This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever done, I thought to myself as I stared intently into the eyes of a complete stranger, during the home stretch of a three hour yoga class.
Staring at a stranger would be uncomfortable for me at the best of times, but it was made infinitely weirder by the fact both me and said stranger also happened to be bare butt naked. Yes, we were at a naked yoga class.
Below us, the eclectic community of Sydney’s Oxford Street buzzed past, unaware that two floors above, 20+ women were gathered into a candle-lit room, completely starkers on their yoga mats.
It was shaping up to be a weird Wednesday night.
The event was organised and taught by Rosie Rees (you can find her on Instagram @rosie.rees), a Perth-based yogi and sexual empowerment advocate with a mission to normalise nudity and female sexual pleasure, and by my own admission, she’s valiantly succeeding. Not only does she have a side business selling crystal dildos and yoni eggs, her 61,000 strong Instagram following and Facebook group, Yoni Pleasure Palace, have attracted a loyal and ravenous fan base.
She described her classes as a “three hour immersion” in “vulnerability, courage and radical self acceptance” and they were sell-out hits, with lengthy wait lists.
I'm a 24-year-old millennial, stuck in-between the feminist goal of 'sexual liberation' and general womanly insecurities, and I'd been following Rosie ever since Mamamia ran a profile on her 'nude yoga classes' in 2017.
I reached out to her, equal parts curious and cynical, to see if she would have me at one of her classes.
She warmly said yes, and that's how I found myself walking to the studio earlier this month, my heart racing and vision blurry. I'd been boldly (over)sharing with my colleagues my plans for the evening, kind of revelling at their expressions of bewilderment (fair), but as I reached the door, my internal dialogue had drastically shifted.