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Nude Yoga Exposed

Nude Yoga Exposed

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Published by Paula Wilbert
Nude yoga, in it’s true sense, is a very legitimate and effective yoga practice and let me tell you something, it’s real purpose has very little to do with sex and eroticism. As I now see that nude yoga has made it’s way to the West, I would like to present this article to help shed some light and clear any misunderstandings on this radical, but valid yoga technique.
Nude yoga, in it’s true sense, is a very legitimate and effective yoga practice and let me tell you something, it’s real purpose has very little to do with sex and eroticism. As I now see that nude yoga has made it’s way to the West, I would like to present this article to help shed some light and clear any misunderstandings on this radical, but valid yoga technique.

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Published by: Paula Wilbert on Nov 13, 2009
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10/03/2010

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 Nude Yoga Exposed 
Understanding Nude YogaNaked Yoga Practice and Benefits
Nude yoga, in it’s true sense, is a very legitimate and effective yoga practice and let metell you something, it’s real purpose has very little to do with sex and eroticism. As Inow see that nude yoga has made it’s way to the West, I would like to present this articleto help shed some light and clear any misunderstandings on this radical, but valid yogatechnique.Naked yoga in general belongs to a particular sect of Yogis, who have practiced thismethod for many thousands of years now in India. They are called Naga Sadhus andthis title describes well the philosophy and thinking that is central to their approach to yoga and spirituality. The word Naga means naked, and the word Sadhu implied one who has renounced the world completely. Here is then what is means to walk the pathof a Naga Sadhu and practice nude yoga.Naga Sadhus essentially roam the county naked, traveling from holy place to holy placeor spend time at ashrams, where they devote themselves to the discovery of their TrueDivine Nature. The nude yoga they practice can primarily be understood at 2 levels.First, I will explore the "ordinary" meaning behind their naked ways and the benefitsthis bestows, and then I will go into the more esoteric and symbolic meaning behind what is means to be a naked yogi.
Benefits of Nude Yoga:1. Renunciation:
The nudity is a symbol of renunciation of all things material on the part of the Sadhus.By renouncing even clothes, they are demonstrating this agreement they have madeduring their initiation. Of course, real renunciation has to do with renouncing ambition, but even so, this ancient tradition uses material renunciation as a stepping stonetowards this final end.
2. Body Awareness:
Nude yoga promotes greater awareness of the body and a greater sense of freedom whenpracticing yoga asanas (positions). Seeing and feeling the body as you stretch and movefrom one posture to the next, inspires more mindful practice. The nakedness alsoremoves any sense of restriction that clothing subtly promotes and thus, a greater senseof freedom can be experienced when doing the yoga poses.
 
3. Psychological Freedom:
 Above I mentioned that nude yoga can promote a greater sense of physical freedom, butthe real freedom that the sadhus are seeking from their nakedness, is freedom frominhibitions, the opinions of others and any sense of shame about their body. Initially, anaked yogi will certainly feel the judgmental eyes and opinions of others, but in timethese concerns evaporate and a care free attitude emerges. Nude yoga is aboutcultivating this level of psychological freedom.
4. Detachment from the Body:
Even though yoga, nude or otherwise, helps create a vibrant, energetic and powerful body, the objective though is actually detachment from the body. Nude sadhus of theNaga sect renounce sex and embrace celibacy, and learn to face the harsh elements without concern for physical comfort or security, including the freezing cold of theHimalayas where many reside. Both these acts are designed to help break theattachment one has with the physical body and sense organs.Here I would like to point out that there are other sects which practice nude yoga andembrace the life of a naked yogi as well, but do not necessarily belong to the Naga orderper se. An example of these are the Aghoris. They don’t practice celibacy and they oftenuse non-traditional and radical approaches to speed up their path to enlightenment, butalthough their approach is different, their objectives with the practice of nude yoga arethe same as above.
True Meaning of Nude Yoga practice:
 Above I explored some of the important benefits of nakedness and nude yoga, but thereal symbolic meaning behind nudity is something far deeper. The clothes that a yogi isreally looking to free himself of, are the coverings of the 3 Gunas, and true naked yogameans to be free of these 3 sheaths.The 3 Gunas are a core concept in Vedic and Yoga Philosophy and require significantdiscussion to understand deeply, but I will provide a brief overview here, in the contextof nude yoga, to get you started.The 3 gunas are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. For simplicity, you can consider Sattva to bethe force of positivity, love and light, Rajas to be the force of activity and change, whileTamas to be the force of negativity and darkness. All manifestation is a play of these 3attributes. The purpose of yoga is to finally be free of the play of these manifestationsand encounter the unmanifested eternal Self. Thus, a true naked yogi is one who hasshed these coverings and resides in his pure untouched, infinite nature.

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