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shakti: the feminine power of yoga

 “What I love about the process and path of yoga is that the compass is directed towards our core self – our flowing essence – who we are when all of the coverings fall away. Being naked is a spiritual metaphor of our original state for it is how we arrived in the world through our mother’s loins and were celebrated for the first time.”

–Shiva Rea in “Shakti: The Feminine Power of Yoga” (2003)

This black and white work by Victoria Davis celebrates the feminine power of yoga in dynamic asana expressions offered by women.

I remember coming across this book some time ago prior to my clothes free life. Although I found it interesting at the time, I did not give it much thought and, instead, continued on with my regularly scheduled programming of life.

A few weeks ago, I returned to this book, and it to me via my memory. Of course, I am now deep into the waters of my clothes free yoga and clothes free life practice, but there is more. I am pursuing yoga training in the branch of Prana Vinyasa, which is a style cultivated by Shiva Rea. I elected this training not only to deepen and expand my journey, but to continue developing the reservoirs in my soul to share with others and hold space for them to experience a deep authentic life practice for themselves. My dream is to teach clothes free yoga, particularly for women (although this is likely to expand to a variety of genders). So, I desired a training that would support the spiritual and soulful nature of my inquiry. I have found this training.

During the initial phone conversation with the teacher trainer of this program, I shared my deeply-rooted passion for teaching clothes free yoga as well as the developments in my clothes free life in connection with women. To my surprise, she said I had landed in the right place, as Shiva Rea studies a great deal of indigenous dance in cultures where the tradition is for people to be clothes free. She has studied this in-depth in person for quite some time and folds it into the yoga. The teacher spoke of the spirit of this style being to really return people to this deep connection to all things natural, and that she saw naked yoga as an organic expression of that.

As I sat with this book last night, I was moved to tears to see how all of these things came together. Who would have thought that flailing around naked on my mat in August 2014 would reconnect me with a teacher whose DVDs I used many years ago? Who knew that my naked yoga passion would come to life and be supported in this way?

There we were: me sitting clothes free on the couch looking at Shiva Rea clothes free in the black and white pages in my hands. And I will meet her, face to face, in September.

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