Naga Sadhus essentially roam the county naked, traveling from holy place to holy place or spend time at ashrams, where they devote themselves to the discovery of their True Divine Nature. The nude yoga they practice can primarily be understood at 2 levels. First, I will explore the “ordinary” meaning behind their naked ways and the benefits this bestows, and then I will go into the more esoteric and symbolic meaning behind what is means to be a naked yogi.
Benefits of Nude Yoga:
The nudity is a symbol of renunciation of all things material on the part of the Sadhus. By renouncing even clothes, they are demonstrating this agreement they have made during their initiation. Of course, real renunciation has to do with renouncing ambition, but even so, this ancient tradition uses material renunciation as a stepping stone towards this final end.
- Body Awareness:
Nude yoga promotes greater awareness of the body and a greater sense of freedom when practising yoga asanas (positions). Seeing and feeling the body as youstretch and move from one posture to the next, inspires more mindful practice.The nakedness also removes any sense of restriction that clothing subtly promotes and thus, a greater sense of freedom can be experienced when doing the yoga poses.
- Psychological Freedom
Above I mentioned that nude yoga can promote a greater sense of physical freedom, but the real freedom that the sadhus are seeking from their nakedness,is freedom from inhibitions, the opinions of others and any sense of shame about their body. Initially, a naked yogi will certainly feel the judgemental eyes and opinions of others, but in time these concerns evaporate and a care free
- Detachment from the Body:
Even though yoga, nude or otherwise, helps create a vibrant, energetic and powerful body, the objective though is actually detachment from the body. Nude sadhus of the Naga sect renounce sex and embrace celibacy, and learn to face the harsh elements without concern for physical comfort or security, including the freezing cold of the Himalayas where many reside. Both these acts are
attitude emerges. Nude yoga is about cultivating this level of psychological freedom.
designed to help break the attachment one has with the physical body and sense organs.