I do yoga in my undies. It’s not to admire myself, and it’s not some kind of “kinky” thing… Rather, partially-clothed yoga (or heck, even naked yoga) is all about alignment! In day-to-day life, maintaining good posture and alignment is super important. But in yoga, alignment is EVERYTHING. If you’re not properly aligned, you can really hurt yourself.
When I’m fully clothed, it’s hard to tell if my hips are off-kilter in warrior pose, or if my form is correct when flowing through sun salutations. But when I do yoga in my undies, I can really SEE what I’m doing. Naked yoga (or scantily clad yoga) makes it easier to see every muscle and joint in my body, and thus to know when my alignment is off. This helps prevent injury or muscular imbalances that can occur from repeatedly performing certain poses incorrectly.
The alignment on the left? Bad news… Potential injury-in-the-making. The alignment on the right is much better.
Unfortunately, most of us are tighter (or weaker, or more painful, or more stiff) on one side. If we’re not really focused and intent on our alignment in every way possible — and visual feedback is a great way to keep yourself in-check — then it’s all too easy to compensate for your weaker/tighter side by doing something funky with your alignment.
If your alignment is “off,” then a scantily clad body — and a mirror — will tell on you.
I am not a certified yoga teacher, so I won’t go into specifics of what you should be looking for in various yoga poses, alignment-wise. But if you’ve taken a yoga class you’ll likely be familiar with cues from your teacher about proper form, and hopefully you’ll be able to recall these cues when you’re practicing yoga in your undies at home. Perhaps if you’re following a yoga video on YouTube or a DVD (or this fab vid by Amanda Dee on bemoreyogic.com), you’ll be able to watch the video, listen to the teacher’s alignment cues, and then view yourself in a full-length mirror to see what your body is actually doing.
A few practical tips:
To make scantily clad yoga worthwhile from a biomechanical perspective, you will need a mirror. If you don’t have a mirror, looking down at your hips or knees (for example) is helpful, but to get the MOST ACCURATE perspective of what you REALLY look like, alignment-wise, you’ll need to invest in a full-length looking glass. I actually have three! My mirrors are nothing fancy; I got all three of them at IKEA for less than $50 total.
Is your yoga room/area cold? If so, use a space heater. I have a portable space heater that I use in my fitness room throughout the winter.
Wondering about sanitation? If you want to really be free and go “full Monty,” then be sure to clean your mat before and after your practice. Try this DIY yoga mat cleaner… However, do your research first! Be sure to follow the cleaning recommendations provided by your yoga mat manufacturer. I can’t guarantee this will work for all yoga mats.
DIY yoga mat cleaner
In a spray or spritz bottle, combine:
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar OR witch hazel (or half ‘n half… in other words, 2 Tbsp of each)
- 5 drops melaleuca or eucalyptus essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
To clean your mat, lightly scrub it with a soft brush, cloth, or sponge to remove any surface “junk.” Next, shake your spray bottle, and spray your mat generously, covering the surface that you use for yoga/exercise. Wipe down your mat with a damp cloth, and then hang it to dry. It should take no more than 15 minutes for it to dry completely, and you’re ready to go!
Want to learn more about the essential oils I use? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll tell you exactly what I recommend, and how to get your hands on ’em.