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There's a craze in The States (where else?), at the moment, for practising yoga completely in the nude (see news story 'nude yoga comes to Washington'). Unsurprisingly, the movement seems to be geared mainly at gay men - but this isn't exclusively the case.
I have to confess to being more than a little puzzled. Why, apart from the obvious, would anyone want to subject themselves to this??!
Maybe I'm missing the point. Anyone able to throw some light on the matter for me?
Reminds me of the time someone told my boyfriend that a large number of Pagans worship skylark (naked). His face was a picture. As usual, he decided to ignore tradition and do his own thing. Going nude or "skylark" will only be an option if you are comfortable with your body. I tried explaining to my bloke that his body is only one of the things that attracts me to him. His response? "Are you saying I'm not good looking?" A lot of men are unhappy with the way they look- even if they look perfectly fine to their partners, girlfriends, lovers, friends, family etc. Only yesterday, I was treated to: "Do you think I should have more of a hairy chest?" I had no answer for that. Do I want a boyfriend or an extra from Planet of the Apes? Hmm...
Nude yoga might help men feel better about their bodies. Realise that everyone has got different bodies and they don't have to have six packs. Or it might make them feel worse and cause them to start comparing themselves to other men. Being nude is a sexual thing. It's also a private thing. A nude yoga class might just end up being an hour long conversation about who has the biggest you know what.
Saying that, one of my biggest fights with my bloke was about my taking up yoga. He said he'd only be fine with it if it was an all female class as he didn't want men looking at my bum while I was stretching or bending over. I assured him that nobody would be looking at me. He went quiet. "Yes they will," he said, "you're the most beautiful woman in the world." Is he talking rubbish or do some men actually go to yoga classes to try to pick up women? And I've been trying to get rid of a few pounds so my bum looks better in my jeans. But, if you listen to him, it's the best bum in the world.
Just had a thought. Sneaky little... I didn't think he'd asked again after the last time but...no, I'm being silly and talking to myself again. He wouldn't. He's king of the big gesture so I thought he'd write it in fireworks or something. I've only had 6 serious relationships including him so I don't know men that well and I can't second guess him anyway. But what if he's behaving like a twit because he's realised he doesn't want to be without me? This may just be me but why do I get the feeling, reading what I said above back, that someone's out looking for a ring?
A lot of our confidence in our bodies comes from other people. I think I'm nothing special but one young man thinks I'm perfect. Perhaps nude yoga could do our confidence the world of good. I'm not doing it. He'd go mental for one thing and it's not really my thing either. Sorry guys.
The whole skylark thing is supposed to be a homage to nature and bind the spell/ritual with the body. So there is a spiritual side to getting naked. But I doubt nude yoga will "take off" here. Too cold.
I usually do my home practice "skyclad". I'm not a gay man (not that there's anything wrong with that); so naked yoga has no sexual appeal for me. The intellectual in me wants to say that it's about coming to the mat without possessions--blah,blah,blah. The truth is: it feels good to sweat freely all over, and I'm too lazy to wash the extra clothes.
BIG difference though between practising at home in the nuddy, and flaunting it in a room full of strangers. Personally i think that 'Hot Nude (so called) Yoga' must be all about flattering the ego and stimulating the sexual energy. And that's going in the opposite direction to the one i want to go in in my Yoga practice. But each to their own and all that...
Fascinating posts. For fear of pushing the debate down an ever so serious route with a heartfelt response of my own, here is what happens if you type in "Skyclad" into Google.
Result number one is for Skyclad - the originators of UK "folk metal" music [the mind boggles!].
Result number two is marginally more relevant - a site called Angelfire.com explains the concept of Skyclad as a ritual, with references to Paganism and witchcraft!!
Let the debate continue...
The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.
~ B.K.S Iyengar
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