Via the Daily Mail, I (as many of you may have as well) learned this week that for a trip to NYC, $25, and a promise that you’ll keep your vinyasas to yourself, you too could spend an hour finding nirvana in a room full of sweaty naked people.
I’d hop a plane right now, but first I have to:
- pull my lower lip ALL THE WAY UP TO MY HAIRLINE.
- gargle my pee
- shower with a rabid cat
- fix myself a snack of lightbulbs
- stop a bus with MY FACE
Oh wait. I’M NOT GOING.
There’s good naked, and bad naked, Jerry. And this is clearly the latter.
I’m a yoga teacher. I do routine checks of my pants by doing a downdog in front of a mirror TO BE SURE YOU CAN’T SEE MY ASSHOLE. If nothing else, it seems to be a courtesy to students. It’s not even cute when I walk into the bathroom after my daughter calls out, “I DONE, MAMA! UNDERDOG! HELP ME WIPE!” and I enter to find her 2 year old backend pointed toward the ceiling. A class full of adults twinkling their butt stars like some horrific Van Gogh revision, mine included, is just too much to bear.
According to a class attendee, things like the brand of yoga clothes students wear and how they look when wearing them can divide students, but nudity, well, suddenly everyone is the same. Oh, sister. If you’re in a class where the clothing is driving the ego, stripping them off isn’t going to change jack squat. Additionally, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m going to be way more distracted by some flaccid (please let it be flaccid) penis and floppy balls than whatever boring shorts some dude fished out of the laundry to wear to class that day.
It is additionally noted that the class is not intended to be sexual in any way. Pardon me, but NO SHIT. Listen, my husband is an attractive guy. But if he ever greeted me with a naked wide legged forward bend, I can tell you, the planet would be short two caramel skinned kids.
At the risk of sounding prudish, to me, there’s nothing “freeing” about saddling up to my yoga mat, wearing nothing but a smile, flesh free to fall as it may whether I’m upside down (sorry! I missed that instruction! My nipple was actually IN my eye. Oops!), standing (ok, fine) squatting (shudder) or sitting (good god, like yoga mats don’t potentially smell like ass when some people practice IN CLOTHING). It’s not that I don’t understand one’s personal decision to practice au natural. Great! Grab a mat! Toss it down in your living room. On a private beach even! But a class full of people? Perplexing.
Per this journalistic masterpiece, “Yoga moves a lot of energy throughout the body and sometimes erections happen. But once we start moving, there is no way an erection could be sustained, because of the physical nature of Vinyasa Yoga.” You know what can be sustained in the physical nature of vinyasa yoga? FARTS. What about those, huh? It’s enough pretending someone didn’t eek one out through a thin layer of lycra. WHAT NOW?
I’ve been doing yoga for 12 years. I’ve taken all kinds of classes from dozens of different teachers. I’ve practiced through 2 pregnancies. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve never wrapped up a practice and said to myself, “well, that was great, but man, I wish 15 strangers got to see that leg behind my head pose WHILE I WAS NAKED. Jesus. I wish someone would get to organizing something!”
Years ago, I ran into a student outside of class and said, in front of his wife, whom I’d never met, “HEY! It’s funny to see you with clothes on!”. With a face as red as a lobster and ears the temperature of asphalt in July I very smoothly added, “I mean regular clothes! Not yoga clothes. Oh my god. Uhhhh…”. What if I stood there in line at the grocery store with the image of his taint?
That’s not a world I want to live in.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti. Put some clothes on. Namaste. Om.