“Thus all below is strength and all above is grace.” ~ John Dryden
Day 16 Naked Yoga Challenge. Chataranga Dandasana. Four-Limbed Staff Pose / Yoga Push-up.
Dearest Clothes Free Yoga Practitioners, On January 16th, I am beginning a 30 Day Naked Yoga challenge. I will be posting a self-taken photo (also known as a selfie) of a different yoga pose each day with a body positive affirmation for the next thirty days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The goal of the challenge is to celebrate the practice of naked yoga as a gateway to greater self-love. The challenge will culminate on Valentine’s Day which I officially now proclaim as a day of naked yoga love. YOUR CHALLENGE: In this time, I encourage you to submit your favorite self-love inspired naked yoga selfie with a body positive affirmation or a testimony of how you feel practicing naked yoga. In the end, I will create a collage of the best photos to post on the Home page of Naked Yoga Alliance. The best nude yoga selfie photographer will be interviewed and a final article with their photo will be published on the Naked Yoga Alliance website. Inspirational Naked Yoga Selfie Contest: Photo Guidelines & Etiquette. Full body shots only. No blurred faces. If you’re shy, you can pose facing away from the camera. Be tasteful. Be creative. Take the photo yourself. (I do that using a timer app on my iPhone camera as well as a spider tripod) Please no explicit focus on genitals. Most importantly have fun. You can submit up to three favorite photos of yourself for consideration. The best naked yoga selfie photographer will be interviewed and have that interview featured on the Naked Yoga Alliance website. When submitting your photo please include: Name (first name or alias is fine) Age, Location, and Yoga Pose as well as a one or two lines of inspired text around how you feel practicing naked yoga. Final date for photo submissions is Feb 13th 2015. Email photos and info to Isis: firstname.lastname@example.org Good Luck!
|Isis Phoenix’s Interview with Beth Nolan.Beth Nolan, 48. Beth Nolan is a Licensed Massage Therapist,Yoga teacher, energy healer using Reiki and Dowsing and Health Kinesiologist.
At age twelve, I developed psoriasis. My parents generation was one that grew up idolizing doctors. No doctor could find anything to cure me. My streaking subsided. Then there was an actual need to cover up. Itchy, red, scaly patches on my knees and elbows, on my torso and scalp. I always wore long pants and shirts. At the beach I would cover up in a onepiece.
In my teens, I was in a bad car accident. It left me with a limp. I found an amazing chiropractor that worked with me on healing my body. He introduced me to the power of energy medicine, dowsing and muscle testing. I was amazed at my body’s ability to heal itself with this support. I started working in the chiropractic office as an assistant when I was seventeen. I became attune to the energy meridians in people’s bodies and learned how to support patients with supplements and diet through muscle testing and dowsing. It took a few years, but muscle testing ultimately helped me keep my psorasis in check by figuring out what foods were causing my irritation and what supplements would support my digestive system.
The chiropractor’s office was just the beginning. I went on to train and become a massage therapist. My mom couldn’t understand why I would want to touch people and always had questions about who I was massaging. To me it was a natural extension of my own healing journey. My massage teacher told me, in order to have any longevity in massage, I needed to practice yoga. I did yoga for years as a way to heal and restore my body and eventually went on to become certified as a yoga teacher.
Raed the full story HERE
CLEVELAND — In Cleveland, there is ‘No Place Like Om.’
That’s because inside the yoga studio on Detroit Road, the practice is done in the buff.
“This is the kind of yoga class where you don’t have to worry about what to wear,” said Buck Harris, yoga instructor…. Read More Below.
Had a beautiful last swan song of summer weekend with the fun-loving members of Young Naturists of America. Here’s a great article written about those weekend whose hi-lights which featured two naked yoga classes, one taught by Anya Castellano and the other a naked partner yoga class taught by me!
I love when I underestimate the amount of beautiful souls who want to get naked and celebrate their holy body and sensual spirits. Such a beautiful Holy Body Retreat in NYC this past Sunday with Rev. Goddess Charmaine, myself and our beloved community. Naked Yoga, Naked Church, Trance Dance, love and blessings to our body temples and sensual spirits.
