RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Yoga dates back some 5,000 years, and in all that time, the reason for this practice has stayed the same - the attainment of perfect tranquility and spiritual insight, while meditating.
What it's not about, is contorting into the perfect pose, sharing selfies of your sexy backbend on Instagram - or showing off your cute yoga outfits from LuLuLemon.
Maybe that's why everyone at LeVar Carter's yoga class is naked.
"Of course, the ancient practice of yoga was long before spandex was around, and they did practice nude in the forest, in the mountains and in the caves - so it's actually going back to the core of the practice," said Carter.
Carter is the Yogi who's led this class for several years now. On any given Wednesday, somewhere between 15 and 20 men gather in Richmond's Manchester district to share his gift - the ability to purify the body and mind, and helping his class reach awareness and control over their internal state.
Doing it in the buff, he says, allows the class a level of freedom that is unparalleled. He remembers his first time attending a nude yoga class.
"It was amazing. Having practiced yoga 'clothed' for a few years at that point, letting go of that, and just being into the body, as it is naturally, is a very liberating experience," said Carter.
Letting go isn't easy for everyone - it can be intimidating. Many mistakenly believe the only people who come to a class like this have six-pack abs and live in the gym.
It's not. According to Carter, naked yoga can help with self-esteem, and eventually, learning to appreciate yourself for who you are. He's already looking for space to expand, maybe with co-ed nude yoga classes. He believes anyone can benefit.
"Yoga is for everyone. It doesn't matter what your body type is," said Carter. "Everyone is gonna be able to benefit from it. Everyone's gonna learn more about their own body through the experience."
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