Megan Leigh Yoga
City where you teach naked yoga:
What inspired you to begin teaching naked yoga?
I loved the idea of stripping away the layers both physically and figuratively speaking, so I decided to try Katrina Rainsong’s R.A.W. Nude Yoga class and instantly fell in love with the freedom of practicing without the restriction and distraction of clothing. I wanted to teach my own clothing-optional yoga classes to help others find that freedom and comfort in their natural state.
How has teaching and practicing naked yoga transformed you and your personal yoga practice?
I have far less distractions and things hindering my practice now that I practice nude. Think of the freedom of never having to pick a wedgie from your bum after a lunge or forward fold 😉 Both practicing and teaching naked yoga have transformed me into a more body-positive and self-loving person. It is beautiful to see a group of people of varying body-types, age-groups, and cultures all feeling comfortable enough in their own skin to strip away their ego and their clothing.
What do you see as the unique benefits for teaching naked yoga?
Less Restriction in movement and breath, less distraction, more mindfulness and connection to body-breath-spirit, release of negative body-image-issues, and a more clear and concise view and understanding of safe alignment in asanas.
Tell us an interesting story that occurred in your yoga class.
It was definitely interesting the time some very intense and dramatic classical music began blaring through the wall from next door during our savasana! 😛
I always tell my students to treat nude yoga just like any other yoga class in the way that you honor your body and your practice as you are showing up in that moment. Only do what you are comfortable with, and remember it’s not a competition, ever. Do what feels natural and right for your practice, such as starting clothed and slowly taking off articles of clothing as your body heats up with the practice. If you only feel like shirtless yoga one day, then do that, the pants will follow when you’re ready 🙂
How can people find out more about your class?
They can find me on Facebook by ‘Liking’ Megan Leigh Yoga and messaging me there.
For the Yogis not on FB, they can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The article is a bit sensational but I’m glad the word continues to get out about this practice.
“I tried naked yoga in NYC and here’s what you need to know” by Meagan Drillinger originally published on www.thrillist.com
“The first thing you need to know about naked yoga is that it exists. It is a real thing. A thing people do. Sure, it’s not as popular as some other great New York pastimes, like late-night ramen, strolling the High Line or, you know, regular yoga… but yoga in the nude is definitely something going on in NYC. I should know — I did it….”
Read the Full story HERE:
Naked yoga — where participants bare it all for their practice — is gaining traction in Kelowna, B.C., with classes aimed at helping women accept their bodies for what they are.
“The general overwhelming intention is to try to integrate the entire body to allow yourself to breathe in and become one and not reject different body parts because they are aesthetically not pleasing to you,” said instructor Suzie Doratti, who also works as a (clothed) real estate agent…
By Zen Marie Holmes via mytinysecrets.com
“Practicing nude yoga allows you to accept yourself, flaws and all. You begin to love and appreciate the unique characteristics that make you, You.”
#1 Nude Yoga Improves Your Body Image
Everyone has parts of their physique that they are uncomfortable with: wide hips, no hips, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short and of course breast, butt, and penis size.
Women in particular have a tendency to feel insecure with their bodies. Especially after having given birth some feel their breasts hang lower, and their waist or abdomen may have stretch marks, excess skin or additional weight – all of which are very natural.
Read the full article HERE:
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?
Yoga 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.
One 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.
“This isn’t a statement. This is.
“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
Name: Rev. Goddess Charmaine
Location: Franklin Lakes, NJ
Seated Spinal Twist
Location: Central Massachusetts
Yoga Pose: Hero