Naked Yoga expert Doria Gani recounts in THE NAKED YOGA EFFECT her own transformational journey to help you challenge your hang ups, combat shame and develop new body positive attitudes. In this inspirational story, discover how Doria overcame critical illness, learned to deal with unexpected
consequences for her life as a woman, and set out on a new path to reconnect with her soul.
Doria Gani is a Naked Yoga teacher and an ambassador for body positivity. She started practicing yoga in 2010, as a form of rehabilitation after fighting cervical cancer. From that beginners class, she found that the clear, mindful asana instructions improved her memory, spatial relations, focus, and sense of connectedness with her mind and body. On a greater scale, the daily practice showed her the value of acting deliberately. Yoga was the key to her recovery and transformation, and now she lives her life with a greater sense of purpose and intention.
Eventually, her expanding yoga path led her to India and Bali to train as a professional teacher – she is now qualified in Ashtanga Vinyasa, Rocket Yoga, Yin, Mandala, and principles of Ayurveda and Shamanism. But it was after a liberating experience at Burning Man festival that she decided to start practicing and teaching Naked Yoga. There were no barriers, no inhibitions, and no restrictions – just like with yoga practice. Naked yoga finally taught her to accept her body and accept herself exactly how she is today, with all her imperfections. She now wants to share this feeling of calm acceptance with others.
Doria has been featured on the BBC and in many press articles including in Cosmopolitan, H&E Naturist, The Sun, Unreported London, The Londonist, the i and Dojo.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DORIA GANI FOR IRISH NATURIST ASSOCIATION
– Doria, can you tell us about the book? Why did you feel the need to write The Naked Yoga Effect? – My experience of working with movement and mind body connection for several years has led me to realise the need for advocates of Body Positivity and for more people generally to challenge outdated notions of shame and embarrassment about the human body.
– Is The Naked Yoga Effect a book for the non-initiated to yoga, or rather for yoga-practitioners? This book is for everybody. It’s aimed at those who want to improve their health and fitness in mind and body and spirit. Although some readers will be comfortable with nudity or be practising naturists already, others may have negative attitudes towards their bodies which they wish to overcome, or they may be seeking to achieve a particular physical shape or look.
– How long have you been a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher? I have started practicing yoga 11 years ago and naked yoga 5 years ago.
– What yoga styles do you teach? I mainly teach Vinyasa style, a more dynamic kind of yoga, sweaty and strong practice. Also I teach Yin, where we hold poses for up to 5 minutes, that mainly work the lower part of the body – the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, lower spine. The practice helps to reach and stretch the connective tissues. I have combined the 2 styles together teaching Yin-Yang classes. it’s a mixed and usually who is new to yoga prefers a more relaxing practice and goes for this sessions.
– Do you see yourself as a naturist/nudist? Do you practice social nudity beyond your naked yoga lessons? Absolutely. I spend as much time as possible naked. The weather doesn’t really help with that. However I always choose holidays in very warm locations so I can spend time naked and also go to naturist beaches.
– Do you like skinny dipping? I love skinny dipping. Nude hiking? I never experienced nude hiking, I will definitely try this once we can start travelling again.
– Have you been experiencing naturism in other countries? Do you see any differences? I love Croatia, I used to spend a couple of weeks in August there as my parents have been spending their holidays there for the last 20 years and we love it. Croatia is a beautiful place where naturism is broadly accepted. My parents are not nudists, however they have no problem with me being one. We have breakfast together and then I go to the naturist beach and they go to the textile one. We meet again for lunch and everybody enjoys their time. Lots of families with kids are there and it feels very safe.
– Was body image a problem for you in your younger years? I always struggled to maintain a decent weight. I grew up in a village by the sea so every year having a “bikini body” was kind of mandatory.
– Do you see a difference between men and women in regards to embracing naked yoga or naked activities? Are attitudes different? What about the different age groups? Men have a more relaxed approach when it comes to nudity, they enjoy being nude, they are a bit braver than women. Women instead have more reservations, they compare themselves much more than men do. They struggle to embrace freedom at its purest state, often because of the influence of their family. It takes longer for a woman to decide to join social nudity. My students are of all ages but mostly from 30 to 60.
– Do you believe we are closer to ourselves when naked? Is public nudity a social equilizer? Absolutely yes, nudity has the power to deeply connect you with your body, to realise that you actually have a body and once you accept that nudity is normal and nothing to be ashamed of, it helps you to accept yourself on a deeper level. Where we are naked we are all on the same level, there is no rich and poor there is no muslim or catholic. We are all the same.
– Can you describe a typical day in your life? I wake up around 6am, meditate and then I go for a walk with my dog. Then breakfast and emails. If I don’t go for a walk I train with my PT around 12noon. Otherwise lunch at 1pm back to work at 2pm with classes and content creation until 7 or 8pm. Dinner at 8pm and Netflix and chill. I go to bed at 10pm.
– How important is yoga in your daily routine? Yoga keeps me sane, I take regular breaks from my computer to move and stretch. I spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen and its important to recharge. Even 20 minutes of yoga can do miracles.
– Where do you teach/how often? I teach all my classes online with 4 weekly group classes plus private sessions.
On International Yoga Day 21st June 2021, Doria Gani and co-author Steve Robson will launch the book THE NAKED YOGA EFFECT in an open webinar where several people from Doria’s class will also tell about their experiences: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-naked-yoga-effect-doria-gani-book-launch-discussion-and-qa-tickets-156263449183