Leeds Naturist Group (LNG) has been going since 1985 and their weekly get-togethers are at Bramley’s beautiful Edwardian swimming baths. ‘We are so lucky to have an excellent relationship with the group running the baths, they say. ‘Our members in the past have voted unanimously to make charitable donations to help with fundraising efforts but we noticed a new trend; naked yoga. Classes were being held around the world, New York, Brisbane, London; all extolling the benefits for body confidence and self-acceptance. So, we thought why not add Leeds to the mix?
‘We approached several Yoga instructors with a view to having them come to our meeting on a Saturday but the people at The Hot Room, Leeds invited us to their place. Bikram Yoga is different in that it is conducted in a hot studio - 40 degrees Celsius. The idea is that it warms the body allowing for deeper stretches in the muscles and joints as well as the cleansing benefits through sweating. It’s a practice that lends itself perfectly to being nude. Even in clothed classes people wear close to nothing.
‘Would our members make an extra trip with the busy lives we all live? We had a lightbulb moment! We could open the session to members of the studio. Vicki at The Hot Room couldn’t have been more supportive. We were amazed by the uptake and the class quickly filled with both LNG and The Hot Room members wanting to experience something entirely new.
‘Vicki tailored the class to be beneficial for the wide range of people involved; young, old, experienced or beginner. For some this was their first time being nude in a social setting. LNG prides itself on being a friendly bunch, but to the folk from The Hot Room completely unused to such a naked situation, this was a revelation. No one giving a hoot about what you look like, what they look like, who you are or what you do. Just straight up acceptance. Several even remarked at the time how refreshing that felt.
The Hot Room member Alice, said “I have struggled with accepting and loving my body in the past. When the studio offered a Naturist class I was excited to try it! It was liberating and so refreshing to be around such friendly people. I feel like it was an important step in my journey of self-love and something I would recommend to other people.” George is one of the exceptionally talented instructors at the studio. “A lot of people had extreme views about it and it’s not something I necessarily wanted to do but I didn’t understand the divided opinions. So I did it to form my own opinion. During the first session I remember having the same re-occurring thought a few times about doing it naked, but 10 minutes in I completely forgot about it. After completing two Naturist yoga classes I feel a huge boost of confidence being naked and accepting my body as it is and I’d be curious to try Naturism in different settings.”
‘We asked Vicki what made her decide, not only to be the instructor for the session but to join in with our dress code and how she felt about it. “I’m Swedish and I don’t really call myself a Naturist, as Naturism is just something that’s always been a natural part of life for me. As a child I would go with my family to a deserted beach and we’d swim and sunbathe naked, and it never seemed like an odd or unusual thing to do. Since opening the studio in Leeds, I had noticed how inhibiting and potentially harmful the English attitude to nakedness could be. A naked yoga class seemed like a great idea! It’s been great to see some of our regular students joining in. They have all told me it left them with a sense of accomplishment, liberation and increased body confidence.”
LNG have decided to make it a regular addition to the calendar with classes booked every other month for the next year. Spaces are limited and tickets do sell fast but if any BN members are interested in joining in please contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org