FunkySLO
Taking Yoga To The Next Level.

NUDE Yoga

Fitness and adventure enthusiasts around the world have joined the growing global trend of nude recreational sports. Within the sport of yoga specifically, practicioners nationwide are starting to lose the yoga pants, for a more liberating and freeing yoga practice. The yoga studio Bold and Naked in New York City is pushing the workout limits, as one of the most popular nude studios in the nation, setting the stage for this new type of yoga craze. It is said to be an experience where you can become more focused on your practice and your body.

Nude yoga practice has expanded outside the classroom, to parks, private land and nude beach areas. Some practice alone, some in groups and under the sun. Yogis across the globe strip themselves – literally – of all their worries and insecurities, focusing on the practice. Liz Crosby, an Instagram famous yogi on the central coast, shows some of her crazy moves in her favorite spot for her daily nude yoga.

Shell Beach Drive <br />
It’s a seemingly typical foggy winter afternoon at Shell Beach in Pismo, Calif. Families stroll along the promenade, the sun pokes through the clouds for a few minutes of blue skies and on the rocky beach below, “yogi” Liz Crosby prepares for some nude yoga. On the Sand <br />
Liz Crosby, 29, of San Luis Obispo has been in love with the ocean since she was a young girl. She had surfed all her life, but now she doesn’t go a day without practicing yoga. “I love surfing, and I miss it sometimes. I see getting into your next pose, it’s like hitting your first barrel and ride it out and make it through the tubes other side. So much incredible energy, except surfing gets you tense, tight and anxious where yoga calms you, loosens you, enlightens you,” Crosby says. Barefoot <br />
The sandals come off. Crosby says the hardest step in practicing nude yoga for the first time is getting your clothes off for the first time, letting yourself feel the breeze and get your feet wet. Finding the Perfect Place <br />
While many practice naked yoga at home and in nature, there are a growing number of participants in group classes. Crosby shares her yoga practice across the central coast, teaching  at the Cal Poly Recreation Center, Harmony House in Pismo, Spark Yoga and SloOp Climbing. Crosby actually used to do a naked class at Pirates Cove, but around this time of year goes out on her own at Shell Beach. She laughs and suggests to steer clear of Pirates Cove, saying people at the cove “stare for too long” and “don’t take the hint.”
My Body Can’t Move Like That <br />
Kylie Carlson, 20, of Oakland Calif., is a Business major at Cal Poly slo and has taken classes with Crosby both at the Cal Poly Rec. Center and at Spark Yoga. She has a hard time feeling like she will ever be able to move like Liz.  “It puts me outside my comfort zone. It’s definitely unlike the typical yoga you take growing up and as a workout. You can tell she uses yoga for the physical and the spiritual. Liz incorporates a lot of mental work, which many teachers leave out. I think that’s part of what makes her able to hold these crazy poses, she is in the zone mentally.”
Future Plans <br /> Liz flips her legs back over her head and comes out of her pose. I love practicing yoga for myself, but now I am am the point where I know so much, I would love to go back to school for a teaching credential, where I could expand my teaching beyond yoga classes and into the mindful, classroom side of yoga. Insta Famous <br />
She decided to take her nude yoga inspirations to the internet. Now, she has 37.9k followers on her Instagram account, and such a following that strangers have started reposting her photos, even making memes of her poses. “I took it online because I want people to see that it’s okay, people are doing it and you can too,” she says. “I didn’t expect it to get so big, because I ultimately do it for myself, but it is good to know that I am spreading awareness outward to inspire.”

