Tag Archives: clothing optional

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.

Video on How to Practice Nude Yoga

Nice Video! Self-assuredness is not required however among participants. Some show up because they are not self-assured but because they have a commitment to work on that. I LOVE the idea of cold calling studios if only for the shock factor, however, a more gentle approach I personally recommend is a google search or reaching out to a Tantric community. They tend to know where the naked yoga classes are being held. And approaching a yoga teacher to teach nude yoga is a GREAT idea!

http://www.howcast.com/videos/404293-How-to-Practice-Nude-Yoga#

Blessings!

 

Women’s Naked Yoga – Why I’m Taking the Women Away from Mix-Gender Yoga Classes

Women’s Naked Yoga: Why I’m Taking the Women Away From Mixed-Gender Yoga Classes

by Isis Phoenix REBLOGGED via Young Naturists America

Isis Phoenix“Why are you taking the women away from us?!” exclaimed one of my most devoted male yoga students. He was a man in his late sixties and a longtime naturist who for most of his life was deeply committed to a nudist lifestyle. This was in 2008 when I was newly teaching naked yoga classes in New York and had a small but devoted following that filled up my twelve-person yoga studio several times a week. The comment came as a reaction to putting a women’s naked yoga class on the otherwise mixed-gendered weekly yoga schedule. The comment was almost childlike when it exited his mouth. “Why are you taking the women away from us?! That is a horrible idea!” he said, sounding more like an eight year old whose elementary school teacher had just informed him that recess would be cancelled rather than a mature sixty-eight year old yogi dedicated to a bi-weekly practice…. Read the FULL STORY BELOW: http://youngnaturistsamerica.com/womens-naked-yoga/

Beautiful article on a woman’s naked yoga experience in London.

The title of this article is a bit deceptive. The writer makes no claims of better sex in the article. She does, however, claim feeling more comfortable in her skin and in her identity as a middle-aged woman. Bravo.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/high50/naked-yoga_b_6177226.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000039

p.s. Women’s Naked Yoga begins in Central Massachusetts Dec 3rd.

Women’s Naked Yoga Class with Isis Phoenix starts in Leominster, MA

Women's Naked Yoga

Dear Naked Yogis! It is my pleasure to announce a new women’s naked yoga class beginning in Leominster, MA on Wednesday nights 6-7:30pm. The class is for women and is $20. RSVP is necessary for location as space is limited. There’s more information available HERE

Women’s Naked Yoga is a beautiful sacred and naked yoga practice for women. There will be a focus on vinyasa yoga and body positive affirmations as well as Taoist energy cultivation practices. Our naked yoga practice will focus on spiritual aspects of the divine feminine, loving self-care of our bodies and the intimacy and bonds of female community. Email Isis: sensualshaman (at) gmail to register.

For all of the male yogis, I will be offering a gender inclusive class once a month as soon as a large enough space is secured for the practice. Thank you for your inquiries.

Blessings,

Isis

“Naturism: Green Acres and Beyond” Interview with Kimber: Farmer turned Yogi

I met Kimber at a film shoot for a documentary that included naked yoga. I rolled out my mat beside him and could tell immediately this a man who had a relationship with with Earth. I was quiet for a few minutes simply lying next to him breathing, like lying next to fertile Earth. “Are you from Vermont?” I asked him. He looked taken aback. “Yes,” he answered.

“I can feel the land in your body,” I told Kimber. I had become increasingly familiar with Vermont land energy on visits to see my spiritual mentor Suzanne d’Corsey who lives in Vermont.

Below is Kimber’s Story ~ 

I was a young boy in the hills of Rochester, VT in the sixties. This was a time of great civil unrest, but also a time of soul searching in the form of free love and free spirit. Near our home was a hippie colony called The Fisk Farm. I believe it still exists today. Stories of carefree nudity as told by adults in hushed voices were very intriguing to a ten-year-old boy. I missed the whole Woodstock phenomenon by about two years. I was curious –  free love and social nudity. How could a young boy not be?

Kimber Sukhasana A bit about my background: My ancestry is deeply connected to the land I farmed and lived on. My family moved to Vermont in the late 1700s from New Hampshire.  We’re farmers.  I’m named after the Kimber that was my great great great Grandfather.  It never occurred to me to do anything other than be a farmer.  My ancestors are farmers.  It’s what we do, who we are.  I attended college at UVM as an Animal Science major.  It’s what my father and my father’s father and his father’s father did.  It’ hard manual labor being a farmer.

Just in these past few years, however, things have changed. The farm is no longer sustainable. We’ve decided to sell. The cows are gone. There is a “For Sale” sign on the land.  Farmer… it’s becoming an identity of the past. I can now say that’s not what defines me –being labeled “farmer.” Something new waits on the horizon.

My life was very predictable as a farmer. It was in my blood. The evolution out of the farmer role began sort of by accident, really. A few years ago my wife got into a car accident.  She hurt her neck and shoulders.  For a while she went to a chiropractor until our insurance ran out.  She said the massage part of the treatment was useful.  I thought how hard could it be, I work with my hands all day, so I started to give her massages on a regular basis.  Next Christmas, under the tree was a massage table.  A gift from my wife, of course she’s on the receiving end of it.  I really enjoyed practicing massage so I took a few classes at the community college.  That led me into studying Reiki and eventually attending massage school, from there yoga.  What I learned from massage school and Reiki, I was able to apply to the animals on the farm.  I did Reiki on the new calves.  My neighbors have had me work on their dog.  One of my neighbor’s children has a terminal illness so I volunteered to work on him as well.  This transformation of identity was gradual. Much of my identity was wrapped up in being a farmer. It’s all I’ve ever done and all my family has ever known. My wife’s accident, however gave me a new entry point into another career path and way of being. There’s a lot of weight we place in this world on labels and identity.  But I’m not afraid to let the label of ‘farmer’ go.  Maybe I’m a healer. When I give back, energy multiplies. It heals me by healing others. This journey started when I turned 50. Eight years later the doors are still appearing.  Each thing I do opens up another door. Of course it’s my decision to open it, but each time I do opportunities keep happening. I try to keep my hands in it, give something back, get involved.

A guiding practice through this transition has been naked yoga. It was one of those doors that opened and I walked through. Something of the mystery and intrigue of the naturist lifestyle that was whispered about when I was a boy found its way home to my own body. It’s a bit of the hippy in me coming out for expression that I just missed in the 60s. It also brings me back to the simplicity of being. I release the clothes. I release the identity. My first group class of course there was some nervousness as in anything new. But there also was an excitement, like Hurry up! I can’t wait to get my cloths off! There was no fear. I was like the heifer that couldn’t wait to get the halter off. FREEDOM. I believe nudity is a path to the soul. This soul journey led me to explore other clothing optional paths – Naked Church with Isis and Rev. Charmaine, Rock Lodge Naturist Resort, naked body painting in Times Square with Andy Golub.

I’m ready to embrace a new identity. Naked yoga and naturist events are helping me release the old one. I’m proud of my heritage. The generations of family have given me a foundation to support anything I attempt. And I look forward to the future. There is no fear in releasing my identity as farmer. Life is good. The skill set that farming and the experiences it lead me to, have much value. One week after the farm equipment auction, I was hired as a foreman on the construction job site at a medical center for the next two years. Most days that job will end at 3:30, giving me time to apply my massage skills. Time I didn’t have before. Next fall I plan to complete the Reiki Master course. I hope to some day take an Esalen massage course at Findhorn, Scotland. There is a lot to do. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s behind the next door.

Kimber Updog