Here's why so many women are posting naked yoga poses on Instagram right now
Have you been scrolling through your feed lately and noticed that between the photos of your friends' proudly decorated Christmas trees and the brunch pictures you roll your eyes at (that admittedly also make your tummy rumble) – there are a bunch of ladies doing impressive yoga poses... bare naked.
It's all thanks to Nude Yoga Girl, who I'll have you know isn't just famous for her beautifully stylised pictures doing downward dogs and warrior poses without any clothes on. These pictures are there for a very good reason.
The anonymous model and photographer started the account back in November of 2015, telling The Cut at the time exactly what motivates her: "With my account, I want to inspire people to realize that everybody is very beautiful and capable of [doing] amazing things with their bodies."
Working as a model since the age of 15, she says she's been exposed to a lot of negative discourse about body image and began to see faults in her body all the time. The Nude Yoga Girl project helped her overcome that, allowing her to accept herself again and spread messages about self-love and body-positivity to help others too.
"Yoga has taught me that the most important thing is how I feel, not how I look from the outside. During yoga classes everybody just concentrates on their practice; people don’t compare each other or care how anybody looks."
Posting pictures almost every day, Nude Yoga Girl inspires over 730,000 followers with beautiful images and raw, honest captions that detail her own musings, struggles and words of encouragement.
“The account is anonymous, but I still want to be close with my followers, and I try to do it with my captions,” she said.
She takes the images with the help of her boyfriend, who's been alongside her throughout the course of her 2-year-old project. It all began when she was lying on the couch in their UK apartment after having taken a handful of photos together earlier that morning.
"I was just excited that I was able to create photos together with him that I liked and show nudity in a not sexual way," she wrote in an Instagram post. "Creating new and different shapes with my body became my passion."
Now, alongside Nude Yoga Girl's impressive Instagram page, other people are using the hashtag #NYGyoga to share their own nudie-yogi pics and spread the same body-positive messages. In a recent interview with Forbes, the founder of the movement says seeing other people posting photos similar to hers makes her feel "very happy".
"It’s so much more than the actual photo. Most importantly, I felt happy that people were taking time to celebrate their unique bodies and to connect with themselves."
Despite the success of her body-positive movement, she still prefers to remain anonymous and continues to speak openly about her personal struggles.
"I can be very critical of myself, like many of us," she told Forbes, mentioning that it's her "perfectionism" that she battles with on a daily basis.
"I don’t want perfectionism to stop or slow down my life. I try to remind myself that if I want to live a well-balanced life and achieve my dreams and goals, I can’t always demand the very best from myself because that makes me want to do nothing. Everything becomes too difficult, scary and hard. It’s impossible to please everyone and be the best at everything."
For her, it's yoga, meditation, and keeping a "gratitude journal" that help her get into a positive mindset again. She adds that it helps boost her mood, and that, "when you feel better mentally, you also feel better physically. They are connected."
We should all have something to help us get back in touch with what truly matters – even if that isn't necessarily doing a one-handed tree pose stark naked. So what is it for you?