Stripping Down with Rosie Rees

Stripping Down with Rosie Rees

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Have you ever considered swapping your latest Lorna Jane outfit for well.. nothing at all? Nude yoga teacher Rosie Rees bares all and tells us about her journey into the practice and some of the incredible benefits it can have.

Tell us about yourself, what do you do?

I am a Singles & Relationship Coach, Nude Yoga Teacher, Kundalini Yoga enthusiast and blogger.

As a coach, I am deeply passionate about unlocking my client’s potential, unblocking their obstacles and helping them reshape their blueprint to create the life and relationship they desire. My aim is for my clients to feel empowered, liberated and loved up on their own juices!

During my coaching sessions and yoga classes I love creating the space for people to become deeply aligned with their physical body, energetic body and soul self. My classes and private sessions are heavily focused on the breath, intuitive movement, the bandhas (body locks) and connecting with an inwards awareness. I believe the quality of your lungs is a direct link to the quality to your mental health. Thus the more powerful and conscious your breath, the happier and healthier you will be!

What inspired you to begin teaching nude yoga?

Nude Yoga came very organically into my life; it felt like natural progression for me. What initially inspired me to share the Nude Yoga practice was my own self practice at home in the backyard (in summer time!). I would often practice yoga naked outside with the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair and the earth beneath my feet and it felt incredibly euphoric and freeing. I thought to myself, why not share this practice with people all over the world in a safe, honouring space? The practice helped me learn to witness, accept and love my body just the way I am now, rather than how I want to be.

When I moved to Perth last year (from Brisbane) I approached Twisting Peacock owner Mel Howard about my idea, and although she was initially cautious, she then saw the benefits and became very positive about the prospect. The studio is perfectly suited to Nude Yoga as it’s extremely private, heated and on board with my ‘Nude Revolution’ mission!

Describe your journey from working a high-stress corporate job to teaching nude yoga…

After studying Journalism and Business at University, I landed a role in Corporate Finance Recruitment which I worked in for three years. The environment and role became soul destroying, and although I enjoyed the paycheck, nothing was worth losing myself over. I had grown an unhealthy addiction to alcohol and cigarettes and had started to gain weight from being so stressed. I knew something had to change, so whilst running in the Sydney rat-race I began practicing yoga at Power Living Yoga, which over a space of 6 months, turned my life around.

In 2011 I quit my job and moved to India for a few months where I did my Hatha Yoga teacher training and transformed my body, diet, lifestyle choices, daily rituals and way of thinking and relating. After learning meditation and yoga, I couldn’t go back to working as a desk jockey.

The idea of practicing nude yoga stimulates a mixed bag of emotions including fear, anxiety and vulnerability. What else can it stimulate?

Leading up to a Nude Yoga class, one usually feels a mixture of fear, nervousness, and insecurity at the prospect of being naked in front of other people. In our society we are conditioned to not be naked or look at another’s naked body unless it’s during intimacy or in the shower. Public nudity is illegal in Australia and a slip of a nipple is downright “offensive” on Facebook, so naturally Nude Yoga highlights these emotions of anxiety as it’s unknown and foreign to many people.

However, once you’re in the class and after 5 minutes of being naked you feel completely invigorated, free, comfortable and natural. A lot of women drop deep into their femininity and softness from being around so many women. They realise each woman is completely beautiful and “perfectly imperfect”…just like themselves. Hence the practice brings about a deep sense of self-acceptance.

What does yoga stimulate for you personally?

Through Yoga, I experience ‘Aparigraha’; a state of non-attachment. This brings me back to the journey being where the magic is, not the destination. It helps me detach from my projects, work, the fruits of my actions, worldly possessions or the person on the yoga mat next to me and brings me to the present moment and remembering that I am an infinite spiritual being. Yoga connects me to my soul nature, and also makes me feel great on a physical level!

What style of yoga do you teach? (More importantly are there any downward dogs or happy babies in your classes?)

Typically I teach Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, a gentle women’s Restore & Breathe as well as Nude Yoga for women and couples.

My Nude Yoga classes are very similar to my Friday night Restore & Breathe class (at TPY), which entails a lot of groundwork postures, breathing exercises, and long-held deep stretching asanas to release tension. The class is designed to make you move, breathe, sweat and relax.

The classes held in a candle-lit room which is heated and private. In my monthly classes, due to the size of the studio, we line the mats up in rows. In these classes I do not teach downward dogs. However in my 4 Week Nude Yoga course, we are in a semi circle and hence face inwards, so downward dogs are far less confronting for my students!

