Nude Yoga and the Soul (Dedicated to my friend Omar Hamza)

Naked yoga has become more common today as we are no longer embarrassed to display our nudity in the public arena.

While many practise this latest form of Yoga without clothes, the inborn inhibition that was once a major factor in our psyche is no longer a preventive issue. The practice is gaining popularity, notably in western societies that have more familiarity with social nudity. As sexual liberalisation in Europe and the United States has overshadowed the more stringent code of nudity concealment, the trend to expose our hidden bits has become more plausible and common than it has ever been.

Naked yoga was probably a feature in Indian history going back to ancient times. One of the Indian sects, called Naga Sadhus, made nudity a part of spiritual practice, but Naga has been misunderstood as ‘Nagna’. Naga apparently means ‘who represents power’. The word originates from ‘nag’ (snake) which signifies power in Hindu philosophy, while the word ‘sadhu’ came from sadham (spiritual practice).

Members of the sect considered nudity a way of rejecting the material side of life. Celibacy and a disregard of the harsh outside conditions were among the key ideas of their philosophy. They practised naked yoga to tame their desires, identify with their physical bodies and to break the attachment with everything physical, sensual and material.

With the sexual revolution taking place all over the world, naked yoga is bound to be the elixir of the next generation, who worship the human form, pamper and tone their bodies, adding lustre to the shapely-crafted human art work their bodies have become. We can only wonder in amazement at the transformation of our bodies through exercise, contemplation and the freeing of our minds in order to rejuvenate its creative powers.

The female form is far more elegantly conceived than its male counterpart. It has no crude sexual organ dangling down, perhaps as a warning signal, but a hidden invitation more discretely enticing as a consequence of its low profile.

Naked yoga is a woman’s ultimate journey before she reaches the gates of paradise. As for the men – we are born to toil until the day we expire.

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