June is P.R.Y.D.E. Month! And what does P.R.Y.D.E. stand for, you ask? Please read on to find out…
As a self-identified gay man who had to figure out his own path, I have so much respect for others who make it through the often rough and painful path of self-discovery. Back in the 1970’s, sexual minority role models were all but invisible on the pop culture landscape. Oh, sure: Billy Crystal played a gay man on the TV show “Soap”. Who didn’t wonder about that Hollywood Squares center square occupant, Paul Lynne? But that was more or less it. It would have been unthinkable to have a gay couple at the center of “The New Normal”. We’ve come a long way, brogis!
Bottom (or top) line is this: we have MUCH TO BE PROUD OF. In our daily lives, we’ve come into our own. And as we come into our own, we play a crucial part in helping our communities move from bashing or ignoring to celebrating and welcoming us. No matter how you choose to self-identify — or choose not to apply any labels to yourself — I hope this month of PRIDE offers you many opportunities to reflect on your own journey of self-compassion, self-acceptance and self-nurturing.
As a naked yogi, I sense a similar trend slowly unfolding before our eyes. Remember when Darren Main first started the Sunday NYM class almost 10 years ago?! We now offer 10 classes every week throughout the Bay Area! There are at least 40 naked yoga communities throughout the US and around the world!! For a group of males that don’t reproduce as much as the general population, we sure are increasing in numbers!!
This trend is having its effect in the broader world. New research points to the physical, emotional, and mental benefits of being naked. Even more exciting, the mainstream media is starting to look at the HEALTH BENEFITS of PRACTICING NAKED YOGA.
According to author Hank Pellisser, spending time naked both on and off the yoga mat offer numerous health benefits.
“Self-actualization proponent Abraham Maslow believed ‘Nudism… is itself a kind of therapy.’ Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration…”
If you step naked onto a yoga mat on a regular basis, you probably already sense this. But do remember: you are representing something so sacred and revolutionary in a culture that has a history of demonizing and pathologizing our beautiful naked bodies, our sexual orientations and our sexual identities. We are willing to overcome internal and external critics and embrace ourselves in our practice! And as we overcome our own hang ups, we create a ripple of consciousness raising that positively impacts all of our brothers and sisters.
I’m very, very PROUD to know you and be a part of our NYM community!
P.R.Y.D.E. = Please Remember Yoga Does Empower!!!
** A special Namaste bow of gratitude to Rich S. a lovely brogi who continues to provide editing support of our blog entries!