In recent years I have found two things that have been life changing and have changed my outlook on life in general. They are naturism and yoga. Each has a philosophy behind them that I find appealing and I have found many common threads between them so it seems natural for me to combine them where I can rather than embrace them separately.
Nakedness is often viewed with shame and fear.
I chose to write this article after I posed naked for various Yoga shots to create my website. Naked Yoga was barely spoken of three years ago, which was partly why I chose to do the photographs. As the majority of my pictures were taken out in wilds of nature during the autumn season, the experience was one of great liberation. Although initially I felt apprehensive about taking my clothes off, when I really thought about it I questioned, what is clothing? Is it not just an outer façade or an expression of our personalities?
Looking at this from a Yogic point of view, even our physical bodies are not a true expression of who we really are. The body is just the house, the temple, the vessel, the residing place for the soul. Wouldn’t you agree? So, looking at it from this angle, I dropped all fear and anxiety and made the most of being in the moment.
Indra Singh, The Truth About Naked Yoga.
I agree that clothing is essentially an outer façade, an expression of our personalities. And naturism is about shedding our fears and anxieties about our bodies and embracing body acceptance. Speaking for myself, I find that when I’m freehiking somewhere or enjoying a day at a nudist resort, I’m living in the moment, my worries and cares fade from my mind. I experience that when practicing yoga. To me, merging the two makes sense.
One of the major objectives when practicing naked Yoga is to enable you to feel free within your body and eliminate any concerns that you may have regarding physical imperfections, which in time will help win over any discomforts you may have regarding your body and feelings of self consciousness.
In a nutshell naked Yoga helps to encourage a new appreciation for the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of being in and with the ‘self’. However what would the negatives aspects be regarding the practice. No matter what our personal point of view may be nudity is still classed as a taboo subject in both eastern and western continents. This is the reason why naked Yoga has taken a back seat role across the globe. Nudity is distracting and not only is it a challenge to the concentration in a class situation but in the majority of peoples eyes nudity goes hand in hand with sex. If we think of nudity we think of sex and when we think of sex we think of nudity, this is part of human nature.
Naked Yoga falls into 3 categories, one of acceptance, discussed or humour. We could converse forever as to why people feel this way, which could simply be due to the fact that Nudity is not everyone’s cup of tea, that it’s not acceptable as human beings we flaunt ourselves in such a public manner. A bit of modesty and respect for the body goes along way, which also adds to the mystery of life, when we reveal all then the mystery is shattered to a degree.
Indra Singh, The Truth About Naked Yoga.
Her first paragraph here is old news for nudists. I agree that naked yoga could very well encourage a new appreciation for the physical, mental and spiritual aspects your yoga practice. Yes, nudity can be a distraction you’re not accustomed to it but people usually get comfortable with the nudity rather quickly and it’s no longer a big deal. I often find clothing in a clothed yoga class to be distracting with the “mysteries” subtly hidden. Out in the open, there is no mystery and the distraction isn’t so evident. Even when unclothed, we can still have “modesty and respect” for the body.
I was glad to see a positive article about naked yoga by a relatively well-known yogini. Many objections to it come from our society’s inability to separate nudity and sex or our ideas about body image which brings about the yuck factor — “I don’t want to see somebody’s bare ass in Down Dog!” There are also objections that naked yoga takes away from the sacredness of the practice. Like anything else, the sanctity and sacredness of your practice largely depends on the intention and the attitude you bring into it. I have the same reverence for the teachings and the practice wherever I practice and however I’m dressed (or not). It’s my practice and it has taught me to observer and listen to my body.