Anya’s story is one that has touched and moved me so deeply. It hits close to home for me as a woman growing up with the challenges of body dysmorphia and confusion around food as nourishment. Her path is fearlessly transparent and deeply self-inquiring. I am so grateful for all that she has chosen to share here. My hopes are that when we tell our stories and lay ourselves bare we create an entry point of unconditional love and universal transformation for the highest light and love possible. Thank you for taking the time to read.
Love & Blessings,
Occupation: Yoga Teacher, Counselor
I’m just starting to put myself out there as a teacher of naked yoga. Naked yoga is not just about taking off your clothes. It’s about taking off your belief systems and, more importantly, realizing just what beliefs you’ve been wearing.
There was a lot of duality for me growing up. I grew up in Italian Jewish family and food was a big part of our lives. It was an eateateat culture, but in this culture it was also expected that you had to thin. In my family, food was a form of both reward and punishment.
From my parents and grandparents, I felt judgment and disdain for people who were overweight. If I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t good enough and no one would love me. How does one eat and be thin?
With those dualities in me, I became bulimic. I used to go from McDonalds, Burger King, 7-11, eat as much as I possibly could and then throw up. The binging numbed my sense of not feeling good enough. I was a train wreck with food for most of my life because of the bulimia. I never felt in control over what I would eat and was in a constant cycle of binging, purging and not eating. I was like a heroin addict when it came to eating. As I look back, there was a lot of undoing to do, to create peace and contentment and acceptance within myself. I have a tremendous amount of compassion for people who are caught up in food addiction.
The practice of yoga has been a wonderful tool on my healing journey. This next step of practicing nude yoga has made me feel more comfortable in my body than I ever have.
Yoga is a process. Nude yoga is a process. I discovered naked yoga sort of by accident. One day, I happened to do yoga in my home yoga studio before getting dressed and discovered how different the practice felt without clothes on. It wasn’t a planned experiment. It just happened. And instantly I felt more open in my body, more deeply connected to my inner self, and more able to radiate my energy. It started organically and it then began to gradually happen more regularly. I found I continued to be drawn to go into my yoga room to practice without clothes. There was a deeper drawing that my body and soul wanted to experience in this practice.
What yoga does is give me a new awareness of my body. It gives me a space in which to attune to myself, and part of that is noticing what foods don’t work for me. Yogic principles of mindfulness help me recognize what my body feels called to eat and predict how I will feel after that. I didn’t learn those lessons on the first try. It took a lot of time and awareness and patience. I have a lot more awareness now but know I still have a long way to go.
Cultivating my relationship with the inner witness to my body’s needs has become one of the strongest lessons I’ve learned through yoga. There are different qualities to this witness. I’ve learnt to see her unconditional love, her acceptance and her great sense of humor. Because I spent so many years with negative thoughts and emotions controlling my mind, the inner witness took a long time to emerge from her shell. But now she has, I can see that all that negative programming is not who I am. I can choose what’s right for me in any moment.
No one knows your body the way you do. Each day the body is different, each year it evolves. What we need to eat and how we need to eat changes as well. There’s no expert other than yourself and your body. That lesson also took some time to sink in. At first, I attempted to heal my food addiction through consulting experts in the field. That basically turned my addiction to bad foods into an addiction to raw foods, vegetarian diets or veganism. I was just as mentally sick on these diets as I was eating McDonalds. I don’t think being vegan or a raw food-ist is the answer if it’s just a swap of one addiction for another.
Just as my yoga benefited from removing my clothes, my relationship with food was strengthened by removing labels, food belief systems and ‘right diet’ concepts so I could focus on my own personal balance. This was so important in the process. Now, I eat raw food on some days and cooked meat on others because I can feel what my body needs and wants on a day-to-day basis. I can choose what’s right for me in any moment. Eating as simply as possible works best for me, but I’m attuned to my needs. I have become empowered to be my own body’s expert.
This empowerment grew alongside the increased body consciousness I found in naked yoga. For me now, teaching nude yoga is about self-study as well as deconstructing imprisoning belief systems. You can’t get out of a prison if you don’t know you’re in one. Most of us don’t know it. We’re just there. The first step is finding what imprisons you. Come to where you are in the present moment and love that, whatever it looks like. I know sometimes it’s hard to love things that seem ugly to us, but begin to love yourself just as you are in the present moment, no matter what it looks like. Put your own needs ahead of pleasing someone else. Practice self-awareness and self-study.
