It seems like there a million yoga varieties out there: acroyoga, hoopvinyasa - heck, there's probably a studio some place where you can take a yoga class with your dog on the mat next to you. There's one class that has piqued our interest here in Vancouver and now our West 4th store has their very own ambassador who specializes in it.
go naked. do yoga.
Ever tried naked yoga? If you live near our flagship store, this is one class you don't want to miss. Meet Swami Andani, lululemon's first Canadian naked yoga ambassador.
You’re an ambassador at our West 4th store. What classes do you teach there?
My bi-weekly class, "Streaking Into Yoga", is the perfect combination for the community here in Kits. A lot of the guests at the West 4th store frequently visit Wreck Beach (Vancouver's only nude beach). They're actively running and doing yoga already.
Is it a co-ed class?
You obviously get students who are a bit anxious. How do you put them at ease?
I find that their comfort level increases whenever I stand over them, look deeply into their eyes and tell them that everything is going to be alright. At the end of the class, I make sure to give all my students a hug for coming.
How did you find yoga?
How did I find yoga? Yoga found me, in the grasslands of Malawi, where I grew up. I became one with my breath waiting to spot snakes freshly fed with frogs, slithering from their hiding spots. I found my true purpose trying to catch chambo in Lake Malawi amongst the iguana on Lizard Island. This taught me about the interconnectedness of life and our relationship with all beings. Sitting under a baobab tree one day, observing the world around me, I realized that I must teach the world to let go. I encourage my students to join me on this spiritual safari and let go of their materialism through the shedding of the layers they wear to our class.
How did you get into naked yoga?
It all happened under a baobab tree where I reached the highest level of my practice. I was fifteen. At that moment, I realized that clothes were like armour hindering the inner me from crossing over to the outer me. I immediately stripped off my clothes and went straight into tree pose. It was very spiritual, very comforting, very enlightening.
Outside of the store, where do you teach?
It's been difficult to find a place that will rent me the space. Most places have preconceived notions that naked yoga is not 100% hygienic. I'm not sure where this negativity comes from. Kudos to lululemon for believing in me.
You don’t need clothes, but what essentials are on your list?
A yoga mat, of course, and high-quality to-and-from clothing. The Bonfire Hoodie and Formula Pant are the perfect things to keep warm before and after class.
What’s your favourite yoga pose? Why?
Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulder Stand). Without any clothes, you truly get the full benefit of being inverted, if you know what I mean.
What’s the best part about being naked while you practice?
The feeling of air wicking away the moisture from every nook and crevice is something that is truly relaxing. It's like being on a swing with bare feet. This is something you can’t experience with traditional yoga clothing; although, I’ve heard lululemon is working on styles to simulate this.
What's your big, hairy, audacious goal?
To hold a naked yoga event at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium and have 5000 people attend. I want it to be like the other big yoga events, just without the stretchy pants.
What would you tell our guests who are nervous to try naked yoga?
I tell them that their outer-you is ready to experience their inner-you. What are you waiting for?
- Find out about complimentary yoga classes at your local store. Wear clothes.
- Get inspired. Meet some of our other ambassadors.
- Want to know more about other kinds of yoga? Let us educate you.
Naked yoga is not for the faint of heart. Are you up for taking it all off?