A Review of Zensuality’s Nude Yoga in NYC
Nude Yoga and Dance By Zen:
Nude Yoga In New York City By Zen – Introducing another nude yoga class in New York City! This weekly yoga session is run by a new business called Zensuality, founded by Zen Marie Holmes, who teaches the class. It takes place in midtown at the Solstice Studio on Friday evenings, and I decided to check it out last week.
The studio was softly lit by candlelight, lending a peaceful atmosphere. It’s a small and intimate space in a rectangular shape, with a mirror expanding the length of one wall. We shed our shoes and clothing and placed our mats in a line facing the mirror, while Zen positioned herself directly in front of it. Class is accompanied by live music, and the musicians, also both nude, positioned themselves on one side. They played didgeridoo and African drums, a doundoun and Kekeni with a Balafon, throughout the practice. Though it’s bound to be different each time, the participants were an even mix of men and women.
As the description promises, the postures were a mix of Kundalini and Vinyasa styles. Some of the movements were about opening the chakras. Full nudity in this class is required, and here is Zen’s philosophy behind the nudity: “Practicing yoga in the buff will increase your awareness and facilitate the awakening of the dormant, potential energy (Kundalini) that lies at the base of the spine. Practicing nude yoga will greatly deepen and intensify your experience of yoga.” I’m new to Kundalini, but I do agree that being naked deepens the practice and increases awareness of how you feel in your body. In fact, if you’ve never tried it, naked yoga could even transform your practice entirely.
Zen did some of the postures with us, as well as walked around to survey and re-adjust our positioning. The pace is slow and steady, so it’s a good class to unwind at the end of the day. In savasana, the final pose of relaxation, Zen went around to each of us to give a wonderful forehead massage with essential oils, which smelled lovely. After class we were invited to mingle around an offering of hot tea and yummy raw chocolate truffles.
I took this opportunity to ask Zen a few questions about her new class and Zensuality. She told me she has been teaching yoga for six years and has conducted workshops at the Mid-Winter and Northeast Naturist Festivals, Pagan gatherings and other nude / clothing-optional events. In addition to the nude yoga, Zen also organizes a monthly clothing-optional drum and dance circle (with an indoor fire pit!), nude meditation, and (clothed) Congolese / Haitian dance classes. She’ll soon be starting up more workshops, such as couples massage and teaching how to make raw and vegetarian foods. She said she started these activities as a way of bringing some aspects of those gatherings back to NYC to enjoy all year long instead of those few weeks out of the year. Sounds like a good idea to me!
To help us raise money for lupus research with BNakedB, Zen has generously donated a free pass to nude yoga and to a drum and dance circle session to be raffled off at our Naked Costume Halloween Party! So join us this Saturday for a chance to win!
The Zensuality website is still under construction, so for now be sure to visit the Meetup group to learn about upcoming classes, workshops and events!