I once knew a man who thought so much of himself that if he could have kissed his own ass, he would have. Yet, I doubt that even he would have been interested in taking part in the new nude-exercise created by British personal trainer Helen Smith, 35, despite her assurances that she seeks to make everyone “feel comfortable.” And while we all know that plenty of people like to check out others in locker rooms, anyone caught gawking at fellow classmates will be banished tout de suite. In fact, everyone interested in attending is required to email Smith personally to pre-register.
Helen Smith states that the idea to have men participate in her hour-long (moderate) boot-camp style exercise (which includes calisthenics and partner work) in the buff came to her after visiting a nude beach in France.
“I thought it would be a “great way to celebrate the body,” she told the Daily Mail. She also stated that advantages to such programs include helping people feel comfortable in their own skins, being able to “really see what the instructor is doing, and eliminating the need to wash sweaty gym clothes afterward.”
She also notes that once her clients shed all their clothes (including jock straps, etc), they soon shed their self-consciousness about their own bodies as well, and are happy to participate. Still, not everyone wants to see certain exercises such as jumping jacks, deep knee bends, and push-ups, etc. done totally naked.
While Smith’s idea may be new to Britain, the idea of charging people to bend it in the buff isn’t. In fact, Le Male Yoga in the Chelsea section of New York offered naked yoga for men before closing, while another New York studio, Bold & Naked offers all-male classes, and all female, as well as coed classes featuring poses of Vinyasa yoga completely in the nude. Founders Joschi Schwarz and Monika Werner reportedly also offer tantric massages at their studio for those who “feel extra-liberated” following these sessions.
Note: While vinyasa yoga grew out of hatha yoga, the postures are connected to each other through a series of movements that are synchronized with the breath. For instance, upward motions coordinate with inhaling, while downward movements are performed while exhaling. The continual movements, from one pose to another has been found to be more beneficial to heart health as well as increase muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, and reduce emotional stress than more traditional forms of yoga. It is also reported to be a favorite of actor Matthew McConaughey, who has been seen performing yoga while on a beach (although not in the nude).