Dan Carter Leads the Trend in Naked Yoga
By Matt Sunderland
Dan Carter has been teaching naked yoga classes in Washington DC for the past three years. As the founder of Danimal (a combination of Dan and animal – get it?) yoga, he’s built the largest and most social nude yoga group in DC, with over 1,000 members!
Now, he’s ready to go national. This May, he is inviting guys to join him in Palm Springs for a long weekend of uninhibited camaraderie under the hot desert sun.
His Self Renewal: A Naked Health & Fitness Retreat will take place May 14-18 at Inndulge, one of the cities’ top gay resorts, and will feature Dan leading classes such as “Yoga for Sexual Health” and “Drum Up Your Bum. All sessions will have an emphasis on strengthening, stretching and encouraging men to connect and fall in love with their bodies.
“All classes are non-sexual however intimacy and touch will be important bonding components to the weekend,” Dan explains. “A huge part of the experience will be building a real sense of family between the two dozen men in attendance.”
We spoke with the naked Yogi to learn more.
Let’s start with the most important question. How long does it take to be able to do a split?
I get asked this all the time! I don’t remember a time I wasn’t able to do a split but I have many students whose hips are shaped in a way that they’ll never do one. I can teach a student to do a split variation that increases hip mobility and provides a cathartic release within five classes. I think that’s what really important.
Why should guys consider taking up yoga?
Yoga is a mind-body practice. In addition to toning up muscles, improving breath and lubricating joints, yoga also hones the nervous system and the bodies response to the world’s stressors.
Is there a benefit to doing yoga in the nude?
There are huge benefits! We talk about the experience as an un-shielding. Yoga is a very vulnerable practice with all the precarious shapes we bend into, by removing clothes, our last sheath, we make ourselves even more vulnerable and we grow from it. It also helps me, as the instructor, see your lungs, muscles and joints at work so I can give smarter cues and better hands-on adjusts.
What exactly did you do to achieve that badonkadonk?
I’ve always had a bit of a butt, but I got it to be bigger through a combination of yoga, pilates and regular squatting. Unfortunately, it has made shopping for jeans more difficult, but I feel much healthier and happier.
Does yoga increase the libido?
All fitness, in healthy moderation, contributes to libido. What’s really nice about yoga is we not only focus on energizing the body, we focus on relaxation. To have incredible sex, you need to be able to get into that blissful rest space before things really start to heat up.
What are the biggest misconceptions about yoga?
That it’s only for one kind of person. Yoga is for everybody: every shape, color, age… In fact, the word yoga literally translates to “bring together”.
What’s your advice to someone who is new to yoga?
Take a private yoga class with a teacher who instructs beginners. If that’s not in your budget, take a beginner class, arrive early, and introduce yourself to the instructor.
What’s your advice to guys who may be on the fence about dropping trou with strangers?
The grass is truly greener on this side of the fence! I have had a shocking amount of guys take a risk on one of my retreats as their first yoga experience and they’ve never been dissatisfied. If you’ve got anxiety around social nudity, your yoga practice or anything else, email me through my website and let’s talk about it.
Why did you choose to do the retreat in Palm Springs?
Palm Springs is my happy place! There is something so breathtaking about the palms set against the mountain and desert. Then there is the gorgeous mid-century architecture that transports you to Hollywood’s golden era. But most importantly, there are the handsome boys, sunning their tan, rippling skin by the crystal blue swimming pools. I chose to do the retreat specifically at the INNdulge resort because it is the perfect encapsulation of all three of those visuals! In addition to being a beautiful space in which to hold a retreat, I am a huge fan of their salt water pool, which is so kind on the skin.
We all head into a vacation with expectations. What can we expect from the Self Renewal: A Naked Health and Fitness Retreat?
This will be an absolutely transformative weekend. Men leave these retreats with a renewed sense of purpose and love of self.
For tickets and more information on the Self Renewal: A Naked Health and Fitness Retreat, visit danimalyoga.com/retreat.