By Linda Dahlstrom
What it is: "Totally Nude Yoga & Tai Chi" DVD ($19.99)
© DG Distributors
What it claims to do: Dr. Leonard's Online Healthcare Catalog, which sells the DVD, says that because you can see the "naked, well-toned bodies of the female instructors, you can follow each exercise and achieve the proper form."
Our experience: First off, let us be clear that there is a small, legitimate movement of people doing yoga in the nude. Practitioners, who insist the method is strictly non-sexual, say that without the restraint of clothes, they are free to fully move, stretch and exercise.
That is not what this DVD is about. What it is exactly is hard to pin down. On the surface, it looks like a yoga video – for about the first 15 seconds. It starts to get weird immediately after words proclaiming "Beginning exercises" appear on the screen.
I've taken a fair amount of yoga classes and I have to say, most of these poses were foreign to me. Particularly the ones where you need two other naked ladies to be your partners. Particularly if all of the participants are doused in glycerin that is supposed to look like sweat. Particularly if the three of you are on a giant rotating disc. And especially if you have trouble seeing each other because of the fog machine.
Nonetheless, I pressed on. I listened as the omnipotent voice told me in cooing tones that I should feel the freedom of my naked body. My body did feel free and loose. But not in a good way.
The women on screen reached, stretched and folded themselves in half as The Voice told me to "replace the negative energy, replace the negative thought" but all I could think about was that I was cold and worried about whether neighbors could see into my living room.
By the time The Voice started instructing me to "maintain my complete body awareness and arouse the sexual energies" I realized that we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. We'd crossed over into something dancing on the edge of soft porn, but somehow doesn't really ever fully become that either.
As I put my clothes back on, I was more confused than anything.
Bottom line: If you're looking for an exercise video, this isn't it. If you're looking for unintentional comedy, this could be the answer. And if you're simply looking for three naked, sparkling ladies stretching together on a rotating cushion in the fog, well, that's your business.