Tag Archives: nudity

Naked vs. Nude – DEFINED

IMG_3802.JPG  NAKEDNESS vs. NUDITY

“The word nakedness comes from the Anglo-Saxon Germanic roots, nudity from the Norman French. As a result, it is possible to tease apart meanings, with some suggesting that if you are nude you are unclothed and knowingly observed, while nakedness refers to the ‘innocent’ state of simply being uncovered. Nudity happens in art, nakedness happens in your bathroom. Nakedness represents the raw, nudity the ideal. The art critic John Berger writes: ‘To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become nude. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.’ ” ~ A Brief History of Nakedness by Philip Carr-Gomm

Nudist Equity – Why Providing the Option to Wear Bottoms in Naked Yoga for Women and Transfolk is a Political Statement.

Isis of Naked Yoga Alliance interviews Willow, founder of Naked in Motion

Nudist Equity – Why Providing the Option to Wear Bottoms in Naked Yoga for Women and Transfolk is a Political Statement.

 I had the delight of interviewing Willow of Naked in Motion, who is currently teaching naked yoga and Pilates classes for all genders in New York City.

Tell us a little about yourself.

nimwildI go by Willow. I’m from a small conservative town. I was a dancer and a performer so movement has always been of interest to me. I’ve been teaching Pilates for over two years and have recently added yoga to my teaching repertoire. The conservative environment I grew up in was filled with body negativity and sex negativity. My mission is to change the way people feel about themselves to make the world a more peaceful place. It’s about starting a dialogue between oneself and one’s body through movement. We block these lines of communication through clothes to shield our insecurities and also belief patterns that assert that we’re not enough. This is about opening that channel back up again to find self-compassion.

 What inspired you to teach a naked class?

I began co-teaching with a male partner of mine. Now I do it by myself. I never thought I would ever do anything like this, but I’m a very sex-positive and body-positive person. I don’t too offer much of the spiritual side of yoga and I don’t require anyone to be on any specific level. You don’t have to be fit, be thin or even able-bodied. There are all kinds of people and they say how helpful this practice is for them. This is more than yoga. It’s about a personal journey you take with yourself. It challenges messages that the media gives you, challenges fears. This practice takes the journey inward and you have an opportunity to really learn a lot about yourself.

Did you grow up in a body-positive or nudist-friendly household?

I grew up in a household with people struggling with their weight, and there was a lot of body shaming around this issue. It was hard to watch family members be so hard on themselves. I happen to be a skinny, white woman, but it’s almost entirely due to genetics, and I recognize the privilege in this. Because of my upbringing, I have great empathy for those who are struggling with feelings of shame about their weight, and it fuels my passion to create safe spaces where they can learn to love themselves. If you berate your body all the time, it’s not going to cooperate. Our culture has a fat phobia. We are fed so many images of thin, in-shape photoshopped people who are pretty and we think in our minds that that’s the only thing that is attractive and acceptable. In my classes, there are all different body types and we all have rolls and wrinkles. I think a class like this makes one less judgmental of people in one’s everyday life – especially around body size. I have more compassion for people and myself after having taught this class, and I know many of my students feel the same way.

What is your current class schedule?

I teach a weekly class in New York City and will be adding more and I have a monthly women’s and transgender class.

nimbluemainWhat can someone expect when they show up to your naked yoga class?

I attract people who are comfortable with social nudity and also attract newbies who are scared or nervous. In order to create a safe space, I make it clear to people what is expected of them. You come in and you still wear your clothes. I go over the rules so people know what’s expected of them. I ask for consent before touching a student to make a correction in their posture. Identity within the class is kept confidential. I discuss erections so people know what to do, and also to make them less of a big deal. I inform people that this is not a space for cruising or to pick up a date. Sobriety is a rule. And everyone gets naked as a whole. We begin dressed and then we disrobe together. I do some meditation followed by yoga and some Pilates. The classes are candle lit and are in low lights. The windows are blocked off for privacy.

What is the current demographic that is showing up at naked yoga?

The demographic is heavier on the male side. It can be up to 40% women but tends to rest more in the 25-30% area. More men in general show up to naked events. There are reasons why women are typically more timid about coming to my events and afraid of social nudity. Sexual abuse, objectification and assault are unfortunately a daily reality for many women, so the lower female participation doesn’t surprise me at all. I was a little scared when I first tried it myself and I was the teacher.

Is nudity required in your class?

