Yoga Journal Italy: Mission to Yoga from San Francisco
By Anna Volpicelli
Naked Yoga for Men
“The yoga students that attend our Naked Yoga for Men classes predominately self-identify as gay although bisexual, transgendered and straight men attend as well”, Ken Breniman a Naked Yoga for Men teacher shares. He teaches in San Francisco on Tuesdays and Sundays at “The Sun Room” 2390 Mission.
“On Sundays, the men arrive at 6pm, shed the layers of clothing and step onto the mats in the studio. Liberated from our clothing, we are free to practice a traditional hatha flow yoga style. Of course there are a few poses that require us to move in and out of safely and some readjustments, such as in the Utkatasana, the chair position are required”, Ken says with a playful smile. The room can be 75 -80 degrees and Ken intermixes partner yoga into the 90 minute class.
The question is; what happened when someone has an erection?
Ken says that erections occasionally happen and they are not shamed or focused on either. The space is welcoming of all levels, all body types, all ages. It is a healing space where men are invited to confront the ego and whatever arises during the practice. While there have been rare instances when people that join the group as voyeurs or have some misconceptions of what Naked Yoga is all about; they are usually new joiners that don’t stick around too much. When they realize that the students here take this practice seriously as a form of self-expression and introspection, they either find the benefits or move on to another group.
Naveen, who has been practicing Naked Yoga for 6 years, says that people here are direct, available and respectful of others. There’s no need to fake it, we are already naked.
Ken says the practice shows the clear relationship between spirituality and sexuality. The more one understands this crucial connection, the better his/her sexual and spiritual life will be. “In teaching Naked Yoga, I realize just how valuable this healing space for men is and am quite honored to be part of this community,” Ken says.
Naked Yoga in Italy YJ