that visit nude beaches or rent swimming pools for nude swim-nights. All of these groups will be thrilled you’re offering a naked yoga class and will have many participants who will want to attend.

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Naked Yoga Class With Isis

Next – the “yoga” community. More yoga studios are becoming tolerant and even inclusive of naked yoga classes being offered. If you’re a teacher, most likely, you already teach at a yoga studio or several. Reach out to the studio(s) where you teach and tell them about your desire to begin teaching a naked yoga class and ask for their support. Many yoga studios are scrambling to cover their overhead. One of the incentives you can cite about adding a naked yoga class to their roster is that it will bring in an immediate additional income stream to the studio and a new influx of people who might also be interested in other yoga classes that are offered there. If your studio is not open to putting a naked yoga class on their schedule, they might be willing to rent space to you or they might know someone who will.

After the naked and the yoga communities, there are secondary communities to consider. These are communities that have a similar energetic vibe or overlapping belief system that includes body positivity and inclusivity of nudity, such as art and figuring drawing groups and dance and theatre communities, in addition to sex-positive communities that incorporate Tantra or Taoism.

How Do I to Get the Word Out About my Naked Yoga Class?

You already know or are surrounded by a vast network of people interested in your class and you have connection to all of them via the internet. Here are a few options for getting the word out:

1. Start a Website. Purchase a domain name that includes the words “naked” and “yoga” and the name of the town or city where the class will be held to make it more search friendly. Avoid weird domains like “Windy City Naked Yoga” … really, what were they thinking? Naked Yoga Chicago is a much better alternative and is often what people will type into their search engine when looking for a class near them.

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Naked Yoga Class Online Promotion

2. Social Media – Begin a Facebook business page for your class that people can follow and where you can post up-to-date info about your class. This will be different from your personal Facebook profile. Keep the page public so it is searchable by people who don’t have a Facebook account. Next, link your Facebook page as a widget on your website so they can share data. Then, post promotional material from your page into nudist community groups and yoga groups that you already belong to in order to spread the word about your class.

Meetup.com is also a wonderful way to promote your class, and it has an internal algorithm that will link people who have already joined your naked yoga Meetup to people who they think might enjoy it based on their other Meetup groups. Meetup has a nominal monthly fee that is definitely worth the investment, and you can set it up to take payments directly online. It also has a community feel where you can see the people who are attending the class and connect with them in a social network setting.

3. Additional Advertising: After starting your website and engaging in social media, you may want to extend your reach beyond your primary and secondary communities to include the general public. Here you can try advertising in places like Craigslist, a free local paper or a local health and wellness magazine that will notify the general public of your class.

4. Be Generous: Volunteer to teach a promotional class at a local naturist club near you to help publicize your class. Most clubs and resorts are thrilled to have a guest naked yoga teacher for a day. Also, most long standing naturist clubs have a community of seniors who have limited mobility. This group could definitely benefit from a naked yoga class so be sure to make it senior friendly.

Where can I find a location to teach my naked yoga class?

Location

This is often the biggest challenge for individuals beginning their first naked yoga class encounter. If you want to keep your class intimate and have a large enough space in your home or you already have access to a supportive yoga studio, you’re in luck! Schedule your class, send out an announcement to your community and roll out your mat.

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Start A Naked Yoga Class

If you have yet to secure a space, practice patience and persistence. Some places might be wary of a clothes-free class if they’re not used to or familiar with a clothes-free lifestyle. When approaching new spaces, it helps to have a few news stories printed out about successful naked yoga classes that you can share with them. It’s best to openly discuss concerns with the rental spaces such as who will be attending and address any hygiene-related concerns they might have. A frank and honest discussion can sway a nervous renter. In-person queries work more effectively than email ones. Showing up in person with a peaceful smiling face and professional manner is much more effective when requesting space for a naked yoga class than an anonymous email from a faceless stranger.

If you’re having trouble finding a space, ask for help. No group of people will be more helpful about wanting to see a thriving naked yoga class and supporting its efforts than the naturist community. They also tend to have the most leads into finding locations that already support naked classes and workshops and will be delighted to see a naked yoga class start up in their area.

Whoa, people are breaking down the door to come to my naked yoga class! What do I do?

