This came in my news feed in email today. I suppose I am a bit out of trend when it come to yoga but I had to read this and I am reposting excerpts below. It was written by Lindsay Kellner, a Sr Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen.com. Thanks Lindsay. I am still picturing butt holes in the air.
Just to be clear, I am perfectly fine with many-things-naked. Naked meditation? I’ll do it right now in a public place. Naked swimming? Of course. Naked. Naked. Naked. Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where his naked girlfriend is trying to open a pickle jar? Some things are just better done in clothing. Read on…
I Tried Naked Yoga To Feel Liberated. This Is What Happened
So what’s the point, you aptly ask. I could easily file it under “things I do for my job,” as it obviously makes for a great story. But deep down as a yoga teacher and practitioner I was curious: If it wasn’t sexual, why is there a naked yoga community in New York? Why did these yogis want to practice naked, together? Was there some form of body-mind connection I’ve been missing out on? I had to find out.
Of course, that all changed in the two hours leading up to class. I texted friends, asking if anyone in my yoga community had tried it, whether I should have gotten a Brazilian, does it matter what underwear I wear, should I shower beforehand? After that initial buzz of nerves, I realized that it would be more empowering to just come as I was, so I did.
When I got to the door, I realized quickly that it wasn’t a yoga space, but a photography studio moonlighting as one. Everyone still had their clothes on. Then the fear kicked in: Out of a room of about 25 to 30 people, I was one of four women in the room. Two were there on dates with their partner and the other was our teacher, Willow.
Before the naked yoga began, Willow gave a spiel about rules and boundaries. No touching anyone without consent—which included her alignment adjustments. No staring and absolutely no “cruising,” which meant trying to find a date. Women and transfolk had the option to keep their bottoms on, but everything else had to go.
“Time to derobe!”
We did a sweaty vinyasa flow, and I was so grateful for that. Instead of my wandering thoughts—maybe you shouldn’t have had two croissants this weekend, please don’t fart, this is definitely the most penises you’ve ever seen at one time, where will your boob sweat go, I can’t believe it doesn’t smell worse in here—I did what I knew how to do. I turned inward and focused on my breath.
My mind ricocheted from being deep inside the practice, to being distracted by what I might see. Yes, there were buttholes. Yes, I saw them, got over it, and closed my eyes to go inward. Most poses were like that. It was vulnerable, strong, liberating, and there’s something intensely unifying about being in a room with a bunch of people doing the same movement in our most primal state.
When I asked Willow about vulnerability, she nodded to courage and shame researcher Brené Brown. “People dress in certain ways to communicate how they want the world to see them, from serious business people to punk-rockers. When you take off the clothes, when you sweat off the makeup, when you realize that you forgot to shave your legs, when you take off your necklace because it gets in the way, there’s nothing left but you, no boxes left to fit in. That’s a very vulnerable place to be in, the ‘who am I, really?’ space.
Would I do it again?
Maybe… Being naked doesn’t have to be sexual; in fact, sometimes it shouldn’t be. For me, a co-ed naked yoga class was the most direct way to be in the moment and get to know myself better, especially in the context of others who are so different from myself.
In the end, isn’t that the purpose of any practice?
Me: Is it? Is that the purpose of yoga?