Naked is a State of Mind

“Wearing nothing is divine; naked is a state of mind” Naked Eye, Luscious Jackson 

One of the eight limbs of Yoga includes the Niyamas, or practices/observances, one of which is Saucha, or Purity, in Sanskrit. How can we boil down complex concepts to their essence? Not to oversimplify or belittle them, or make soundbites. No. Just the opposite, in fact. Hone our focus to what matters, tamping down the noise, hustle and bustle, the bigger-better-faster-more-ness of our Western culture. Then, the real exploration can begin. 

Sometimes less is more. This is an oft-repeated line from a Yoga teacher friend. Greetings from NY to our neighbor to the North. 

Some things sound silly when broken down to their base elements: middle-aged men in matching outfits running around a diamond, for yuge money, ending up where they started. People pay good money to see this IRL, whereas some pay to sit in front of a little box in the comfort of their own homes, in their altogether, with chips and guac or salsa, with littler men to watch on a screen, with ads galore. (Ha! The ads are to get you to part with even more of your hard-earned dough. Or is it “D’oh!” a la Homer Simpson.) Some people even pay for clothing with numbers on it. Some people pay exorbitant amounts for a crummy, wrinkly ole dirty-water ‘dog & a warm, flat adult beverage. 

Some things are down-right infuriating when sound-bited: spending ten minutes explaining an assignment to teenagers, only to have them reply: “so, basically, we just have to…” 

Some things are simple, but not easy: practice non-violence (Ahimsa), be truthful (Satya), practice non-stealing (Asteya), conserve your precious energy (Brahmacharya), and don’t covet ‘cuz ya cain’t take it with you (Aparigraha). Aim for purity (Saucha), practice contentment (Santosha,) have spiritual discipline (Tapas,) study yourself (Svadhya) and surrender to the Divine (Ishvara Pranidhana.) That is a smattering of the Yamas & Niyamas, as well as the eight limbs of Yoga. Ha – and you thought “doing” yoga was going to class. 

Nakedness can be liberating, as in when those of us who identify as female remove constricting undergarments. Fling those bras across the room. Scrap those shapewear garments. Step out of those stilettos. Who are those even for, anyways?! 

Nakedness can scare the dickens out of the bravest of us all. What’s that little thing: just a girl, asking for a boy to love her? Something like that. Oh, such drivel coming out of the writer’s room. 

Naked can be a state of mind. How can you strip down your preconceived notions, lay down your baggage, that invisible backpack if you will, and get to who you are. Not the You you wish to be, not the You that society dictates, not the You your parents raised you to be. The you-i-est you ever. 

“Wearing nothing is divine: naked is a state of mind.” 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

Published by yogabymeredith27

A Yogini since 2k, you will find her on the mat, at the mic (for karaoke) or on the couch (reading or napping.) Classes for every body & everybody - come play! In times like these, it's especially important to practice self-care, on and off the mat. Be well.

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