Day 89

Style: Personal Sequence
Teacher: Self
Studio: Home Practice

Naked Yoga? Yes, it exists. Apparently what began as an "underground sensation" has recently gained much more popularity, with Hot Nude Yoga studios popping up all over the United States and Europe. When I ended up on the final day of my last challenge, the hundred-and-first afternoon, I knew none of this.

I was on my way to a Bikram class at Rama Lotus. Arriving for a session at 7:30 pm I realized that it was Friday night, forgetting that places tend to close a little earlier. I was late and the last class of the night had already begun. In other words, I was out of luck. Walking back outside into the late-December breeze, one day away from finishing 101 in a row, there wasn't a class in the city. So, I went home. At this point I had only practiced yoga once or twice at home and it was a complete struggle. For whatever reason, unrolling my mat alone was a near physical impossibility, but that night I had no choice. Getting home to an empty house, unlocking the door and turning on the lights, the experience was more anticlimactic then I had visualized. Here I was at the end of a personal challenge, alone. There was no celebration as I passed the finish line, no champagne corks flying through the air, no interviews from the frenzied media wondering how I felt. Just a regular Friday night in a silent house.

Unrolling my mat across the floor and feeling the reflection in the moment, I could sense the distance traveled. I remember taking some time to let my mind drift back across the weeks that had led me to this point. I had been through a lot. I had moved through different ups and downs, through personal highs and lows, through varying degrees of introspection. I had felt an array of different emotion, had come to so many realizations. It all led here, to a humble evening alone. Setting up my laptop to lead me through a subdued Yin sequence, I dimmed the lights and took off my clothes. Reaching for my yoga gear, suddenly a thought occurred to me. No one is home. It's just me and the endless expanse of the Universe. Maybe I'm actually the only one on the planet. What's the point in wearing any clothes?

So that's how the last challenge ended. In the spirit of keeping it honest and transparent, I did my last yoga practice absolutely and completely naked. Everything about the experience was surreal, nearly out-of-body. Although I was at the end of a long process, moving through the different poses alone, naked in the dark, the experience was more of a re-birth. Interestingly enough, after a few short minutes I forgot all about my lack of attire. I was clothed in darkness, in whispers and candlelight, in the silence of the night. I was dressed in the layers of my own biology and physiology. It felt more normal and natural then anything. As I lay onto my back, shifting into final relaxation, I felt the world spin on its axis and I felt like I was part of the process. Soon I had drifted off to sleep, dissolving out of my known world into something else. I didn't know it at the time, but my journey had only just begun.


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