There’s a lot of gratuitous almost-nudity on Instagram (*eye-roll*), but @nude_yogagirl has stood out in the crowd since she racked up around 40,000 followers in her first month online thanks to her classy, not-at-all sleazy images. The anonymous yogi and photographer (she stages all of her own pics) started posting in November 2015 and has consistently preached a message of self-love.
“Doing yoga helped me to accept and love my body. It's about the feeling inside, not about the look on the outside,” she wrote in an early post. “I wanted to show nudity is natural. Nudity is not only about ‘sexy’ poses in front of mirrors and showing off your toned body... being in peace with yourself means accepting your body. And you should. Because you are beautiful exactly the way you are.”
Because you are beautiful exactly the way you are.
Since September 2017, Nude Yoga Girl has taken the message of body positivity a step further with the hashtag #NYGyoga (an abbreviation of her handle), which she first used in a post about her own body insecurities (yes, even people with a body like NYG can feel insecure).
When I was younger I tried to make myself look shorter. At first when I was in primary school I was jelous of my tinier friends... They were so cute. People were lifting and holding them in their arms and it looked fun. I felt giant. Also at the same time I did team gymnastic and one year I didn't qualify for the team like all of my friends did and it was obviously the "first team". Nobody ever told me why but in my mind it was because I was too tall. I was one head taller than others in that team and because it's also an aesthetic sport, it would make the team unbalanced. ❤ Eventually boys came in the game... I was taller than all nice boys and I hated it. In particular in all discos where the dance was slow... I tried to have bad posture on purpose to look as short as possible. ❤ Until I started to do modelling I thought that I'm never going to be able to use high heels. That I'm too tall to enjoy beautiful shoes. (And in the "model world" I was hoping that I would be even taller!) ❤ It would have been nice to know at a young age that one day my height could and will be my strenght which I really like. At festival concerts I can see well over all the heads. I don't need chairs to get to the top closet. Etc. Now I'm proud and very grateful of my every centimeter. I just wanted to tell you how I struggled for many years with my height, if this can give hope to some who are in same situation. 😊 #NYGyoga
Her message seems to have struck a chord with her followers—472 people and counting have already uploaded their own body-love pictures in response to Nude Yoga Girl’s posts. After the photographer noticed the photos, she started highlighting some of her favorites on her feed and Instagram Stories, and encouraging followers to keep tagging her.
So why bare it all and share others doing the same? "I thing [sic] about it as an experience to really connect with your body, be there with it in a natural way," she writes in a recent post. "It’s the positive experience, photo and caption together. To know that people have really taken time to connect with themselves and celebrate their unique bodies. The empowering feeling they get from it. That makes me happy. By receiving and sharing the photos, I want to inspire more people to do so."
The captions vary, but there’s a common theme: gratitude for Nude Yoga Girl, who’s inspiring others to love the skin they are in. Scroll through some of the best pics below, and you just might be moved enough to take off your own clothes.