January 6, 2012

USA: My naked yoga class

AUSTIN, Texas / Salon / Personal Health / January 6, 2012

I want to challenge my own anxiety about nudity. 
But can I really handle downward dog without any clothes on?


By Tolly Moseley


(Credit: djem via Shutterstock)
My instructor looked at me from the head of the dim room and smiled. Not in a creepy way, more in a “you can do this!” way. But I wasn’t so sure. I had struck a Warrior One pose a thousand times before, yet I still stumbled into the person next to me more often than I cared to admit. Normally I’d just offer a little self-deprecating shoulder shrug and move on, but what would I say in this situation? “Oops! I just ran into your bare penis”? 


I had enrolled in a naked yoga class on impulse. My husband was gone for two months that summer, and in my solitude, I began a spiritual exploration of sorts, signing up for Buddhist book groups, taking long, contemplative walks, and reading a good deal of Eckhart Tolle. I was in a normal, fully clothed yoga class when I struck up a conversation with the woman I’d been paired with for partner poses. She was incredibly flexible.


“Wow, what do you do for a living?” I said.


“I’m actually a yoga teacher myself.”
“Oh, like hatha? Vinyasa?” I asked, eager to show off how yoga smart I was.
“Not exactly …” she said. “Naked yoga.”
I blinked. She repeated it for me.
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Tolly Moseley is a writer in Austin, Texas. She has performed with the national comedy showcase "Mortified," where people read their old adolescent diary entries to a room full of strangers. She is also an annual speaker at SXSW Interactive on multimedia storytelling. Follow her @TollyM.  More Tolly Moseley

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