March 22, 2014

What Happened When I Tried Nude Yoga.

naked yoga

Nude Yoga.

If there is a subject that polarizes yogis more, I am not aware of it—except perhaps the latest kombucha controversy.

Or the Lulu thing.

Or that deal with Yogaglo.

For a bunch of peaceable types, we yogis certainly have a lot of pitta opinions!

I can’t see getting so fired up about a beverage, but nude yoga—that’s another story.

As some of you know, I have what you could call, a checkered past. (That’s what my husband calls it, which I find an endearing way to say I used to be a big a-hole.)

During some of my “lost years”, I was a dancer which, because as you might suspect, didn’t exactly involve ballet— required nudity. As such, it seems safe to assume that I would be all free and easy about the idea of nude yoga. That I, in fact, would be the first one ripping off my tank top and letting it all hang out in bird of paradise or whatever.

Yeah…no. I am the most weirdly prudish girl you will ever meet. I won’t even pee with the door open in front of my own sister.

On the other hand, I do maintain a strict “live and let live” policy. If it’s not hurting anyone, and certainly nude yoga isn’t, have at it.

(Nude yoga pictures, on the other hand, I’m not so neutral.)

I can’t remember when I first heard about nude yoga, but I do remember thinking, “Ew.”

I mean, I wasn’t surprised or anything. Show me any activity that people engage in, and I’ll show you a someone who wants to do it naked. Except maybe political campaigning. Or fencing. But I digress.

Anyway, because I am a yogi, this was one iteration of nudity I figured I should give due consideration.

I asked myself: could yoga be taken to another level if we were literally stripped bare? Could the removal of our clothes facilitate the de-fusing of the ego? Could it encourage an unprecedented acceptance of self, and no less importantly, others? Would it level the playing field, allowing us to transcend the fact of our physical beings, thereby bringing us closer to our own spirit, and to samadhi?

Or would it just leave some unappetizing stains on my yoga mat?

There was only one way to find out.

Oddly, in my little corner of the world, known accurately (if pretentiously) as “The North Shore,” although there are a rash of yoga studios, none of them seems to offer nude yoga. I guess my fellow moms (the typical yogi around here) feel as self conscious about their post child bearing bodies as I.

A quick Google search revealed some nudist “meet up” locations nearby, one yoga class located in an Oakland Florida Presbyterian Church which was harshly reviewed by the congregants (go figure) and which the only guy who seems to have actually attended complained that “his balls stuck to the yoga mat” (lol), and my own recipe for tofu prepared three ways!! (An excellent vegan recipe which in no way requires nudity, I assure you.)

Digging a little deeper, I found several nude yoga classes in downtown Chicago– but they all seemed to be exclusively for men, except for one co-ed nude yoga class which was held—of all places—at O’Hare airport. (I’d like to see traffic control wave that plane in.)

Maybe I should have tried harder. After all, five minutes on Google does not a properly researched subject make. But between my aforementioned modesty, the image of the Presbyterian guy’s balls sticking to his mat, and the thought of being naked at the airport—in itself a hot bed of stress and bad lighting—I guess I sort of lost my mojo.

So what happened when I tried nude yoga? When (if) I actually try it, I’ll let you know.

Until then I plan to stay wrapped up tight in my Teekis. But if any of you naked yogis are ever passing through Chi-town, make sure you have an ample layover. You’ll want to make time for a Chicago dog, a bag of candy corn from Nuts On Clark, and a few free wheeling crows with your yogi bros.


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