Bringing back the birthday suit: yoga, stripped bare.

Bringing back the birthday suit: yoga, stripped bare. Photo: Image Source

Look, any excuse to get our kit off in public, right?

To name but a bare few, there's the Sydney Skinny swim, rudie nudie rowers and rugby players as well as an "undies run" where your strip down, run a few ks and give your clothes to the Salvos. You can canyon nude in the Blue Mountains, if you're going to streak at the cricket you won't be taken seriously unless you're nude and there are various venues around the country dedicated to going au naturel.

There are nudist dating sites, ad campaigns dedicated to how awesome we all are starkers and there's even a naturist federation to protect our nudist needs.

Just about every celebrity alive has gotten nude "in the name of charity".

Whatever.

The point is that it's surprising, given how much we all clearly love to disrobe given the chance, that we still titter so much at a bit of bottom or boob.

Seriously, the internet seems like a teenager having an apoplectic fit every time someone strips down and does something crazy like a downward dog displaying skywards the bits of themselves where the sun don't usually shine.

And this is exactly what has had people tee-heeing to themselves in the past week.

In recent years various yoga studios around the world have taken a truly revolutionary (ahem) approach and "yoked" traditional practice with avant-garde approaches. Hence the birth of gimmicky breeds of yoga like "doga", food yoga and twerking yoga, which inevitably generate plenty of publicity and leave many of us scratching our heads. But, really who cares? If they're happy, we're happy.

Same goes for nude yoga, which is just another offering from the slightly whacky school of modern yoga.

I once had the pleasure of being behind a man, in downward-dog, who was wearing ill-fitting turquoise Speedoes. It was a heated, overcrowded yoga room, so his sweaty nether regions and my head were way too close for comfort. The vision was burnt permanently into my memory, so I can see the potential issues with doing the same thing sans-Speedoes. But, that aside, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Yoga is all about "union" with yourself and letting go of attachment to things, so what better way to do that than naked as we came?

It's not a particularly new concept. In fact, Naked Yoga was an Academy Award nominee in the Best Short Documentary category in 1975.

More recently, the sprouting of nude yoga classes around the place was given a good dose of media coverage about four years ago.

It's now been exposed again thanks to a Daily Mail article about nude yoga in New York (it's also available in various studios around Australia).

"While many equate being naked with sex, this couldn't be further from the truth in a naked yoga class. It's about being comfortable in your own skin and the amazing confidence that comes with it," the featured yoga studio says on their website.

"Practicing yoga naked frees you from negative feelings about your body and allows [you] to be more accepting and deeper connected with yourself and the world around you."

Certainly, it makes sense that doing pretzel-like, hip-opening (and leg and bottom-opening) poses, naked, in a room full of strangers would heighten your awareness of your physicality. I just dare someone to do it for a first date.

A set of sexy nude yoga shots posted on Reddit last week have also undressed the underground nude yoga scene. The original article accompanying the shots is pretty hilarious, earnestly explaining: "For those who aren't experienced yoga buffs, it's often hard to see the muscles being affected by the poses, especially when the instructor is fully clothed."

Of course.

The reason people are looking at pictures of an attractive, naked young woman is so they can better understand which muscles are affected in which pose.

The fact is, the shots are fascinating; the human body is fascinating. Why do we need to snicker about it in all its glory or cover up our curiosity with pseudo-intellectual justifications?

Whether it's yoga or running or even, these days, on the red carpet, it's almost more surprising when people aren't trying to get naked.

Is it really all that shocking or is it time to loosen our ties a little and take a good hard look at why we're all getting our knickers in a twist over a little nudity?