Yogis often lament that the practice of yoga has grown far from its spiritual nascence and that it has been reduced to a physical fitness regime.
In the spirit of “taking yoga back,” – taking it back to its beginnings and honoring its ancient origins, it’s time to shine the light on naked yoga.
Naked yoga in its true form has little to do with society’s preconceived notions of sex or eroticism. But make no mistake: Naked yoga is sexy. It’s the sexy that comes from inside, when someone feels authentically embodied, confident, connected to spirit, and alive. The practice celebrates sexuality as a sacred creative force to be transmuted into higher channels, a spiritual exercise and a means of attaining oneness and vitality in the body, mind and spirit – true union that is both mystical and energizing, a combination that is incredibly empowering and liberating on many levels.
Not only do practitioners enjoy greater physical freedom, it literally helps people to feel more comfortable in their own skin, leading them to a undergo a profoundly cathartic experience, a shedding of armor and barriers, as well as the social masks we present to the world.
For people who suffer from low self-esteem and poor body image, when they practice without clothing in a safe, nurturing environment, they come to appreciate their bodies and understand that their feelings of shame are not their own, but a kind of inherited mind state that comes as a result of societal judgments from the outside world. Naked yoga helps anyone who wishes to be free of these kinds of emotional shackles that prevent us from celebrating all that we are, and all that we can be.
Add to this that when we consider the role that clothing has played in society, it seems to be in direct opposition to the spirit of yoga, which speaks to “oneness” and union. By design, clothing reminds us of our differences. It serves as a distraction that leads us away from a central yogic principal, the commonality of all living things, which inspires peace and compassion.
Remember skinny dipping? Naked yoga is skinny dipping in the air. You see and feel your own miraculous body move through space as it stretches from one asana to the next, resulting in a more mindful, sensual and connected practice. Practicing in the nude reminds us of what it felt like to be a child, innocent, and free, filled with curiosity and play. When we shed our coverings, we give ourselves permission to feel joyful and radiant, at home in our own skin, blissfully unselfconscious and aware.
YogaUndressed is the first and only series of its kind that combines the dynamic element of Kundalini yoga, along with profound Tantric philosophies and weaves them together in a seamless Hatha vinyasa flow, in an utterly natural and unadorned state. The practices in Yoga Undressed go beyond conventional “naked yoga,” because they teach the practitioner how to harness the infinitely powerful and transformative kundalini shakti, their sacred life force, while they experience the freedom of moving through space without clothing to restrict their movements, and more importantly, free of shame to restrict their souls.
As I know it, the true purpose of yoga is to explore inner awareness through the asanas and meditation in order to connect with one’s highest self and the divine. The practice of yoga was born as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment and to create an intimate, elevated connection with one’s own pure, essential nature. And the ultimate aim of practicing yoga is to achieve kaivalya which means emancipation, or absolute freedom.
Naked yoga facilitates a kind of letting go, a surrender that is always talked about in yoga practices … Surrender leads to non-attachment, which then, ultimately leads to freedom and true connection to spirit, and perhaps, who knows? If we’re lucky, even to enlightenment.
Photo contributions: YogaUndressed.com
Editor: Tanya L. Markul
Integrated wellness, fitness and lifestyle expert Jennifer Kries is credited with being the first to bring Pilates to a mass audience. Her award-winning videos, DVDs, and TV show revolutionized the fitness community and started the explosive wave of enthusiasm for Pilates and mind/body exercise. In addition to Yoga Undressed, she is the creator and producer of several other original DVD Series and modalities including Waking Energy, Hot Body Cool Mind Series, and The Pilates Method Master Trainer Series. Jennifer has inspired countless readers, practitioners, graduates of her programs, and viewers alike to embrace her all-encompassing philosophy of movement, art, health, life and energy.
Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook.