This has been a really weird week with lots going on. While I rarely watch TV, I plunked myself on the sofa for a bit of channel surfing. I caught an episode of those sisters who are famous for being reality TV stars, given their lack of other identifiable job skills. Yes, I watched the Kardashians, and it happens that one of them is on a health and wellness bender from hell, subjecting everyone to whims of Whole Foods and Naked Yoga. On the light side, she’s proof you can OM while having a makeup artist apply your 1″ eyelashes. On the dark side –oh hell, how can there be one. We’re talking Kardashians, not nuclear physics, and unlike people who take a self proclaimed higher moral ground, I don’t hold them responsible for the destruction of traditional culture.
Since the show situations are scripted, the play out of the yoga session with the naked yoga dude (who came to the house with mats-for-all), was predictable. It was a group pressure situation and no one –even though they were uncomfortable, thought to leave.* Instead, the cameras rolled, people giggled, no one got naked, a temporary husband walked in, and got pissed off. This necessitated a whine-fest at a bar with his buddy. The yoga dude got his plug in for naked yoga. Perhaps the absence of any third eye action can best be explained as such: too much mascara and a false eyelash can obscure anyone’s vision.
In yoga, there’s a variety of reasons, styles, and schools to choose from. For readers of this blog who are thinking about buying a mat, relax. Naked yoga is probably practiced by 1/100th of 1%. No doubt, they have their philosophical reasons spelled out in sound bites and press releases of why naked yoga works for them. But for those who are proponents of stress reduction for people with chronic, complex PTSD, there are some issues we want to bring to light.
Bodies are personal, sacred –and I’m sure the proponents of naked yoga know this too. But for someone with chronic, complex PTSD, who has been sexually or physically abused, the thought of anyone suggesting they strip naked and do yoga is enough to send them running away. Throw in a naked yoga teacher making an adjustment, and the teacher risks triggering an emotional response that could send the student into a flashback, and a physiological reaction.
In addition to working with veterans, David Emerson works a lot with abused teens and adults. It takes a lot to get them to even sit long enough to try the breathing exercises, and start on a path to connect with a body that they have long dissociated with. And you can’t make them or get them, because that involves coercion. All you can do is what we do here –remain constant, talk about it, show them a few things, a let people decide on their own. If they do decide to take you up, you’ll be there. 1 day, 1 month, 1 year from now.
*If you feel uncomfortable, leaving is always an option.