When Andrzej Kardys and Jared Scratch, co-founders of Yogi Bare, “Toronto’s barest yoga studio,” headed out to Hanlan’s Point to test run a potential clothing-optional yoga class, they were prepared for just about everything, except the amount of sand their asses would gather.
“We came early, just the two of us, and brought way too much stuff: cooler, extra water, six yoga mats,” Kardys says. “We also had an 8-foot-by-10-foot backdrop with our logo all over it — you know, the type of thing people do selfies in front of at media launches — and strung it up in the trees.”
“We took a big tree trunk and flattened the sand out a bit,” Scratch says. “We hadn’t advertised the class, so we didn’t really expect anyone to come. We just wanted to go and work out the logistics of holding a class there.”
Once they were set up, with bunches of folks chuckling at them from nearby blankets, Scratch started doing yoga moves to see what it would be like on the beach. “After you put your hands on the ground and reach over your head, all the sand falls off your hands into your eyes,” he says.
“We also quickly realized that if you do certain moves, your ass gets filled with sand,” Kardys says. “So we decided that in the future we’d use a great big blanket as well as yoga mats.”
Having ensured the purity of their future attendees’ ass-cracks and worked out some of the other kinks involved in running clothing-optional, all-gender yoga classes on the beach, they decided to make it a recurring event, called Beach Bums at Hanlan’s.
Weather permitting, the class takes place every Sunday. Folks can just show up, sunscreen applied, with their water bottles, towels and yoga mats — look for the backdrop or the Yogi Bare umbrella — or can register in advance online. Those who register receive notifications if the class is cancelled or the day is changed because of bad weather.
With a cheeky wink, Kardys half jokes that participants can stay after class and find a buddy for some sunscreen reapplication and partner poses.