Listen to my thoughts on Nude Yoga before the event here when I was interviewed by Peter Bell on ABC Radio Perth.
I chuckled when one of the other students thought we were doing Power Vinyasa naked. I said, “Do you really think we’d be doing a 3-legged downdog tonight?”
The thought of splitting your legs apart without undies, without my Lululemon gear, was out of the ordinary. But whenever we hear of yoga coupled with a group of people getting naked – there’s buzz. Huge buzz. Take a listen to ABC Perth interviewing me live a few weeks before ‘the buzz’ (scroll down).
We sat with our mats facing in, saronged – so at this stage, clothed. It was freeing to see Rosie Rees in her sarong, not tied up, not buttoned, but just on her. Against the candlelit room, I could see the shadows created by her curves and she was completely at ease.
I wondered how the rest of us would undress. Were we meant to take our clothes off now? And that song – you know?
“We don’t have to take our clothes off
To have a good time, oh, no”
Maybe I should step up my game and take the first move? No. My nerves got the better of me. And instead, I waited for it all to unfold.
Rosie asked us to caress our skin, our bones, and our body, just like how we would like to be loved. I slowly massaged my feet, my thighs, my belly, my breasts, my arms, my neck. A meditation guru had told me of the benefits of a daily practice of abhyanga but I never thought of actually performing it. I made an offering of undivided attention to my own body, getting through my deepest layers, and when I felt ready, I stripped away my only physical layer until I was naked.
So all the assumptions I made:
It’s going to be so weird
Everyone’s going to stare
The word ‘vagina’ is never going to be the same
They’re all going to see my imperfections
We’re going to have to do that partner thing where we stare into each other’s eyes (and boobs)
We’re not doing any 3-legged dogs
She’s going to know I have cellulite
The practice was sensual. It was a combination of Kundalini and Yin Yoga where we would often build up the energy inside us, and then let it go. The yoga I know and teach to my students, suddenly had an added dimension to it.
I admired the unclothed bodies next to me – their shapes, their sizes and their marks. And no one was better or more beautiful than another. It was a safe place where we weren’t comparing poses, or the number of likes, or followers.
Being on social media, just like many others, I’ve noticed it’s a popularity contest. The fitter you are, the bigger your boobs, the smaller your belly, then the better you are. And here at Nude Yoga, we were in a safe place where we weren’t comparing any of that, not comparing poses, or the number of likes, or the number of followers.
The popular show Black Mirror on Netflix portrayed this so faultlessly in their viscious take of social media as a platform where users rate their interactions. In the episode, everyone is scored with a rating out of 5 where the only way to get there is to be ‘perfect’.
Let’s hope that our society doesn’t come to that.
This take on Nude Yoga with Rosie Rees at Bodyscape Yoga proved to be a practice where the ‘getting nude and doing yoga’ itself came to light as secondary to the practice of self-acceptance and self-love.
Check out more photos from the event here on Facebook taken by Sue Chung.