What It's About
Yoga that removes all the barriers.
Words of Wisdom
If you're thinking of launching your own naked yoga business Dan warns that the information out there is limited. He suggests creating a mission statement first. "You've got to be clear about what kind of culture you're creating with the group and make sure people understand what to expect."
Men were expected to swim nude in public swimming pools (like the YMCA) until the 1960’s, and non-sexual nude culture still exists in many countries outside the US.
Notes from Chris
Dan Carter moved to Washington D.C. after college and started working for the Discovery Channel. The job was fine, but he quickly found himself in a bad groove. He’d get little sleep, work long hours, then relax over an adult beverage or two at the bar with his friends. Over the next four years, he found himself less confident, less energetic, and less healthy—and he wanted to take control of his life and body. For him, the answer was obvious: yoga. He’d been practicing since high school—though he’d certainly been far from consistent since starting the new job. It was meditative, refreshing, and brought him to a healthy sweat. He knew he could reconnect with his healthy and balanced self by returning to his practice. Within a few months, Dan started to feel alive again. He woke up early, found friends who go on runs together instead of to the bar, and his beer belly stopped expanding. This was it. This was what he wanted to do, at least part-time. He started teaching yoga classes under the name Danimal Yoga. He’d rent space from a local studio for an hourly fee, and all he had to do was find paying class-takers. Dan was quickly making a name for himself in the DC yoga community, and before long he left his job at the Discovery Channel. Dan’s hustle became his full-time gig. But little did he know he was about to stumble upon another hustle—one that would make him more in-tune with his body than ever before. A friend invited Dan to a “men’s-only” class, and he agreed. He didn’t find out until an hour before the class that it would be completely nude. Dan was nervous, but he knew that getting out of his comfort zone was usually a healthy thing to do. The class was great. There was something special about the non-sexual vulnerability of doing yoga naked. He felt a newfound appreciation for his body, and didn’t feel uncomfortable since he wasn’t the only one. The group, however, was struggling to keep a steady pace and needed a consistent leader. With years of experience, Dan was the clear choice. So within a month of that first class, he had a new hustle: DC Naked Yoga. For those first few months, Dan could rely on only a few die-hard fans to show up each week. Everyone else in the group came and went from month to month, seemingly without a pattern. But once Dan gave the group a digital presence, he started experiencing more regular attendance. DC Naked Yoga was becoming less of an event to go to, and more of a community to be part of. Since that first year, Dan has hired other yoga instructors as contractors to lead new classes, planned naked yoga retreats in the woods, and started offering new kinds of classes. Between Danimals and DC Naked Yoga, he’s earning just over $4,000 per month. He still loves all types of yoga, but he knows that naked yoga, in particular, has a lot of room to grow. There are a lot of people out there who would benefit from a non-sexual nude space where they could truly embrace themselves in a vulnerable way—they just don’t know that one exists. So he’s going to start testing paid ads to expand his reach. He’s also looking to expand into new class types and payment options to grow the business, because most of his classes are booked our weeks in advance. But while the thrill of growing a business has been an adventure, it’s a small prize compared to the reward of creating a unique experience and community.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Los Angeles Designer Runs Mobile Yoga Studio: An on-location, by appointment yoga studio helps a UX designer earn an additional $40,000 a year working only a few hours each week.
- Yoga Mat Reseller Changes Lives While Earning $4,000/Month: After being inspired by social good companies like TOMS, a woman in London creates a yoga accessories business that focuses on empowering women worldwide.
- Chronic Illness Inspires Mobile-Friendly Yoga Biz: A traveling copywriter develops online yoga courses for people with chronic illnesses.
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