Shame, self-loathing, pride, judgment all rose to the surface and broken up and my spirit in this moment transformed, and rested entirely in her temple. It was like releasing the top of a pressure cooker, thoughts, beliefs and judgments flew out like hot steam and in the next second, there was merely space and great cooked food inside. My spirit rested happily in this place. For the following hour on my mat I was yoga.

Nothing prepared me for this encounter. Up to that point, yoga was for me 90 minutes of asanas followed by spice tea and ginger cookies conversing about the new Deepak Chopra publication or fawning over Jai Uttal’s new CD. On this fateful time, however, nudity both electrified and intensified my experience of yoga. The minute was a total shock – nude in my own living-room, on my mat, I united into that divine union we all seek.
That has been the very first time in three years of my yoga practice which I located what one calls yoga. I went deeper into my practice, my hands brushed past my nipples in Warrior One. I ‘d nipples for the very first time within my practice, not merely a pressed down ‘uniboob’ in a yoga sports bra.
Even freshly showered in the yoga practice, my body had her own unique smell like vanilla and world – Had I ever smelled myself before? It was possibly one of the first times I had ever existed within my body actively without judgment and had been able to witness the wonder of creation as well as the simple joy of even having a body. Each freckle became a puzzle and something to rouse wonder. The encounter was both transcendental and embodied, both sacred and secular.
It was the most deep practice of my life. I originated from savasana with purpose, transformed. I did a Google search to see who else was offering naked yoga at the time and only came across all-male courses that appeared to emphasize Tantric-practice, read lots of male-on-male activity.
I didn’t need some bizarre guy’s hands on click in child’s pose, but I did desire to see if others out there were having similar experiences. Frustrated that there were no choices for to practice other than in my living room, I tentatively put out an announcement that I would be offering a course. The result was instantaneous. I received an outpouring of inquiries in my email box including some from the press. Seemingly, folks were having similar experiences in their own living rooms.
From there the story was composed – the world proclaimed: We desire naked yoga! I found a little naturist community that was practicing bi-weekly and we blended classes. We’d begin class in a circle, with saying our names and what brought us there. The exposure in the group’s opening circle was profound. In each course, we went from a group of strangers to some group on a pilgrimage for the holy.

Each class was a mixed bag scattered with motives ranging from overcoming shame and self-judgment, to one timers who knew they’d to try this to show they could do anything, to advanced yogis who wanted to deepen their practice by including nudity to the occasional creepy guy in the rear, all supported by a bunch of long time naturists. Many men have arrived expecting to see a group of flexy brunette girls, simply to see a group made up almost completely of men staring back at them who had the very same anticipation. Yet, most chose to stay in course anyway as they released that expectancy and uncovered a deeper part of themselves.
I ‘ve received weekly the question in the mouths of men’s shame – What happens if I get an erection? I have seen countless erections and yet in no group was it memorable to me that a guy had one. The type just isn’t naturally sexual. While we as humans are sensual/sexual beings that isn’t the focus of the course and an erection immediately learns that when the reality of the instant collides with what the head has fabricated. Within the first ten minutes of class, every body in the room finds equanimity, the group discovers wholeness and a collective journey begins.
Memorable moments from these classes contain: a woman finding a birthmark on her body for the first time, a Hasidic Jewish man taking off all his spiritual clothes and getting into down-facing dog, a mom-and-daughter pair practicing side by side, a Jewish and Muslim guy disrobing across from each other as I observed religious tension dissipate before my eyes, a guy in a chastity belt, a girl who somehow had not known ours was a naked yoga class and practiced with us anyhow.
For three years, these classes were my crux of self-discovery. Every time I really thought I had the nudity thing down, I’d reach another degree of self-discovery in the practice. I experienced the toils of the way to honor my body and the practice while menstruating and teaching at exactly the same time.