Full nudity used to be mandatory, however, women emailed about the possibility of wearing bottoms. After a while of teaching it occurred to me that I want more people to experience this practice, not just the people who are privileged enough to feel safe enough. When I offered the possibility that women and trans identifying folks could wear bottoms to class for any reason, the gender ratio became much more balanced. There are some issues that I think should be examined in the nudist community around this. Women have been kicked off of nudist beaches for wearing bottoms when they are on their periods. Cisgender men cannot know what it is like to menstruate. This mandatory nudity rule felt like part of the patriarchy trying to be in control of women’s bodies. Women and trans folk can wear bottoms for any reason. It is required that cisgender men are nude for class.

If nudist communities continue to exclude women on the basis of menstruation, we are never going to get close to a less patriarchal society. I also invite transgender people to use or wear anything that they need to affirm their gender. I’ve got criticism from men about these new rules. I want to explain myself to men and be the source of education about this issue. Everybody wants more women to be present in these classes. When there are more women, people feel safer. It is in everyone’s best interest to have more women present in class. When women take off their tops, they are already participating in nudity. When men take off their tops, they are not. You can see male joggers without tops and it feels normal. If a woman were to be jogging topless, it would not be seen as normal, she would be seen as nude. The bottoms policy gives the message to people after centuries of oppression that I am allowing you to experience this is in the way that makes you feel safe. There is nothing equal about the experience of a man and a woman naked in a space together. Nothing. That doesn’t exist. My bottoms rule is about equity, and it gives a marginalized and oppressed group tools that they need to have a successful experience. Equity in this space gives those marginalized groups more privilege and something to make them feel safer. It doesn’t mean that more people wear bottoms in class. This new rule says, I understand where you are coming from and I support you.

Tell me about a memorable experience of a class that’s touched your heart:

A woman who had recently lost a lot of weight wanted to reward herself by coming to class. At the end of class, she told me that she used to hate her breasts. She thought coming to class would be about celebrating her weight loss, but being forced to look at her breasts for the entire class, she confided in me that maybe there was nothing wrong with them after all and she could grow to love them.

Who do you hope to attract to your classes?

I want to attract the people who want to grow in their compassion or empathy. Everyone has some kind of limitation – physical, mental, emotional. This practice provides an internal dialogue with your body to figure out what’s going on. It’s an opportunity to figure out how to communicate with your body on your journey. I want to attract people who never thought they’d ever come to a social nude event, people who want to challenge themselves and explore the possibility for compassion and empathy.

 What are your hopes and dreams for Naked In Motion?

I want this to be a national phenomenon. Pushing all kinds of buttons, converting people who never thought they would do this kind of thing. I want people to learn about themselves. Our motto is “Join the movement” – we’re moving our bodies and we’re also a political movement. Success for me is starting a movement where more people of all genders and all body types are more comfortable and willing to try it out. Success for me is more people ready to take an internal journey, ready to listen to themselves and take care of themselves.

What advice would you give to someone who is curious but also nervous or scared about trying naked yoga?

You are the perfect candidate. If you are nervous, or think you’re too insecure or not something enough for this class, then you are the perfect person to come and experience this class and this practice. This is a place for everybody to explore that fear and self-criticism with kindness. Maybe you’ll feel less alone. We all have limitations and self-criticisms.

Where can people who are interested find out more about your classes?

http://www.nakedinmotion.com

“ASANA: Images of Awakened Kundalini, Nature and Prayer”

ASANAI was recently made aware of this book “Asana: Images of Awakened Kundalini, Nature and Prayer”

30 Days of Naked Yoga Love & Naked Yoga Photo Contest!

Dearest Clothes Free Yoga Practitioners, Naked Yoga Selfie ContestOn 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 CHALLENGEIn 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: nakedyogaalliance@gmail.com Good Luck!

Beth’s Story ~ “My Body is always communicating to me…”

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. 


Beth Nolan
I’ve always been a nudist, a naturist, someone who wants to be free.  When I was little, I loved to streak.  Needless to say, my parents found my nakedness inappropriate.  Growing up, I was confused why I had to wear a shirt and my older brother didn’t.  My parents wouldn’t allow this inherent freedom of expression and celebration of the body, especially the female body.  In Kindergarden, I was at a sleepover at a friend’s – I decided to try my luck and walk around shirtless to see if I cold get away with it.  My friend’s mother came up to me immediately and said “I don’t know what you do in your house but we don’t allow that here.”

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.

Beth Nolan 2In 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.
I’ve been working in some form of alternative healing for over 30 years.  As for my own healing and exploration Tantra, breathwork and Orgasmic Meditation has helped get to the bottom of core issue.  The issue of shame. As I release the deep seeded beliefs of my family, It has been a big part of my own healing and then became a gift I could offer others. Trauma, injuries, conditions – they come and go, but each accident or illness has taught me more about my healing journey.   My body is always communicating to me, if I eat sugar the itchy scales start up again.  By listening, I’m present to my body’s needs and I am really grateful to have these tools to support me and free me from old beliefs. In my celebration of self love and connection, I’m hoping to guide other people on their healing journey.

