Forever pulling on socks, pants or leggings, and donning a tunic, tricorn hat, cravat or flimsy, gauzy scarf – whatever hipsterish or theatrical gear one tends to sport – can be such drudgery. Why can’t we spend more time bare-assed and dangling? Yogi Bare, “Toronto’s barest yoga studio,” hopes to remedy this with its Dare to Be Bare campaign.
Andrzej Kardys formed Yogi Bare in December 2013 for the yoga, yes, but also as a “place where people can explore ideas of nudity and intimacy . . . a place for people to become comfortable with their bodies.”
Yogi Bare has nearly as much variation in its courses as there is among the people of Toronto. Some classes are gay-friendly; others are men-only, women-only or trans-welcoming. Those who prefer to keep their bits tucked away can go to the clothed classes, and those who prefer to feel the cool spring breeze on their asses can attend the clothing-optional or nude classes. There are also classes in massage, tantra and sex education.
On April 17 at the Thompson Hotel, Yogi Bare had a party to celebrate the launch of Dare to Be Bare. The event was raucous and sexy, featuring music by DJ Quinces and some tantalizing glow-in-the-dark nude yoga.
Dare to Be Bare is about making people feel more comfortable naked, but also about encouraging people to be more intimate with each other in general. The campaign will include not only classes, but a series of other projects, some of which are still in the planning stage. “Let’s do underwear yoga in Trinity Bellwoods; let’s go to Hanlan’s Point. We’ll have people out on the street getting people to answer questions on camera about nudity and sexuality. Let’s have a conversation,” Kardys says. “A lot of the other things will evolve as we start understanding where the need is — what parts of the conversation people are most interested in.”