So recently, while walking my dog, I was behind a couple discussing how liberating they found their nude yoga classes, that they felt it opened them up to new experiences. Okay, now this was one I had to Google. So between nude yoga and laughing yoga, it has indeed been an eye-opening month for me. During my search, I found a couple of interesting articles on the subject as well as some pretty vivid videos. Some were professional and obviously meant to assist those interested in this technique and others seemed to serve the interests of voyeurs. Again, with anything on the Internet, it seems we need to ensure that instructors are qualified and sites have been vetted for quality.
However, nude yoga seems to be increasing in trend, noting benefits to include acceptance of one’s body and a connection with oneself that goes past the clothing we wear. And we’d be kidding ourselves to say that we don’t live in a society where clothes really do seem to make the man, especially in a city like Vancouver that is very much driven by dollars. Some yogis seem to be all about the gear and this can often be intimidating. But those who preach nude yoga claim it’s just plain ol’ easier, since clothes really do get in the way. And to be honest, I’ve always struggled with tree pose, since trying to get my foot to stick to my inner thigh is always tricky with soft yoga clothing. Skin to skin would be much easier, but then again, I’m not even willing to wear short shorts to class in order to make this pose easier, so how could I ever go naked?
Sites claim that after the first few classes are finished, when the shock of nudity wears thin, naked yogis will experience an acceptance of their bodies that they never thought possible and an appreciation for all that their bodies are capable of. And I’m all one for empowerment and acceptance of our bodies, but dear readers of yogaflavoredlife.com, as much as I love you all, this was one research task I wasn’t willing to do. I’ll admit to having a list of body issues that are a mile long, and the thought of being in a room of naked people makes me cringe a little. Remember that Seinfeld episode with the woman who walks around naked all the time, and Seinfeld discovers that naked squatting is something he never hopes to see? Well, naked Warrior Pose is something I never want to see either. And really, I’ve left yoga classes simply because the class wasn’t working for me or I felt uncomfortable in some way; I don’t want to go to a class that causes me days of anxiety beforehand. All that being said, I say all the power to those who find this type of practice to be liberating, and certainly, I can see how it could be.
As much as naked yoga isn’t for me, I also believe that embracing our shape, as is, is a powerful thing. Certainly, my time in the military taught me all that my body was capable of, and it was more than I ever believed. Our bodies are amazingly strong and resilient and I support anything that routinely reminds us of that fact.