Nature’s Matt <br />
Crosby presses her hands into the sand and hoists her body against the algae covered rock wall, into her favorite outdoor position. “For me, the greatest part about it is being one, and fully with, nature.” Crosby says, “Your energy, your awareness, it all shifts perspective inwards. Your mind doesn’t stray, you aren’t worried about anybody looking at you or the sports bra tight around your chest; it’s just you, the sand and the salty ocean.” Open Air <br />
Crosby steps away from the rock wall and over to an open space for her handstand segment. The first time Crosby ever tried yoga was outdoors on the sand, and she has had a connection to practicing in the open ever since. “My friends and I were just running around, doing handstands on the beach, ‘cause that’s the best place to work on handstands. The sand will just catch you if you fall, and it’s no big deal. That’s when I fell in love.” After a few minutes standing, she bends her legs down over her head and into a backbend. Outside Perspective <br />
Kelly Metcalf, owner of Harmony House yoga studio in Pismo, Calif., stresses the importance of this mental aspect of yoga and the mindset Crosby holds in her practice. “The practice of yoga has the power to take us out of our physical experiences, by moving our awareness within,” she says.  Standing Inward Bend Balance <br />
Crosby moves into her favorite Instagram pose, which took her years of practice to make it to. “This one get’s all the likes, and also get’s turned into memes a lot,” she rolls her eyes and laughs, “ which I just think is funny.” She can stay in this pose as long as she wants, and just “chill there until her body wants a change.” Staying Through Sunset <br />
The sun begins to hide behind the February fog, and as the beachgoers head back up the sand towards their cars, Crosby stays to practice in solitude. When she is completely alone, and know no one can see her, that’s when she drops my swimsuit. “It’s liberating, exhilarating, freeing from any reservations or mental weights you may have,” she says. My goal is to spread my ideas, spark a fire in San Luis Obispo. If I can light up SLO, I know it will take off and we can do some amazing things.”

Beer+Yoga=BOGA. A yoga trend you need to try.

"...now bring your beer to heart center..."

This is a perfect blend of a Saturday morning workout and a start-of-the-weekend celebratory drink. It's a cure for the night before, a relaxation after the long week, and the perfect way of introducing, (or convincing) a yoga newbie to come along to yoga with you.

What started in Berlin, Germany and spread to Australia has finally made it to the U.S. With over 20 breweries nationwide offering BOGA classes on a regular basis, it is beginning to take off. According to Mashable and The Huffington Post, "it's a thing now" and "beer yoga is just what the world has been waiting for."

Jes Godsey, BOGA instructor and director at the Libertine Brewery in Morro Bay, CA, shares their take on BOGA and it's growing popularity here on the central coast.

Weed Yoga: Incorporating marijuana into yoga practice.

Yes, you read that right. “Ganja yoga” or marijuana infused yoga, is exactly what it sounds like; everyone in class spends the first few minutes getting high together. Most studios offer joints, bowls, vapes, or edibles to consume— and then turns on incents and music for a 60-75 minute yoga class.

In most cases, participants have be 21 years of age (thanks to Proposition 64) or must have a medical marijuana card issued by the state of California. A program called Vanaspati Yoga in Cambria, California on the central coast, has been doing weekly Ganja Yoga classes that have completely taken off, especially among Cal Poly and Cuesta College students. Students sign up for the class and are immediately e-mailed the location to show up to. Upon arrival, students show either an ID or medical card, and pay $15, which includes the doses of your choice and a 60-75 minute class.

Check out a few stories of Cal Poly SLO students, and their positive experiences practicing yoga with weed.

Yoga...What?

Is your hot, vinyasa or hatha yoga not enough? Don't hold your breath... there are tons of crazy types of yoga classes coming out, some that you have to see to believe. What will we try next?

The Numbers

One of the most interesting things about yoga trends today is it’s growth in the past decade. Yoga is the 2nd most popular workout according to Mens Fitness magazine 2015, and it is rising every year. We've talked about this craze, this boom, and how the love for yoga as an excercise around the world has sparked all different and new kinds of yoga practices. Now, here are the reinforcing statistics. This illustrates the growth of the excercise in the hard numbers.

The Numbers

Yoga: Going Beyond the Mat

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self,
to the self. Keep moving. - The Bhagavad Gita