A little about the story of the resurgence of clothing optional yoga in St. Louis through my eyes.
The year is 2012, I had just gotten out of a relationship that had not only left me in an emotional bind, but a financial bind as well. Along with the studio I was teaching out of closing permanently and taking over the (expensive!) rent of what used to be a shared space, I had to make a go of it, so I set forth to convert my Cherokee loft home into my working studio. Several hundred dollars later, i had myself my own dance/yoga/movement/community space. A serene retreat from the chaos of the outside world.
In 2010, I received my 200 hour RYT from West East Healing’s, Jaime Sanchez. I had every intention on utilizing my teaching skills that had already been put into practice for 8 years at that time with my dance students to teach the benefits of yoga. But being the out of the box person that I am, I needed to do something different. I knew that my classes were not going to be a stodgy, boring yoga class. they needed to be fun, create a sense of confidence and community and of course instill the principles of self awareness, self acceptance, prana and asana into our practice. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a creative spirit and an entrepreneur when it comes to trying new ways to make money, my name is also pretty much synonymous with the word community. Anyone who knew me back then, (even though an extrovert and a half naked performer!), I was extremely shy about getting undressed in front of other people. I was fine being naked around myself, but not thrilled with my body. Especially after years of judgement from family or “friends” calling me “fat” or letting me know about all my imperfections and what the media tells us is beautiful.
I needed in my soul, to create this clothing optional group, it was my ticket to not only creating a wonderful community, making a bit of extra cash on the side, but it was key in getting me to finally start accepting my body and loving myself as I am imperfections and all. Clothing optional yoga is therapy. it is my therapy and yours too!
I knew of a naked men only yoga class in the South City area on Sundays in the last decade, then a friend of mine took over that studio and it had ceased (at least in that location). With the help of David Wraith or Sex Positive St. Louis, I held my first co ed clothing optional class here in this very studio in April of 2012. I went all in and found that I wasn’t as self conscious as I thought I would be!
5 years later, we have seen many wonderful changes including, growing into our own meetup group of over 700 yogis, adding on my dear friend, Maureen Hughes as another wonderful teacher (who has also been taking with me since the beginning!) and having 3 classes per week along with a bunch of amazing special events as well as a community of friends who, in reality, I could not live without. Some of the best friends I have made have been here in yoga. even a lot of the friends i have made through dance don’t compare to this group.
Our mission is simple, we provide a safe, no bullshit space for clothing optional yoga. Harassment and disrespect of any kind is simply not tolerated. No one will ever be turned away due to race, politics, gender, size or age. ALL are truly welcome here. This is a NON Judgement zone to practice yoga your way at your pace and level and at a price you can’t bat an eyelash at!