Rabu, 29 Agustus 2012

Naked Yoga or The Art of Real Beauty in Movement

This is a political and cultural movement that defends social nudity both in public and private.  It’s like the nude beach arguments.  It’s an appreciation of the body, a testament to its beauty.  It’s believed that by freeing the body of clothes, it’s easier to then free your mind and spirit.  The concept of nude or naked yoga is derived from ancient India Tantra yoga which aims to deliver holistic health and wellness.  Just like the normal yoga, naked yoga is based on the principles of accepting, loving and appreciating body in all shapes, sizes and flexibility.    One is taught that naked yoga is not about sexual experience, it is a heart-opening experience.
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The class starts with everyone fully clothed.   Classroom is normally enclosed with from floor-to-ceiling curtains to privacy reason.   Then, students will take off their clothes and fold their clothes.  Written and directed by Alexander Carver, Naked Yoga is a comedy about modern sexual politics.  Based on some of Carver’s real life experiences, Naked Yoga focuses on a powerful woman’s effect on a weak man and how she changes him and everything around him.  The practice of yoga is not usually associated with practicing in the all-together but naked yoga is now becoming surprisingly popular.  There are regular classes springing up across America although it still seems to be a fairly well-kept secret.

This practice of yoga is to promote the ideal of a more “free,” liberated and authentic form or yoga.  Would a practice with other nude yogis (either mixed gender or same sex) be distracting?  For some, yes, especially if they were unaccustomed to being nude with others or hadn’t developed an attitude of body acceptance.  I haven’t yet done nude yoga with others so I can’t say with one-hundred percent certainty that I wouldn’t be distracted but I’m reasonably sure I’d find it no different from a nudist venue.  The art and practice of yoga has been around for centuries.  Men have always had a passion for trying to connect the body with mind and soul, seeking a peace and a harmony between all that they are within themselves.

Yoga is very simple to learn and can be done about anywhere.  It can be practiced in groups, or you can practice it alone.  It’s very versatile.  Yoga is a personal practice.    This is something that I think can be easy to forget during class from time to time.    Like most things in life, you get out of your yoga practice what you put into it.    While I don’t find myself getting overly concerned with what other people in my classes are doing, I do have a hard time remembering that my practice is not a competition with myself.   Expecting recognizable improvement on a daily basis is not only damning myself to perpetual disappointment, but it also encourages a mentality focused not on assessing where I am and  what I’m capable of today, right here, right now and practicing accordingly, making me susceptible to injury and discouragement.

A typical Vinyasa practice may begin with sun salutations which move into more intense stretching, balancing each pose with a counter pose.  Vinyasa yoga has a flowing style as individuals move more quickly through the poses rather than holding them for longer periods of time as with other yoga styles.  As a result, this style of yoga is often a more active one.  Vinyasa yoga can improve flexibility and body tone, increase energy levels, release tension, and promote relaxation. I believe this system to be best for Naked Yoga practice when one is beginning with it.

Like all styles, regular practice is best and early morning practice sessions are recommended.  Sessions can be tailored to suit busy modern lifestyles however, and the most important aspect is that regular practice ensues.  Students reap the rewards of dedicated practice sessions quite quickly and within a very short space of time, those around will begin to notice some changes to the student’s demeanor and physique. As far as Naked Yoga is concerned, when you are naked, you are closer to your true self, undefined by clothes.  You are more present and feel your body more fully.

How often do we really notice the movement, texture, weight of the air around us?  And, I believe, you more quickly shed your judgments, fears and insecurities about the body and, especially by practicing naked with others, by showing up with nothing but your ordinary and yet extraordinary animal body, you come to feel a deep connection with all life.  I could go on and on, or maybe you want to try it yourself, perhaps alone at first, and observing.

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