Phoenix Soul Yoga Interview Q&A – Yoga and naturism go well together. That was the take of our founder editor and yogi Earl D in his recent post . Not every naked yoga teacher would describe themselves as a naturist. Some like the subject of this naked yogi profile simply prefer the freedom of being clothes free. It was that expression of ease with being free that caught our attention. Phoenix Soul Yoga started sharing that clothes free comfort along with her yoga teaching on Instagram and its vibe resonated. We explore her approach to teaching naked yoga, her own yoga practice and the benefits she come from a naked yoga practice. Read on to learn more about this rising naked yoga instructor and her practice.
CFL – When did you begin practicing yoga?
PSY -My journey with yoga began in 2015 while living in Northern Thailand. Those were some of the best years of my life. It was in 2015, while living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But what brought me to Thailand in the first place in 2014 was a teach abroad program. A year after graduation I moved to Thailand with an American program to teach English for a year. After giving it a real try I couldn’t avoid the fact that I was feeling more alone than a part of a community. There were not adequate resources to support with the culture shock I experienced on a daily basis. I was not able to find my footing in the city they placed me in. I decided that I could do better on my own. So I left the program, moved up north, applied for jobs, rented an apartment, bought a motorbike, fell in love, even started a travel group for people of color traveling through Southeast Asia. This set of experiences began my healing journey. About a year and a half into that journey, my best friend – who left our hometown to come live with me in Thailand – convinced me to try yoga. So I did. It wasn’t a movie type moment where “I knew yoga was for me”, but I kept at it, and eventually I found a teacher who helped me fall in love with the breath while practicing yoga; that teacher was the catalyst for me wanting to dive into yoga.
CFL – What does your typical personal yoga practice look like?
PSY – My typical yoga practice looks like me waking up in the morning, greeting the sun, and thanking my body for its mobility with some simple stretches from bed. I begin my day with gratitude by starting off with yoga even before I check social media or my phone I wake up the body from its rest. I sleep naked, so waking up and beginning my practice naked is the most organic way for me to rise.
CFL – How and why did you get started practicing naked (clothes free ) yoga?
PSY-A colleague and good friend of mine invited me to take his naked yoga class. My interest was immediately peaked, but very quickly my mind started asking questions. We had an open dialogue about the flow of the class, location, and much more. I trusted him as a friend and look up to him as a mentor in my yoga teaching journey so I decided to walk by faith and give it a try. Worst case scenario I didn’t like it, right? So we carpooled to the class about 45 minutes away and I am so happy that I did, it was so refreshing.
CFL – When did you begin teaching yoga?
PSY – I started teaching yoga 2 years ago, and began teaching naked yoga 6 months ago. It’s funny because I now co-teach with the same friend who introduced me to naked yoga. So it all came full circle, as does everything in life.
CFL – Why did you start teaching naked yoga?
PSY -I began teaching naked yoga because being bare naked has always been a love of mine. If you talk to any of my childhood friends, they will say “yeah, Phoenix always loved being naked!” Teaching yoga has helped me evolve in so many ways both as a facilitator and in my personal healing journey. I decided to give teaching naked yoga a try! I want to be a loving example of what teaching naked has done for my self-care journey, how it has helped me build community, and to showcase to POC (people of color) that naked yoga is for us and that we can ALSO hold space not just as students but as facilitators.
CFL – What challenges if any do you encounter practicing and teaching naked yoga?
PSY -I think “challenging” is a state of mind, and wouldn’t describe my experience as challenging. However, there are a few things that come up that have required me to really put time and emphasis into my intention for teaching naked yoga; things like assumptions about my body and age. Some folks even think that naked yoga is only for my body type and age (thin/athletic and young). Another recurring theme is folks questioning naked yoga being associated with sexuality. People say things like it’s too sexy for yoga. Or that they would be embarrassed to get an erection. People (especially close family and friends) also express their feelings about me “revealing too much” – that it could “be dangerous because people all over the internet can see you”. My response is that it is Asana first, we simply practice in natural form.
CFL – What benefit do you gain from your naked yoga practice?
PSY -A deeper understanding of self-appreciation. A higher level of connectedness to body and mind. A stronger love for the human body in every form.
CFL – Why should folks come to your naked yoga classes
PSY -My naked yoga classes are for everyone. I teach in a way that has a first time student and seasoned practitioner equally feel like they got the best out of their personal experience. My classes are unique to the students who show up that day so it’s a personable experience. We like to have fun and create an environment encouraging you to explore your body – something that most folks go their whole lives without doing. I’m now teaching naked painted yoga where we start the practice with body painting ourselves and each other (with consent) with neon paints and flow under black lights. This is a whole different level of connection, adding creative expression into the practice. It’s a beautiful experience.
CFL – Anything else you want to share with our readers?
PSY -Yoga is a beautiful journey: an exploration of the spirit and heart. Yoga is healing. If you have any interest in trying naked yoga even if you start with your underwear and slowly release clothing at your own pace give it a try! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I would love to discuss this journey with you and offer support in anyway that I can.
CFL – How can they learn more about your classes?
PSY-You can visit my Instagram page @Phoenixsoulyoga to learn more about classes and my journey. You can see information on upcoming classes, workshops and other events I host and facilitate online through Instagram (@phoenixsoulyoga) and on my website (phoenixsoulfire.com). For events and to read my blog to get a more intimate gaze of my journey, visit my website www.phoenixsoulfire.com. To get in touch with my co-teacher check out Leo on Instagram (@paintedyogiboston) or facebook (The painted yogi of Boston).
Thank you Clothes Free life for this beautiful opportunity and for the wonderful work you are doing to build naked yoga community.