While styles of yoga like Hatha and Vinyasa have become somewhat ubiquitous in nearly every gym in America, there are other quieter forms that are found primarily in spaces committed to exclusively to the practice of yoga. These forms, though not as well known, offer the body more subtle benefits that ought not to be missed.
Seven Thursdays ago, I finished up my last class in Spain for this year. I'd been working as a classroom assistant/language assistant for the past 9 months. It was a wonderful ride, but that isn't what this post is about.
I've always had a strong sense of self. I daresay that I had a level of self-awareness as a five-year old that most people don't develop until they are in their 50s. Some would call being an "old soul" or wise beyond your years. It is generally considered to be a good thing. And from an outsiders point of view, I can recognize how that could appear to be the case. But, of course, the reality is far more complex.
Gymnosophist is a term the ancient Greeks used to describe the “naked wise men” or the “naked philosophers” of India. Suffice to say, spiritual nudity has had a long tradition in India, as well as in yogic practice. In Sanskrit, the practice of nude yoga is called Nagna Yoga or Vivastra Yoga.
We're in an interesting time socially and politically. Many people called it divided, but I would say that the divisions are just more visible now. Two, three, five years before, the type of conversations that are being held on race, class, religion, gender, culture would never have been a part of public discourse. Not because these issues weren't there, but because there was this idea that we were "past" these things as a society.