As a general rule of thumb: no happy babies!

Nude yoga sounds sexual, is it?

Many women come out of the class feeling “sensual” rather than “sexual”. They feel a renewed sense of love and appreciation for their body and the other women present in the class. There is a deep respect, reverence and togetherness that is experienced and felt after completing the class for both yourself and the sisterhood.

Nude Yoga is not intended to be “sexual”; if anything I am aiming to normalise and de-sexualise nudity to make it more acceptable and less taboo in our culture. In saying this, we are all sexual beings and nudity with another person or people is often only experienced during sexual situations or encounters, thus the class may invoke feelings of sexual energy or arousal. This is why I suggest women signing up for the 4 week Nude Yoga course as we cover the different aspects that come up in nude yoga, such as vulnerability, femininty, sexuality, self acceptance, judgment and insecurity.

I don’t support shaming or suppressing sexual feelings, and instead I let my students know that’s it is completely natural for these emotions to arise, but it’s important not to project onto others in the room and rather re-channel or re-circulate the energy within their own body, as an act of self love. This is the practice of Brahmacharya – known as the act of celibacy or in modern day terms the “right use of energy”. Bramacharya evokes a sense of directing our energy away from external desires and instead towards finding peace, happiness and fulfillment within ourselves.

What can we expect to experience from your class?

Women can expect to feel relaxed, empowered in their femininity, liberated of their body image issues and like they can achieve whatever they put their mind to. After five minutes of being in the class, women realise that it’s not that difficult and that nudity is completely normal and natural – and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

By coming out of their comfort zone and taking a leap of faith, women experience a rush of adrenaline and endorphins running through their bodies. These feelings make them feel their can accomplish their dreams and take on almost anything!

How does complete exposure in your classes empower women both on and off the mat?

Embracing nudity is the final frontier. If we can be completely comfortable in our own skin by being naked in a room full of other naked people, what other things can we overcome?

I have had SO many women bouncing out of the studio wanting to dance naked in the streets, bungee jump naked, skydive naked, and have more wild, passionate sex. It switches on a button inside you, which invigorates you and shifts something deep within you by making you become more comfortable in your skin and in love with your body.

How do you combine being a nude yoga teacher and a relationship coach?

Nude Yoga is a purposeful passion-driven project of mine; a creative outlet; an honouring space available for my clients and any woman to come and unleash their rawness, realness and vulnerability. Women can come along to my yoga classes to feel into my vibe to assess if I am the right coach for them and if they align with my message.

How have your classes been received so far? Do you think Perth is ready for nude yoga?

We were initially concerned whether Perth was ready for Nude Yoga, however with the likes of the Naked Fig Skinny Dip taking place in Perth and Bondi as well as the Free the Nipple campaign, we felt the world is definitely ready for Nude Yoga. And it appears to be true thus far! We couldn’t be happier with the result and the positive impact it’s having on women and their body image perception!

My monthly Women’s Nude Yoga classes at Twisting Peacock have been received unbelievably positively in Perth. Each class is fully booked with a waiting list of women ready to jump in if someone pulls out. Women are ready to confront their body image perception, create a new story and be bold and courageous in their life. Some want to just tick it off their bucket list and other women are dedicated to coming to every class.

Some of us would rather jump off a bridge than practice yoga in the nude so what would you say to encourage those of us who may be reluctant to join you on the mat?

With anything in life, you will have supporters and critics, and with Nude Yoga it’s understandable that it’s for some and not others…and that’s OK! All I would ask of the non-believers is to look at the deeper reason why they are reluctant? What’s the core reasons? Just to make the people who are tentative a little more at ease, the class is taught in the evenings, only illuminated by candles, heated to 28 degrees with gentle postures for beginner-level students. The focus is on YOU, rather than what the woman next to you looks like. Obviously there is an element of being witnessed and surrounded by other women in the room – that is what creates the vulnerability and courage factor – however in it’s essence, Nude Yoga is about what you are conquering, shedding and letting go of – metaphorically speaking as well as physically. It’s an extremely empowering experience.

 

Rosie is touring Australia this September to spread the message of positive body image through the art of Nude Yoga. Check out our Calendar to see when Rosie is in Perth.

Head to Rosie’s website www.rosierees.com to find out more!
Instagram: @rosie.rees
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rosiereesblog
Twitter: @_rosierees
Disclaimer: Article features images containing nudity. 

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