Author Archives: Isis Phoenix

About Isis Phoenix

Isis Phoenix is a priestess of the sacred temple arts, a somatic sexologist and nude yoga teacher. She is the founder of Naked Yoga Alliance, a global information network and resource center for naked yoga. Isis and her classes have been featured in Metromix, Timeout, Jane magazine, NY Post, Tantra Café, NY Spirit, CBS, Fox News, BBC, Elle Magazine, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan.

Yoga Alliance sends its lawyer attack dogs on Naked Yoga Alliance

Dearest Naked Yogis,

I received what was at first a startling email yesterday from a lawyer from a firm with way to many names in the title. Patrick Jennings of Pillsbury Winthrop, Shaw, Pitman LLP wrote to me informing me that the not-for-profit organization Yoga Alliance was very upset that I have used Naked Yoga Alliance in my blog leading or as they imply mis-leading people to believe I have affiliations with the organization. In their requests that I cease and desist any and all use of the phrase Yoga Alliance from my website, Peter also tells me that among other things I need to destroy anything I have printed with those words on them including articles of clothing.

Hello Patrick, we don’t wear clothing. We’re naked.

I was looking over the Yoga Alliance website and was reminded of their motto “Many Paths, One Yoga Alliance.” Many Paths. Strangely they exclude naked yoga as being a valid path. The letter says “Yoga Alliance does not wish to be associated with naked yoga…”

Hence our need for our own Alliance. Our own NAKED Yoga Alliance.

I presently have a team of naked yoga lawyers who have formed their own alliance who are drafting a response.

Read Peter’s letter to me here: Naked Yoga Alliance Letter

Winner of the Naked Yoga Challenge!!! HONTOUNIHEART

HontouniHeart After sifting through the beautiful pictures and inspirational quotes I received from the Naked Yoga Challenge, I realized I had created an impossible task of choosing a ‘BEST’ photo. Really, what was I thinking… Every photo was the BEST! Each one wonderful in its own way. Each person who submitted a photo varied from an absolute first time naked yoga practitioner who was inspired by Challenge and explored the idea of trying naked yoga for the first time, to seasoned naked yoga teachers who had their own movements. There was, however, one individual who wrote to me regularly about how the Challenge was taking her deeper into her own practice. She submitted three photos each quite different and capturing a different essence of what she experienced in the naked yoga practice. She wrote up an article on her experience of the Challenge that was posted on Clothes Free Life. The Challenge turned out to mean more to her than taking a cute selfie of a creative pose. It took her deeper into her own conscious inquiry of the human body / spirit union. I called her last week and we spent an hour on the phone speaking about her naked yoga practice and her experience of conscious nudity. This is her story…

Interview with Nude Yogi and Clothes Free Lifestylist Hontouniheart

When did you first start practicing naked yoga?

Hontouni Heart Day 24 - GoddessYoga has been a part of my life for three and a half years. I first began practicing naked yoga late last summer. I was tagged on Instagram for a yoga challenge called Naked Soul Yoga conceived by @iamreneewatkins / @nakedsoulyoga. It sounded interesting and I had a yoga practice and I thought “Sure! Why not?!” In the challenge, participants took a picture of themselves nude in a yoga pose each day for one month. I started taking pictures of myself and began sharing in the challenge. It went from there.

It brought me into a whole other aspect of being in my own skin. I’m tactile and movement is an important part of how I experience the world. I enjoyed being in my skin, didn’t have to think about what outfit to wear. At the same time I was feeling so many different things during the challenge. Sometimes I felt self-conscious about my appearance as I looked at the other yogis who were submitting photos. I found myself thinking, my body doesn’t look like that person’s body and their expression of the yoga pose. As I was feeling those feelings, however, I also began to sit with them.

After completing my participation in that round of Naked Soul Yoga challenge, I continued to share naked yoga posts here and there along with others who had dialed into the community. In time, I saw a lot of comments on posts using descriptions like ‘sexy’ and so forth. And some posts took on that theme as well. Sometimes fuller discussions within that theme would unfold. This brought up a lot for me. I began to feel like discussions strayed away from the actual yoga and were taking on more of a sexual tone. For me, it felt like the attraction and sexual energy that was being created was overtaking everything else. There were very few people I connected with about the actual experience of the yoga. I felt pretty self-conscious about that.

