In the age of digital connectivity, the landscape of wellness practices has undergone a profound transformation. During the years of the pandemic, among the uncountable offerings in the virtual realm, online naked yoga training emerged as a liberating and empowering practice for those seeking a unique blend of physical fitness, mental well-being, and body positivity. In the comfort of one's home, this unconventional approach to yoga offered a range of benefits that extend well beyond the traditional confines of a studio.
My own teaching practice of naked yoga began online during the pandemic, with me dipping a tentative toe into the digital world with a modest offer of weekly classes to see who would be interested… I was completely unprepared for the response!
All of a sudden, people from across the globe were joining me two, three or more times a week to practise together and, before I knew it, The Bearded Naked Yogi Community was born.
It was a joy to be meeting people from many different countries, coming together as one to enjoy our practice together, without clothes and forging new friendships.
It quickly became apparent to me that many people across the world were looking for the space that I had created and the power of the internet in bringing people together was evident.
I witnessed friendships being forged and relationships being explored.
But with the days of the pandemic drawing to a close and people returning to their lives that had been so disrupted by two years of isolation and solitude, I naturally wondered what was next for The Bearded Naked Yogi and whether the teaching would continue.
Would the community that has sprung up continue?
Was it all just a ‘flash-in-the-pan’ and would fade away?
I witnessed so many teachers who had taken their teaching practices online abandon their digital platforms as their own lives shifted and changed in response to the post-pandemic days… would I go the same way?
But, what had been created would not fall so easily it seemed.
The weekly practices continued and, with time, increased.
People who had been searching for a true practice and community of naked yoga found their way here.
The gratitude that has been expressed for remaining constant in a world that is ever-changing has been profound.
This way of providing teachings and classes was here to stay and, in my eyes, has an extraordinary potential to grow further.
And I have embraced in myself how the digitised way of practising yoga together actually suits the way I live my own life.
I’ve always been a bit of a wanderer, with the heart of a nomad and always curious about what lies over the next horizon… but by offering an exclusively online weekly schedule, I am able to lead practices from wherever I may be in the world… the only disruption is if I am onboard an aircraft!
There is a consistency of practice that provides an anchor, not just for the many people of The Bearded Naked Community, but for me as a teacher and a student - wherever I am, I know that I can connect with my students and share the practice; the only thing I need is WiFi and a travel mat.
The Ultimate Wandering Yogi perhaps.
But there is something wider here I think.
For many people across the globe, they do not have easy access to a yoga studio, and if they do, there are far too few studios that welcome naked classes… we do not all live in major cities and, in fact, I can see that many of my students come from rural locations… from the outback of Australia, the MidWest of the United States or the far flung reaches of the British Isles
The opportunity for these people to come together, in the comfort of home, opens a door to a more consistent and sustainable yoga routine, accommodating individuals with busy lifestyles or those who may be hesitant to attend in-person classes.
This virtual platform allows individuals to participate in thoughtful and engaging classes with a community of like-minded souls, irrespective of their geographical locations.
Truly, the inclusivity inherent in online platforms empowers individuals to curate a practice that suits their unique needs, fostering a more personalised and enriching yoga experience.
My desire in teaching online has been to provide a supportive community for individuals who may not have access to local naked yoga classes. Through the power of the internet, practitioners can enjoy the teachings we offer and connect with people from around the globe, sharing experiences, insights, and encouragement.
This global reach of The Bearded Naked Community continues to foster a sense of belonging and acceptance, reinforcing the idea that yoga is a practice for everyone, regardless of experience, location or background.
The virtual setting also enables a level of privacy that some individuals may find comforting. For those who may be self-conscious or apprehensive about practising naked yoga in a public space, the home environment offers a sanctuary for exploration in a place that feels familiar and safe. This sense of safety can be particularly empowering, allowing individuals to delve into their practice with greater focus and mindfulness.
The world has changed dramatically in the last three years, perhaps more so than many of us ever thought we would see in our lifetimes… but, in times of great change, I am proud to say The Bearded Naked Yogi has become a beacon of stability… we’re here; we’re practising… and you are most welcome to join us!
Matt - The Bearded Naked Yogi