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Friday, 15 October 2010
Naked Yoga Women
Naked yoga women may seem at first to be a heading on a spam email. In fact, there is a DVD called Totally Nude Yoga which simply exploits the idea of yoga done in the nude to satisfy puerile interests.
Naked Yoga Women Really Do Yoga
However, the naked yoga movement for men and women is concerned with the actual practice of yoga. Naked yoga women just prefer to do it without the constraints of clothing, finding a sense of identity and freedom in bare skin.
In San Francisco, naked yoga was popularized by by Meredith Medland, an instructor at the the One Taste Urban Retreat Center. Now at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, Medland no longer teaches nude yoga, but saw the potential for naked yoga women to get more out of the practice of yoga - helping each to "fall in love with her body through the experience and see a new me." This echoes the benefits of tantric yoga and guided meditation, which relate the sensual, sexual, and mental processes to the purely physical practices of asanas.
On the opposite coast, Wendy Tremayne started a naked yoga class with a group of naturists in 2005. The group has grown and Tremayne has found that her students benefit from a communal experience of "being themselves without being judged." She finds that while students at first have difficulty overcoming the cultural imprints against nudity, once the yoga practice centers them they find it "powerful and liberating."
Nude yoga classes aren't mainstream, but many metropolitan areas have options for them. An Internet search brings up a lot of sites and adult-only yoga groups, so you might have better luck asking someone at a local studio about availability.
Some Yoginis Disagree With Naked Yoga
Not all yoginis agree with the practice of nude yoga for men or women, feeling that the inevitable sexual overtones take away from the sacred Hindu practice. Carlos Pomeda, a respected yoga scholar, has said that the idea of naked yoga women "… runs counter to traditional yogic thinking across traditions." Other practitioners try it and find it does not work for them, feeling that being naked takes away from the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga.
However, there are enough naked yoga women enjoying and benefiting from the experience that the trend is spreading, with many yoginis expanding their training curriculum to include the practice.