2015 has been the year of getting out of my comfort zone. I’ve taken plenty of big leaps both personally and professionally, and luckily they’ve all paid off. So when a women’s naked yoga workshop rolled into town, I took a big breath and stripped off.
Here are three surprising things I learned whilst practising naked yoga in a room full of strangers.
1. I’m not ashamed of my body
I’ve always been the girl at the beach wearing a beautiful bikini . . . covered by shorts. My whole life I’ve never been confident showing much skin. No matter how fit, how lean or how happy I’ve felt, the courage to take that extra step from boardies to bikini bottoms has been just out of my reach.
As a personal trainer, I try to help women feel sexy and confident, no matter what shape they are. But I wasn’t walking the walk. After spending my entire adult life covering my body, it took one hour of naked yoga to show me that, wow, not only is it nothing to hide, it’s strong, sensual and carries me through a life lived at 100 miles an hour. This revelation was huge for me.
I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that changed my mindset, but from that point I stopped being hateful and starting being incredibly grateful.
The boardies now stay at home.
2. We’ve got each other’s backs
How awesome are women? Of course, this isn’t a secret, but our ability to support, encourage and uplift our tribe is truly amazing. Before class each one of us opened up and told everyone why we were there. Women shared stories of illness, serious body issues, menopause and abuse, all while sitting naked in a circle of complete strangers. The way we rallied around and propped one another up when our voices started to shake was nothing short of remarkable. I like to say it’s because we carry the ‘compassion chromosome’ – and it’s one of the best things about being a woman.
3. It’s okay to be vulnerable
As a 30-something single woman who runs her own business in the big city, being vulnerable just isn’t an option. I want to be kicking butt and taking names all over town, so under no circumstances do I let my guard down.
Honestly, maintaining such a thick skin is completely exhausting, but showing the softer side of me has never come easy. Maybe because I wrongly thought being vulnerable meant being weak.