“I’m not sure why, but I feel like I need to go do this,” I say. “Ok, baby, it’s different that’s for sure,” Brett replies. “I never imagined myself doing nude yoga…” My throat tightens as the words leave my mouth. “Just book the ticket already!” Brett says, kissing me on the forehead.
He knows my excuses. He knows my procrastination techniques, just as I know his. He also knows my frustrations with my body as we creep closer to the two-year mark of trying to conceive. He knows the stress my mind and body has been through in recent weeks after witnessing a young woman lose her life. I know these things too, but telling him I want to go do yoga in the nude seems a little out there… even for me. Telling him I want to do this makes me accountable though, once I put it out into the world I won’t be as inclined to chicken out, I won’t succumb to my fears. And there are plenty of them!!
I’m terrified of having nowhere for my excuses, fears, or self-doubts to hide. I’m terrified of the realisations that are likely to rise up, the limiting beliefs I’ve held on to, that have shaped my life and who I am. Those stories I just haven’t been able to part with yet. I’m terrified of facing them, but I know the time is right. The Universal nudges, those synchronicities, are too obvious to ignore. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way one too many times before.
So on the night of the Aries full moon, I took a leap of faith… faith in a group of complete strangers, faith in the beautiful Rosie Rees and most importantly faith in myself. I stripped bare with 20 other gorgeous women for 3 hours of yoga and connecting with my divine feminine self.
Clothes provide a physical and metaphorical barrier for us to hide behind. It’s a safety thing, staying inside our comfort zone. When we are naked, there are no facades we can put on to hide behind. It’s really difficult to pretend to be anything other than who you truly are when you are naked… trust me!
We start the workshop in a kimono or sarong. I shift my weight awkwardly on my yoga mat, hyper-aware of not flashing everyone in the circle every time I change the way I sit. I’m anxious about looking anyone in the eye, aware that very soon we’ll all be naked. These women will see me. I mean really see me! They will see behind the smile, the wall that reinstated itself after the accident. They will see the body that for months I have spoken very horribly too, the body that hasn’t worked the way female bodies are intended to work.
Using yoga to break down the barriers
Yoga is more than just moving through physical postures. Yoga is a way of life. It’s about releasing the things, thoughts, and emotions that no longer serve us. Yoga is about connection. Doing yoga naked helps you to reconnect with yourself in a way that is completely different to doing yoga clothed.
By the second yoga pose, I’d stripped off my kimono. My chest tightened as I clutched the soft cotton in my fingertips. What am I resisting? What do I need to ceremoniously remove or surrender from my life when I take this last barrier off? My answer: it’s time to stop hating on and fearing my body. It’s time to start loving my body and accepting that it is capable of amazing things when I believe in it. I need to forgive myself, my body, my mind.
After this acknowledgment, things I’ve avoided or struggled to admit to myself come rushing to the surface very quickly. By the third yoga pose, tears pour down my cheeks. I can’t stop them. And I don’t want to. Since my endometriosis diagnosis 15 months ago, my thoughts and words to my body have not been very kind. My womb, in particular, has copped an emotional onslaught of fear, hatred, and loathing.
Lessons from nude yoga…
Stripping bare allowed so many lessons and realisations to rise to the surface. I realised that I still don’t fully accept myself for who I am. I still hide parts of me, fearful of what others will think, fearful of the judgment. Flowing through a sun salutation, completely naked and surrounded by 20 other fully naked women, I fully accepted and liberated my hippie, witchy, natural goddess self. I surrendered the fear I’ve held on to about what people would think and just did what I needed to do, which in this moment was a nude downward dog.
And it wasn’t weird. In fact, it felt beautiful. I felt free. I felt like I could fully be me. I didn’t care about what anybody thought about who I was. For in that moment I knew who I was and I was grateful to reconnect with her.
I was reminded we each have a path filled with challenges and those challenges are designed for our unique situation & moment in time, they are what help us grow & evolve. The body is an incredible form, yet I have held onto so much stress, worry & fear in it. The only one creating these barriers and limiting beliefs in my life is me. And the only one who can let them go… is me.
We each get to choose what we hold onto and what we let go of. By physically stripping bare, my soul had nowhere left to hide… And it was confronting, full of connection, and absolutely amazing!! It was releasing. I choose to surrender. I choose love. Why? Because I deserve it ?
Notes on Nude Yoga?
I can’t thank Rosie Rees enough for providing a safe space for this practice. I am also eternally grateful to the beautiful souls who accepted me and allowed me to accept them during our moment of complete and utter vulnerability. I am incredibly grateful to each of the women who shared her energy with me during this practice. Thank you!!