Beth Nolan 2Beth teaches naturist yoga in New Yoga and New Jersey.

Parental quandaries around teen naturism

Question From a Father:

“I have a question and am getting a few people opinions. I have a 16 year old daughter and she knows that my girlfriend and I go to nude events and she wants to try it. She wasn’t raised around nudity. Do you think it’s a good idea to let her come with us or wait until she 18?”

Dear Naturist Dad,

Thank you for writing in. What an awesome question. It’s one that puts me on the razor’s edge to answer. It can be a powerful and profound transition for a young woman to step into her power and embrace naturism. I have to say I wish I had grown up with super cool parents who were naturists and shared with me body-positive experiences. Transitioning into a naturist environment in one’s teens, having not previously grown up in a naturist environment is a bit tricky, particularly for parents. First of all I would want to know if there is another parent, your daughter’s biological mother or caregiver who this could be discussed with as well. You definitely want both parents or guardians in the conversation and on board around the decision. If you are a single father, I commend you taking steps to gather more information and writing in about this question and taking on a potentially large and challenging conversation. I am so glad you are asking for support and seeking multiple opinions.

I would also inquire with your daughter why she feels called to explore naturism at this time and what she hopes to get out of the experience. Is it something she and her friends have discussed and there is general interest among her peers? Uncovering the intent for her interest could be helpful for you both. I have an 18 and over policy at my events but certain naturists spaces are family friendly and hold an all inclusive feel. I have taught yoga and facilitated naked church at several of these spaces. A wide range of ages were present and that felt very healing to witness and experience as someone who did not grow up in a naturist environment. At this transitional age of your daughter being a teenager, I would also wonder of your personal boundaries. Are you comfortable with experiencing your daughter in a naturist environment and is your girlfriend comfortable with that as well as I assume she would accompany the two of you. Bridging this environment at such a transitional age and time could be awkward for everyone but that doesn’t mean not to have the conversation about it.

I will also address the elephant in the room too which is that you are a man and this is doubly as challenging for you because it is deemed more psychologically and socially safe for a mother to escort a daughter to a naturist resort than a father. If I were a father, I would either wait until my daughter was eighteen years old allowing her to make her own choices, or ask a trusted female friend who was a naturist to speak with my daughter about naturism and offer to serve as an escort to a family friendly resort. The role of father is the daughter’s protector and transitioning into a naturist lifestyle as a teen comes with too many potentially volatile situations that I myself would not feel capable of handling. I would need to honor my own boundaries as a father and say I wasn’t comfortable with that but support my daughter’s desire to explore naturism when she turns of age.

I would thank my daughter for expressing interest and perhaps speak to her briefly about the healing I had found in the practice of naturism and ask her if she had any questions for me around it. 

Here’s a dialogue I explored previously in another blog post around teenage naturism.
https://asanaexposed.com/2013/01/14/exploring-my-learning-curve-with-family-and-teen-age-nudism/

Awesome question!

Thanks!

~ Isis Phoenix

www.sensualshaman.com

Clothing Optional Holy Body Retreat with Isis Phoenix & Rev. Goddess Charmaine in NYC

Holy Body Retreat with Naked Yoga, Naked Church & Trance Dance!

This Sunday 10am-2pm!!!

 

Come feel powerful, holy, wild, sensual, free, and totally you

 

Join Rev. Goddess Charmaine & Isis Phoenix for

Clothing Optional Holy Body Retreat!!!

Naked Yoga

Freedom Movement Trance Dance

Holy Body Worship “Naked Church”

Group Bodywork & Healing Circle

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

10 to 2pm

This is a Clothing Optional Event

Our bodies are miracles, beauty, complex ecosystems, walking art – each unique, holy and beautiful. Gift your holy body and sensual spirit to a nourishing and celebratory afternoon with your soul family. Come nourish, rejoice and celebrate with yoga, dance, naked church and healing bodywork!

We welcome you to a community who loves, honors and celebrates the holy, sacred and celebratory union of body and spirit.

If you play an instrument and feel led called to bring it we will incorporate sound and music healing into Naked Church and Group Bodywork.

Sunday, September 29th 12 to 4pm

ABC Sanctuary

638 E. 6th Street

Ny, NY 10009

$39 in advance

$49 at the door

Questions or to reserve your spot now!

Isis Phoenix: sensualshaman@gmail.com

Rev. Goddess: thesensuousmystic@gmail.com

Please bring your yoga mat, a towel and blindfold.

Read More about our mission here!

          Goddess Blessings

Rev Goddess Charmaine Website

  Isis Phoenix Sensual Shaman

Register Here

https://www.eventbrite.com/event/7988079561