Screening
Screening can be a time-consuming project when starting a naked yoga class. It’s best to have people fill out a standard intake form online that poses basic questions around their interest in taking your class, in addition to informing you of any special conditions or recent injuries. Even asking a simple question like – “Why do you want to practice naked yoga?” or “What does naked yoga mean to you?” can bring out someone’s true intentions and help you decide if they’re right for your class or not. There’s no right or wrong way to screen people and you’ll have to decide what level of screening you’re comfortable with. Some teachers ask for photo ID and a reference or they do a background check. Others rely solely on intuition. Ultimately the decision is yours on how thoroughly you screen.

Liability Waiver
Cover your ass before uncovering it. Always have students sign a liability waiver before participating in your class. Most clubs have people sign one at the door, so if you’re teaching at a nudist club you might be comfortable with simply using theirs. There are standard liability waivers online. I always include in my waiver something that acknowledges that the individual participating is in sound mind and body and does indeed know he/she is participating in a naked yoga class. I also include that they have communicated any limitations to the nude yoga instructor and will fully take responsibility for their well-being as well as limitations in the class. This kind of waiver keeps you, and the studio you are renting from, safe.

Agency
You have agency over your class, meaning you have the right to decide who attends and what level of yoga experience they must have to attend. I used to have an all-inclusive policy in my classes thinking that the space I held was big enough to include everyone. I’m more discerning now around the individuals who attend my classes. I now require people to have some yoga experience if they are coming to a drop-in class because the level will not be appropriate for them. I invite people with no experience to take a few classes before attending my class or to consider private sessions first. You’ll have to decide what your group entry point is.

Second, you have the right to ask someone to leave your class. If you have a gut feeling that someone isn’t right for your class, and is going to compromise the group energy, don’t include them. Maintain agency throughout your class. Consider having a gate-keeper / door guardian to your class who helps sign people in and discreetly opens the doors for late-comers so you can keep teaching. Have clear rules and etiquette listed on your website and in a welcome letter that you send to new students. This can include etiquette such as “Bring your own mat,” “No late entry,” and “You must wear clothes to the studio.” You may roll your eyes at the last one, but it actually happened – and, no, a trench coat alone does not count as clothing.

People are asking me questions about erections and menstruation… what do I do?

Be prepared to answer common questions from men such as “What happens if I get an erection?” or from women “What if I’m on my menstrual cycle?” If you’re confused about how to answer these questions, there’s lots of writing in standard nudist literature about how to address this.

Whoa, the press just called me about my naked yoga practice… what do I do?

Press
Naked yoga is a new trend that draws eyes and raises eyebrows. Once the word gets out that a new local naked yoga class is starting, bloggers, local newspapers and even national syndicates might be interested in writing or shooting a story about your class. You can’t do much about raised eyebrows except speak with clarity and authenticity each time you are interviewed or asked about your class. A clear truthful message is more likely to inspire people who are indecisive about their thoughts on naked yoga and are waiting to see whose face and voice are behind it.

Finally, discern which press you speak to and always ask the person doing the reporting from what angle they intend to approach the story. Some go by the philosophy that any press is good press. However, to preserve the integrity of your class and the comfort of your students, if the angle for the story sounds too sensational, you might want to pass it up.

My naked yoga class is up and running, what’s next?

Congrats! Thanks for spreading the wonderful and healing practice of naked yoga.

Now it’s time to contact Naked Yoga Alliance, an international resource network I created for naked yoga. Let us know you have a class running and we’ll list it on our classes page under your state with a link to your website.

If you’d like, we’ll send you some interview questions and post a picture and interview with you on our blog to help continue spreading the word about the wonderful benefits of naked yoga. Visit www.nakedyogaalliance.com to learn more.

Young Naturists and Nudists America

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Yoga

About the Author ()

Isis Phoenix is a sensual shaman who facilitates ceremonies for individuals wanting to create transformation in the area of sexuality, spirituality, intimacy and relationship. Isis facilitates individual coaching and group Shamanic Immersions and retreats. She is also the founder of Naked Yoga NYC, a nude yoga movement that continues to gain international attention. Isis Phoenix and her work has been featured in Jane Magazine, Vogue, Elle, NY Post, BBC News and MSNBC. For more information visit www.sensualshaman.com or email sensualshaman@gmail.com