Each person comes to the mat with the work that they need to do. When teaching naked classes, I want to create a space where each person can receive their work, let go of imprisoning belief systems and thought forms, and find their unique truth, so they can feel truly comfortable in their body with or without clothes on.
Anya is currently teaching Nude Yoga at Release in Asbury Park. To inquire about Anya’s New Jersey based naked yoga classes email email@example.com
For private naked yoga sessions with Isis Phoenix in New York City email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occasionally someone writes to me, an inquiry that feels important and universal. I took Justin’s question to the Asana Exposed Blog.
I wrote you a while back about my background and nude co-ed Yoga in Wyoming. Well the group has started and has gone pretty well, except that that there have not been any females coming. The teacher is female, but the students have all been male…I have some female friends who are burlesque dancers who I have invited so maybe that will change.
The instructor won’t be here over the summer and I have volunteered to lead the class. I don’t have a Yoga Alliance certificate but have done Yoga for many years(about 14). I have been on the cusp of getting my Yoga Teaching Certificate for many years. I want to be involved with at risk populations and the also with people who want to do nude Yoga. I still struggle with shame and wonder what my true motivations are. I am in a pretty much sexless relationship and really would like to have more sex…and I wonder if I am getting involved in Naturism just for the thrill of seeing or being around nudity. I don’t know. I just need a little guidance….
Do you have any ideas for me?? I will lead the group…that is not a problem…it is just the shame I feel and pain over never really sexually connecting with females…I mean I do connect in a sexual way…but I repress so much feeling it is hard.. anyway have a nice day.
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to write to me and share with me your process. It means so much to me that your reached out and that you’re committed to offering naked yoga classes for your community.
First things first, get that teacher training. A yogi who has a lot of experience does not necessarily a good teacher make. The art of pedagogy is something that is taught and honed over a lifetime. Sequence itself is something to spend years on. There is so much more to think about in a class than just beautiful yoga poses. You have a responsibility to teach each unique body in the room, and the extra responsibility of holding space for the shadow that group nudity can hold. Students coming to your class need someone with facilitation and meditation skills as well as someone who is aware of their own internal process. Have you been assisting your yoga teacher? That’s a good place to start. Also, Yoga Alliance is not the be all end all and you certainly don’t need to be certified through them to teach, but I recommend that you have a training certificate of some kind and an injury release waiver as well as liability insurance when you go down the road of teaching anything that could involve physical, emotional, psychological injury. That said Shelby, what has touched me most in your email was your own willingness to be in an inquiry around what your motivations are for this class. Most will never even ask themselves that question. Your inquiry is heart touching and makes me feel safe in coming to your class as a prospective student rather than some going to someone’s class who has never taken an introspective inquiry and has no real connection to what their motivations are for teaching, particularly a nude class. Your vulnerability and inquiry gives me a sense of trust. I wonder if an assisting or co-teaching option is potentially available. The most successful classes, retreats and events I have attended are ones where there are multiple space holders. I was taking a naked yoga class with one of my former students two weeks ago when another student collapsed after standing up too quickly and hit his head. I was able to tend to the injured student and support him in recovery while the teacher regrouped everyone and continued teaching the class. Situations like this, while they are rare and exceptional, do occur. Support and structure in situations like this need to be considered.
So – go for that teacher training you’ve been putting off, recruit another teacher, start assisting and get those waivers signed. In the interium, I’d also try to continue attending and participating in other naturist groups and even being on some chat boards to gain perspective around the psychology of the community and your own personal process in exploring naturism.
As far as relationships sans sexual chemistry and connection, we all at some times in our lives go through bouts of celibacy by circumstance or by choice. There’s an opportunity to release relationships that aren’t serving you and to begin courting the relationship to self. Let your inner courtship support you in serving as an inquiry that you’re already in, including what is your relationship to nudism, naturism, your sexuality and its identity. Perhaps it’s also a time to explore what turns you on. Most likely, it’s not a naturist gathering. Sounds like it’s time to ask ‘What does Justin desire?’ That’s a good place to start.
I’m really excited about your commitment to offering these classes and creating safe spaces where the practice of naked yoga can be explored and celebrated.
Let me know how everything unfolds!