“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/
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.
Hmmm interesting. I hear her message and absolutely am in support of the return of the feminine. I also find my eyes rolling in classes that feel too commercial, when a teacher chants in a sing-songy way that has no authenticity to their own voice and own teaching, and at the same time some ‘marketed’ branches of yoga feel like they’ve evolved the practice rather than devloved or corrupted the practice. Lotus flow of Laughing Lotus gave me the freedom of expression to truly find the Goddess and art in the practice of yoga. I will of course speak to naked yoga for a moment that being my area of personal experience came from a transformative journey where I felt a true authentic connection with the mother goddess deep within myself. The impulse arrived how can I practice like this in a group. One wasn’t available so I created one. I wanted to share my experience and continue deepening it. People showed up. Some people showed up who would never practice yoga otherwise. I had a Brooklyn NY cab driver as a student this week who told me this was the only way he could find the inspiration to take care of himself was to explore the practice naked. Should this practice be removed because perhaps a ‘gimmick’ got him in the door. I am an advocate of having an entry point for everyone. Every effort to rise raises another. It’s like saying, if you can’t read the classics don’t read at all. Or if you’re not a serious yoga student you shouldn’t practice yoga. Some teachings need to be diluted and students need to be met where they are. Is a little yoga better than NO yoga? Because one cannot absorb all the teachings should the teachings be removed completely? That reeks of privilege and yogic snobbery to me and is dangerously close to being elitist. I hear the articles plea for authenticity and tradition, and also wonder of the separation this article creates. There is a rise in the “new-age-y” yogic community of spiritual elite-ism and I question the radical views in the article as a claim to authenticity that perhaps the shadow of the article is “I’m a better / more authentic yogi than you.” Double eye roll. Of course as I write this and look at the judging in the article that I’m judging. Triple eye roll. I have been reflecting recently that it’s easier to focus on the 10% that separates us rather than the 90% that brings us together. My counter to this is a plea for unity and mutual support and open discussion around these powerful issues to to remember we are wanting to ascend as a human species into one-ness and yoke ourselves together – the true meaning of yoga.