'Yoga Undressed' Creator Says Naked Yoga Is Not About Sex

Jennifer Kries says it's about loving yourself and getting back to the spirituality of the practice

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter
yoga undressed image
Get in touch with your body with the naked yoga series "Yoga Undressed."
Photograph: Courtesy Yoga Undressed

MORE: What was your first naked yoga experience like?
JK: When I took my first naked yoga class a little over eight years ago, I really didn’t want to and I didn’t think that it was for me. I felt really reticent. The only reason I went was because I loved this friend of mine who urged me to go. I was a dancer—I had a certain comfort level [with my body]—but I wasn’t the girl who paraded around the locker room without a towel on; I always covered myself. But moments after I started this class I completely forgot that I was naked. It was all women, and all of the people in the class were so grounded and so down to earth and so kind, and everyone was just in her own space . . . Being naked, you realize that we’re all one, that we have the same bodies and we have the same issues with ourselves, and there was something so incredibly freeing about it. I could see my body moving, I could see my muscles, I could see the parts of my body that I wasn’t so in love with, and something miraculous happened to me. I had a real release—I started crying in the class. In that moment, suddenly I felt more connected to myself in my yoga practice than I ever had before.

MORE: Is it hard for people to get over the whole naked aspect?

JK: I did a radio interview this morning with a morning show with a guy and a woman and the guy was like, “Oh, it’s naked!” and being immature—not being wildly disrespectful, but missing the point. I told him one of my goals in doing this series was to desensationalize nudity and really inspire women and men to cultivate a kind of reverence and respect for nakedness and for sexuality, which I think is really lacking in the world . . . When you do naked yoga, you start to love yourself more, . . . you feel better about yourself, you have greater compassion, greater patience, and then you’re sweeter, you’re nicer, you’re kinder to other people.

MORE: Many of us equate naked with sex. Is this about sex?

JK: It is not about sex, it is about harmonious sexuality. But it really is about helping people return to that innocent, joyful, free connection to yourself that actually allows you to find your connection to spirit.

MORE: You seem to have been really conscious about being respectful and using certain angles when filming.
JK: It was carefully thought out, because this is not porn. If it were, then it wouldn’t be me doing it and we wouldn’t have considered the angles. I cared greatly about the yoginis that we cast . . . When people see the series, they don’t go, “Oh my God, they’re naked.” They go, “How exquisite, how beautiful.” And that’s what we intended. We cast two women who are so seasoned and dedicated in their craft, that their bodies just speak volumes . . . I really wanted it to be a source of inspiration.

MORE: A recent episode of Kourtney & Kim Take New York showed the Kardashians and their pals taking a naked yoga classbut only the male instructor was nude and the girls, some in lingerie, some in sweats,  mostly just giggled. Is that a common response when people try this out?

First Published March 22, 2012

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