One of the beautiful people that I follow online is Kylie Anderson: (Be Your Radiant Self) who is a health coach and personal trainer based in Melbourne. Last year she blogged about a nude yoga workshop that she had attended with Rosie Rees. I was half curious…and half dis-interested because I have always found yoga quite boring (until I found Kundalini yoga this year). But something must have resonated because when she mentioned that Rosie Rees was touring again I thought I’d have a look where she was touring. I had an internal dialogue with myself: “If she’s coming to the Sunshine Coast then I’ll attend….but there will be no way she’ll come here, she’ll be going to the main cities…so I’ll be fine !” Ha ha- imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link and saw not one but two Sunshine Coast workshops. “**** I remember saying out loud, now I’ll have to go.”
I remember trying to buy the ticket and my credit card wouldn’t work, even though it was working for other purchases. To be honest I could have given up; resigned myself to the fact that it was ‘obviously’ not meant to be. But I was intrigued…so I persisted and bought my ticket.
I shared the event on my personal Facebook page and asked if any friends wanted to come but they all thought that I was mad. I got comments like, “Have you actually thought this through? Imagine downward dog with everyone naked. Not my thing. Why would even want to go there” And to be honest, I hadn’t thought about it too much. Something about it really intrigued me but I couldn’t put my finger on why because I am not an exhibitionist, extrovert or naturist!
So why did I want to attend?
Last year at a local market I was talking to someone I knew but didn’t know well. He asked me what size I was and I said I was a size 4. He replied, “Size 4 with a size 6 bum”. This comment has sat with me ever since (because for my size I’ve always had a ‘ahem’, shapely bum so I knew it was true). You see, whatever size you are, you can have body issues. I have never been comfortable, even as a petite person, wearing a bikini to the beach, and I usually avoid it. Last year I got sick (there is a blog post coming about this really soon) and I lost weight, which is not good when you are a size 4. As I healed I put the weight back on and more and was genuinely really pleased about this. But because I put more on I started criticizing myself (especially because I wasn’t exercising as much). When I was healing I had promised to be much kinder to myself. But then I realised I still wasn’t being kind to myself. So hey, how about naked yoga to realise we are all beautiful women on the inside and out? What a challenge! Mission accepted.
I hadn’t thought much about the workshop until I pulled up outside the yoga studio and saw other women getting out of their car and realised we were all soon going to be naked! But the fear still wasn’t up there as much as dentists and snakes so that made me feel better!!
What happened in the next few hours just blew me away. The workshop wasn’t just about naked yoga; in fact this was only a small part of it. It was SO much more than that. As Rosie Rees says:
“These evenings are not just about the physical act of doing yoga naked, but also the profound impact of experiencing trust, courage & vulnerability with yourself and your beautiful sisters. These workshops are a beautiful way of letting go, stepping into your power, embodying your femineity and learning to love the skin you’re in”
And that is exactly what happened over the next few hours. I was scared and nervous when I arrived. By the time I left I felt safe and nurtured. I had only met these women for a few hours but by the end of the workshop I would have done anything for them. I’ve attended women’s circles before and often have not felt connected. This was unlike anything I have ever experienced previously.
I have to admit although I have some close girlfriends, I don’t have a sister tribe or large group of friends to call on. And Sunday night made me think that perhaps I had been putting on a mask. I’m great at putting up a front and pretending everything is fine. When you’re naked, sat in a circle with 13 other women, there’s not time for that bull****. I could be myself. I could honour and appreciate my body and feel the love for me, and all the other women in the room. Men don’t judge themselves like women do. Women need to stop being so hard on themselves; and to learn that it is ok to let our guard down sometimes and ask for help.
Would I do this again? Absolutely!
What I recommend the workshop? Absolutely!
When I ran my first ultra-marathon in 2015 I felt like I could achieve anything. And I currently feel like that again. I felt like I walked into the workshop one person, and walked out another person. I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of my bumps, small breasts and size 6 bum. But it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are. There is no such thing as an ideal woman. We come in all shapes and sizes and we need to be proud of this.
I am proud to be me. Be proud to be you.
Rosie Rees is a Relationship & Singles Coach, Nude Yoga Instructress and Yoni Egg & Crystal Pleasure Wand e-tailer, based in Perth Western Australia. The space that she holds during her nude yoga workshops is very safe and nurturing. Rose is currently touring Australia holding nude yoga workshops in various places. For further information please see here.