Irish Sunday Mirror

I tried naked yoga... it was empowering!

Latest craze has a lot to offer on quiet Killiney beach

- News@irishmirro­

OVER the years we’ve had hot yoga and suspension yoga, and now naked yoga has arrived.

Ditching your clothes for more flexibilit­y is the latest craze to hit our shores.

Irish Sunday Mirror writer SIOBHAN O’CONNOR went along to see what all the fuss is about... ervous and excited, I make my way to White Rock Beach in Dalkey, South Dublin. Anticipati­on mounts as I see a group of nudists sunbathing on a rock, while others skinny dip.

I spot my yoga group of 12 people, immersed in warrior pose, arms outstretch­ed, unashamedl­y baring all in a cyclical formation.

This must be real freedom I think as I look in awe at the eight men and four women blissfully embracing their bodies.

White Rock is a beautiful covey beach located in the salubrious suburb that’s home to Bono and Enya. I wonder if they ever got their kit off here?

Although quite private, it is visible to Dart commuters as they whiz by, and immediatel­y I go into self-conscious

NNaked yoga is not new. It goes back hundreds of thousands of years YOGA TEACHER PAUL THE ANCIENT PRACTICE

mode. What if anyone I know spots me starkers?

The panic slowly diminishes as I strip off and join the Irish Naturist Society.

I avert my gaze as I don’t want the seasoned pros to think I’m analysing their bodies.

It’s hard to know where to look, so I focus on our Yogi master, Paul, and listen to his instructio­ns.

He wears a watch, shades, necklace and swim booties to grip the sand, but nothing else.

Paul focuses on moves like lunges and triangle pose. My nerves are cured as I embrace where I am and get on with it.

My limbs start to relax and the wind blowing softly is refreshing in the bits where the sun don’t shine.

It feels good and nobody seems to be looking at our group, despite some beach visitors being fully clothed. Stripped of clothing on a Dublin beach felt empowering and at one with nature, it actually does what it says on the tin.

My favourite part of the class was reclining into Shavasana, which is where you lie down and meditate after the class.

Chatting to the yogis afterwards was interestin­g, I’ve never conducted an interview in the nip.

Dublin teacher Paul, 61, says naked yoga is an ancient practice.

He explained: “There were naked yoga practices going back hundreds of thousands of years, it’s not new.

“It’s been around for centuries, along with nature – they go hand in hand.”

For Paul, naked yoga was one of those happy accidents later on in life. He said: “I’m not sure which one came first, naturism or yoga. “It is growing in popularity, it’s a confidence thing for most people.”

Jose, from Spain, has been living in Ireland for 23 years and prefers naked yoga to the regular practice.

He said: “I only did yoga with clothes on twice, I’ve practised naked about 20 times. It’s the natural way to do yoga in an open space.” INA president Leticia

Medina revealed skinny dipping and nudism is legal, leading to a positive ageing movement.

She said: “Most people will admit naked swimming and naked yoga is more enjoyable, you just need a nonjudgeme­ntal and open-minded group of people around.”

After the experience ended I felt many of the benefits the group spoke of. It brings you closer to yourself, you don’t care if your clothes are stylish as you have none.

You leave feeling more connected to nature and more Zen as you’ve no time to think of your problems.

Once I finished chatting on the beach, it was in for a skinny dip (when in Rome) and lo and behold my three-year-old Eila came running in after me shouting, ‘Mammy I’m in the nudies too’.

I guess kids don’t give a damn and know how to feel free naturally.

We could learn a lot from them.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? MAMA BARE Siobhan at White Rock beach in Killiney
MAMA BARE Siobhan at White Rock beach in Killiney
 ?? ?? CONFIDENCE The classes are growing in popularity
CONFIDENCE The classes are growing in popularity
 ?? ?? NOW AND ZEN Naked yoga is more enjoyable
NOW AND ZEN Naked yoga is more enjoyable
 ?? ?? OPEN-MINDED Naturism

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