I committed to finish that particular yoga challenge even though it brought up many different feelings and emotions. I chose to stay present and complete my own inquiry rather than put my clothes back on and stop participating.  The leaders of Naked Soul Yoga, themselves, did a great job of presenting the yoga and keeping that focus consistently in how they offered it. And some shares from participants moved and inspired me as well. I also enjoyed participating in and co-leading Natural Foundations Yoga challenges in the fall, which was created by a clothes free lifer @homeclothesfreeyogi. He is also dedicated to the exploration of the yoga in practice, philosophy, action off the mat and reflection. It was offered to participants as clothing optional, and the focus never strayed; other co-leaders of that challenge maintained the focus on the yoga beautifully as well. There were a number of participants that gained a lot of personal depth from it, based on their shares. So, those particular clothing free yoga experiences were very, very positive and deepening for me.

But, after completing a final round of Naked Soul Yoga in December, I eventually decided to dial down my Instagramming. I realized I was spending hours looking at other posts and associated discussions rather than being present with other things in my life. I spent a lot of time comparing myself to others or thinking about what was wrong with me.

When I saw the Naked Yoga Challenge posted on Naked Yoga Alliance, I was hesitant to jump into another one because of everything that had come up for me in the recent past. But I also realized that this one was different. I didn’t know who else was participating. There wasn’t a sexual vibe to it. It seemed to be about yoga. There was a quote each day I could think about and I could simply try on each pose you offered to see how it felt in my own skin. All I had was to explore the moment, my body and my yoga. Sometimes I cried, other times it was peaceful and some days it was jolly and joyful.

Has your naked yoga practice opened up other opportunities for you to explore conscious nudity?

After my first naked yoga challenge, my naked explorations slowly began to take me off the mat. They started small with something like, walking to the kitchen to get a drink of water after my yoga practice. Next I found myself sleeping naked and getting out of bed and making my morning tea without clothes as well. I kept exploring.

“What would it be like to sit at my computer and answer emails without clothes on?” I wondered. Eventually I began to eat some of my meals naked. Finally I thought after practicing naked yoga one day, what if I just rolled up my mat and stayed in my skin… period. It was a fun rediscovering – I have a body. My armpits were feeling the air. My belly button came back – I have one – wow! I have awareness of toes and toenails now, not just a block of foot under my ankles. I have breasts and nipples and when I sit down they hit the table. It was a slow process of moving from self-consciousness to consciousness. Little parts of my body would come alive. Little moments of awareness would creep in.

It sounds like you didn’t grow up in a nude friendly environment and that being naked is a new practice for you.

Yes, that’s true, I didn’t grow up like this but I did share with my mom about the naked yoga challenge. We’re very close and can have a woman to woman conversation. She heard how excited I was about exploring this and the excitement is what landed on her. She noticed I started writing again and my whole personality was opening up more. It felt special to have her support and to have someone I could be open and honest with about this. This part of myself that was opening up started showing up in my other relationships. Parts of myself I had hidden away began coming out. I was talking to a friend and found myself telling her about parts of my past that I had never told anyone. The conversations I was having started including my whole self. It was incredible to be honest with myself, to own past experiences that I had locked away and to speak about them openly.

Tell me about your experience of your yoga practice right now.

Hontouni Heart Day 18 - BoardOne of my friends recently gave me a naked yoga DVD called Yoga Undressed. With this DVD, I began to explore a flow style of yoga. It has completely transformed my yoga practice. I felt so powerful. It was a whole new yoga. As my clothes free practice continued to open and evolve, I’ve been referred to as  ‘Goddess’ and ‘Queen’ and would receive tag words on my photos like ‘beauty’ and ‘power.’ This was not language I used or I had in my life much. It was new language and it was new to see myself that way.

