The Powerful Message Behind Naked Yoga: Let Go of Fear and Worry
This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
When I walked into my naked yoga class, I felt like a child of the ‘70s—free, explorative, and adventurous. I was testing my own personal comfort zones in liberating ways.
I didn’t think I would be nervous or scared, but when it was time to strip down and get naked, I panicked. I had never been naked in front anyone who I wasn’t intimate with, I don’t wear overly revealing clothes, I pride myself on my personality—and I always try to cover my huge butt.
I looked at the teacher and quietly mouthed to her, saying, “I’m nervous.” She reassured me that there was nothing to worry about, and so I stripped down and began my big butt strut into the naked yoga room. I was so nervous to even roll out my mat, or grab my blocks, but I told myself I was going to treat this like any other yoga class, and just embrace the experience.
Everyone was naked, it was the new normal. I left my jade bracelet on for an added boost of confidence, but even that, too, found its way off my body. The class was amazing. When I practice yoga, a natural smile comes onto my face, and this class was no different. I was so into the poses and the flow of the class that I temporarily forgot about my current naked state. I was all about my ujjayi breath, and I was all about lengthening and strengthening.
The poses were hard. They required a strong core-centered balance, which I often struggle with. So, with no clothes on, wobbling a bit more than usual, I had to focus on my body and my being that much more. On the exhale, I turned inward and operated from a place of nude self-awareness.
So what happens when you turn inward, and you’re just in your birthday suit? You get really, really honest with yourself.
It wasn’t about being naked, it wasn’t about my body, it was about my soul. I never share myself with other people. It felt like new territory to show up in a room, where you have nothing to hide behind, and nothing to distract yourself with. You just have your thoughts, your feelings and your emotions—all of which are a direct reflection of you.
I show my soul-self to others ten percent of the time, and the other ninety percent, I hide. I hide because I’m emotional, I’m vulnerable, I care a lot, I have a lot to offer—and I fear that if I show my whole soul-self to someone or a group of someones, they would be so scared that they would run away to another country and never come back.
Every day, every week, every month, every year, I hide in the shadows, calling these places, “safe spaces.” It’s crazy, but I never actually stop to pause and take note of how my irrational fear of scaring people away holds me back (and actually causes me to feel uncomfortable).
But, as I laid there in my savasana, I felt something different. My soul wasn’t taking up ten percent of my body, it was filling up much, much more. My soul was lining my skin, filling my body, and gently glowing out into my energetic aura. The deep sound of Hindu chants began to enter into my mind, as they played in the background, and a whoosh came forward.
This whoosh came in the form of a vision, the missing piece of who and what I am. It showed me a symbolic cultural ceremony—me, on my wedding day in my traditional Indian garb, decked out with beautiful, heavy jewelry. And as the bells rang in a celebratory stream of sound. I felt my higher Self ask me, “Are you ready for this? Are you ready to step out and share the real you?”
Yes, I am. I’m ready to step out of the shadows. I’m ready to share more of my soul with the world. I’m ready to step forward, and I’m ready to walk into iconic life moments in the seat of my full power.