I’ve been practicing Yoga as a beginner for years. I remember learning the Tree Pose in grade school – it was my favorite part of my mom’s Yoga for Beginner’s DVD. And as years went by I would practice just that one pose so often that in high school during lunchtime, I would bring my leg all the way up to my inner-thigh and even though I was not a skinny girl, I could do that one pose better than anyone I knew.
After high school, however, I began going to classes and learning way too many poses to keep track of. But despite having extremely fragile wrists and being technically obese I’ve been able to hold my own for the most part in these classes. That being said though, I’ve always found myself in the very back corner of every studio I’ve ever practiced in – which isn’t the most effective, I’ve found, because if you’ve ever been to a yoga class then I’m sure you’re aware of the fact the these studios have wall-to-wall mirrors on every side and at some point during the class you will be facing a different mirror.
So despite all my best efforts to stay hidden in class, I’d always find myself “in front” at one point or another. And if not in front, then far too close to the mirror to watch my body tremble and my fat jiggle as I attempt to hold harder poses.
So where does naked yoga come into this story? Well, having crippling anxiety and chronic depression, I found myself not really enjoying yoga classes as much as I wanted to because I hated my body so much. And thus, I decided to begin practicing at home.
In my room, behind locked doors to be exact. I’m not saying your bedroom is the best place for Naked Yoga, but I’ve found that walking out of my shower straight to my yoga mat each morning is not only extremely easy and hard to say no to, but it’s much more comforting than any other place in my home.
I’ve kept my routine fairly short and have made it a habit to practice right after taking a shower. Aside from the basic poses, I don’t claim to know how to facilitate a full yoga session. But what I have learned and know to be true is just 15-20 minutes on a yoga mat daily will do wonders.
Naked yoga has taught me more about self-love than any amount of inspirational quotes or complements has ever done for me. If you’re someone with self-esteem issues, then you know that all the good intentions in the world couldn’t change your mind if you don’t like what you see in the mirror. But yoga is all about peace and balance with yourself and the world around you, and when you practice naked you have no other option but to be at peace with your body as well.
There are many other benefits to Naked Yoga. But for me, not hating my body for the first time in my life isn’t such a bad benefit to focus on.
Want to give it a try? Don’t be scared. Keep it simple. Even if all you do is lie on your back, breathing that’s a huge step. Each day add a new pose until you have a few steady routines to work with. And don’t feel pressured into practicing your Naked Yoga routine in front of mirror; add it when you’re ready.
Love yourself because no matter your shape, size or color, you’re gorgeous.