The teachers at the studio where I practice clothed yoga say the phrase “Consider the possibility…” They would say it around places where we encountered challenge. “Consider the possibility you can touch your toes, even if you can’t right now.” Considering the possibility begins to fire the muscles and nerves in your body and creates new pathways for opening into a deeper space. I began to also consider the possibility around being beautiful, being powerful, being a Goddess. After considering it, I began to feel it. I began to feel powerful and beautiful. I began to feel like I was enough.

Have you taken any group naked yoga classes yet?

I haven’t gone to a social event yet. I’m scared, but I want to.

What advice would you give to someone considering the possibility of practicing naked yoga for the first time?

At first it might seem weird. Try it anyway without feeling the need to ignore your current thoughts. Get in a pose and just let it land. Accept it. Be with whatever comes up.

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: “This is as radical as a forest, as revolutionary as a river, as eccentric as dawn and as shocking as sunset.”

“This isn’t a statement. This is.

This predates innocence, will outlive sophistication and requires as much justification as starlight. This is as radical as a forest, as revolutionary as a river, as eccentric as dawn and as shocking as sunset.
Unchanging change, fashionable as a smile, archaic as laughter, this is life in motion and stillness, in tension and release, in expansion and contraction, life aptly rounded with a sleep, the death of the practice.
This is the last costume, the last masque, the last art. And so this is the place from which to re-emerge and begin again. This is as real as we know how to be. It’s where we find ourselves when we no longer need to be a statement. Beyond: This is.” Liam Cyfrin
Trees of the Pacific NWNamed: Liam Cyfrin
Age: Timeless
Photo Location: Seattle, WA
Pose: Vrksasana. Tree Pose.

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: “Naked Yoga is a physical manifestation of choosing kindness.”

“Naked yoga is my physical manifestation of choosing kindness by incorporating self-love, and feeling that connection to everything empowers me be a positive force.”

Mark Diorio

Name: Mark
Age: 58
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Poses: Utthita Trikonasana/Triangle Pose

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: “I accept this body as mine and share it with total acceptance without inhibition to all humanity.”

“When I practice naked yoga I treat my mind and body to the most liberating and calming methodology available.  I can activate my deepest sensual being and heighten my sense of awareness.  I accept this body as mine and share it with total acceptance without inhibition to all humanity.  With each inhalation my breath oxygenates my interior while my exterior skin is oxygenated by the gentle caress of the air which surrounds me.” 

DanteName: Dante, 51.

Location: Ocean County , New Jersey

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: “Life is too short to hold on to grudges, fears, judgment, etc. Remove them and elevate your being.”

 “Life is too short to hold on to grudges, fears, judgment, etc. Remove them and elevate your being to the sky. Hold on to them and feel their control drag you down to the ground with no light in sight.” 

Luna Phoenix

Name: Luna Phoenix

Location: Orlando, FL

Side Plank

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: ” It adds to my self esteem bank account and is used when I am going through any struggles.”

“When I am naked at home, cooking, cleaning, reading a book watching a movie or meditating, I feel at home literally within my body. Yet, when I am gifted to be in the company of other naked folks it brings out a joy in me, so profound that it adds to my self esteem bank account and is used when I am going through any struggles.” ~ Rev. Goddess Charmaine

REv. Goddess, 49. Franklin Lakes NJ.

Name: Rev. Goddess Charmaine

Age: 49

Location: Franklin Lakes, NJ

Seated Spinal Twist

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: “It has truly taught me to love the skin I’m in.”

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ― John Lennon

Megan Leigh

“Yoga is a way for me to feel comfortable, free, and happy. I am able to shed all unnecessary expectations and ego. It has truly taught me to love the skin I’m in.” ~ Megan Leigh

Name: Megan Leigh, 26.

Location: Tempe, Arizona

King Pigeon Pose

Highlights from the Naked Yoga Challenge: “After two months practicing I still can’t believe how 10-20 minutes of naked yoga can make me feel so energized and relaxed at the same time.”

“After two months practicing I still can’t believe how 10-20 minutes of naked yoga can make me feel so energized and relaxed at the same time.”
Neven, Serbia

Name: Neven

Age: 23

Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Eka Pada Chakrasana