Nude Yoga

by Alistair Thomson.

This article, written by our very own KZNNA Yoga Instructor, is a super overview of what Yoga is, and insight into why so many people are discovering that cloths-free Yoga may just be Naturism’s best kept secret. – Ed

Yoga means union. It is derived from Sanskrit “yuj” which means to join. The union of the mind and body for spiritual awakening or raising of the Kundalini.

The full observation of yoga is the yogic lifestyle where the physical yoga postures (asana’s) form only 1 out of 8 parts to living an ancient, scientific lifestyle for enlightenment.

One of the greatest gifts yoga bestows is presence. The ability to bring your thinking and feeling into the here and now.

When we speak of nude yoga, we usually only refer to the physical practice, unless you are a naturist yogi, who also observes the other aspects. The practice of nude yoga is argued by some as being the ancient way, whether true or not, the fact remains that is does deepen your body awareness which serves to enhance the mind body union or integration which is the meaning of the word yoga.

(Image: Nude Yoga at SunEden)

You feel a sense of freedom as the restriction from clothing is removed. You feel your body in its natural form and your practice is simplified to you, your mat and your yoga. Allowing true connection within yourself, observing the thoughts, emotions and reactions that surface during your session.
The basic idea of enlightenment starts with setting boundaries through adoption of universal and personal moral codes. These form as the anchors or reference points by which we live our lives, make our decisions and aspire to embody completely. These are known as the Yama’s (Universal) and Niyama’s (Personal) and are the first 2 steps of the Yogic Lifestyle.

Asana or posture practice – what we usually think of as yoga is Step 3. This is where we learn to control our bodies. To know your world, you must first know yourself. Our asana practice allows, fitness, strength, flexibility, balance, peace, creativity, playfulness, responsibility and maturity. This extends beyond our postures on the yoga mat and into our daily lives. We find ourselves, calmer, more patient and relaxed, able to adapt to shifting circumstances and endure more hardships. Asana or yoga is not a destination but a lifestyle choice, as we are always able to learn more, go further or modify as we need to.

One of the greatest gifts yoga bestows is presence. The ability to bring your thinking and feeling into the here and now. Not being caught up in the future by creating expectations which are fictional or by comparing yourself to anything in your past or to anyone around you. It helps you accept you for you. It relieves stress as the presence of minds starts to strip away anxiety and depression. You learn how to release tension in your body which is the thing that causes all disease or dis-ease.

Step 4 or Pranayama (The Science of Breath Control) helps us with this immensely. Yoga is a combination and synchronisation of breath and movement. Learning how to do this correctly becomes one of your most powerful tools in your yoga practice. Something which I feel is best experienced than described because to attempt a description would be to rob the reader of the true greatness of this experience. This precious moment, right now, as you read this, is our most holy gift. Breath control allows access to this gift.

Nude yoga for me, has helped me accept my body, learn about my body, learn to love it – after all it’s the only one I have right now so I may as well take care of it.

Control of the Senses or Pratyahara is Step 5. Step 6 deals with Control of the Mind or Concentration (Dharana). Step 7 is Control of the Heart or Contemplation (Dhyana). Samadhi is Step 8 and is when we reach our supreme state as an enlightened and divine being of light.

Yoga is not a religion, just in case you haven’t figured that out yet! It really is a scientific lifestyle for living your best life and bringing out your potential.

Nude yoga for me, has helped me accept my body, learn about my body, learn to love it – after all it’s the only one I have right now so I may as well take care of it.

Nude yoga for me, has helped me accept my body, learn about my body, learn to love it – after all it’s the only one I have right now so I may as well take care of it.

The beauty of living in the modern age is that we have access to resources which can help us connect with like minded folks. Although not huge, there is a nude yoga community out there and another amazing lesson from yoga is that you do for you. Do what you can, when you can. Respect and love your body and feelings. What you were able to do yesterday or may do tomorrow is irrelevant right now. In the practice of nude yoga this counts for a lot. Do only what you are comfortable with. If that means doing yoga without a top first, then do that. If it means private practice, on your own, then do that.

I do believe strongly that we should move to normalising nudity. It is the original form of censorship when clothing is not required for protection and is not worn by choice. We place too much emphasis on looks and too little on abilities and skills.

In my world, I would love to see more people coming together, spending time together honestly, clothing optional. Practise more yoga, smile more, breathe deeper, hug more often and be grateful for everything you have and most of all, and I cannot stress this enough: choose LOVE <3 – Namaste

Further reading:

www.womenshealthsa.co.za/fitness/naked-yoga/

https://www.womenshealthsa.co.za/fitness/naked-yoga-trend/

Warrior