Women’s Naked Yoga – Why I’m Taking the Women Away from Mix-Gender Yoga Classes

Naked Yoga Alliance

Women’s Naked Yoga: Why I’m Taking the Women Away From Mixed-Gender Yoga Classes

by Isis Phoenix REBLOGGED via Young Naturists America

Isis Phoenix“Why are you taking the women away from us?!” exclaimed one of my most devoted male yoga students. He was a man in his late sixties and a longtime naturist who for most of his life was deeply committed to a nudist lifestyle. This was in 2008 when I was newly teaching naked yoga classes in New York and had a small but devoted following that filled up my twelve-person yoga studio several times a week. The comment came as a reaction to putting a women’s naked yoga class on the otherwise mixed-gendered weekly yoga schedule. The comment was almost childlike when it exited his mouth. “Why are you taking the women away from us?! That is a horrible idea!” he said, sounding more like an eight year old…

View original post 31 more words

Women’s Naked Yoga Class with Isis Phoenix starts in Leominster, MA

Absolutely thrilled to announce Women’s Naked Yoga in Leominster, MA on Wednesday nights.

Naked Yoga Alliance

Women's Naked Yoga

Dear Naked Yogis! It is my pleasure to announce a new women’s naked yoga class beginning in Leominster, MA on Wednesday nights 6-7:30pm. The class is for women and is $20. RSVP is necessary for location as space is limited. There’s more information availableHERE

Women’s Naked Yoga is a beautiful sacred and naked yoga practice for women. There will be a focus on vinyasa yoga and body positive affirmations as well as Taoist energy cultivation practices. Our naked yoga practice will focus on spiritual aspects of the divine feminine, loving self-care of our bodies and the intimacy and bonds of female community. Email Isis: sensualshaman (at) gmail to register.

For all of the male yogis, I will be offering a gender inclusive class once a month as soon as a large enough space is secured for the practice. Thank you for your inquiries.

Blessings,

Isis

View original post

Dear Friend

A dear friend wrote this for me about me and my work… I am so touched.

“She travels by her own song
the land
speaking to her
voices of her ancestors
our ancestors
voices not heeded
for too long

compassionate shapeshifter
lover to all
incomplete,
she helps us to
complete
bodhisattva of the flesh
alchemist, uniting flesh and spirit
bold new territory, which i seek, and from where i run

can anyone be braver? more compassionate?
she will tread where others dare not meander
the dark recesses and backstreet alleys
places where lost souls prop themselves, wild-eyed, emaciated
she opens her body
she opens her heart

tears well
appreciation
gratitude
sometimes desire
sometimes rage

i have been invited to her work; i hope that i add my element
and love.”

Naked Church at Goodland in New Jersey July 6th!

Naked Church at Goodland in New Jersey July 6th!.

Image

New Possibilities After a Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

Image

When I met Peter, he, like many older men, was struggling to embrace a new sexual identity. He had been referred to me by a sexuality therapist who felt that he needed a direct, interactive, hands-on approach to assist him in his quest to create an initiation into this new sexual identity.

Peter was in his sixties, a twice-divorced veteran recovering from a brain injury that had left him clinically diagnosed as impotent. Over the decade prior to his injury, his erections had become infrequent, and when he did have them they lacked the gusto of those of his twenties and thirties. After a cerebral hemorrhage in 2011, his erections ceased altogether. In spite of this, he remained optimistic that it was possible to recreate what sex was and could be for him. He was ready to empower his sexuality, rather than to see himself as diminished or victimized by circumstance. Inspiringly, he viewed his situation as an opportunity to create a sexual renaissance for himself  – a new golden age as he entered his golden years.

He confessed to me that, over the course of his life, he had never truly enjoyed sex. To some extent, he had seen it as a responsibility or a duty, one more thing he had to perform or achieve in a certain way to prove himself. As a result of this pressure, sex had been unsatisfying and he was uncertain whether he had ever been fully present for it. Sex had been angry and rage-filled at times. A military veteran, he held close the experience of war in his body and suffered from emotional, physical and spiritual numbness and PTSD for decades. Peter mentioned that anger felt like the only emotion he had been truly in touch with until his brain hemorrhage in 2011.

“Early trauma and war left me angry all the time. Anger was safe. I knew anger. It was almost a friend,” he told me. “But when I had my brain bleed, my entire life changed. Something shifted for me in my brain chemistry that affected my emotional body. I was able to access the places of emotion I used to have as a boy before trauma set in. Places of freedom, joy, wonder, curiosity, happiness.”

As he spoke, the excited young boy who had been lost since his early youth began to emerge, playful, curious and ready to engage.

From a place inside of him that had seen too much war and trauma, he told me: “Part of me for years was ‘Missing in Action’. I believe this brain injury has actually brought me into a state of grace. It gave me access to parts of myself and a wholeness that before was completely inaccessible. The brain injury also left me without access to the direct flow of energy to my genitals that make erections possible.”

“What a gift,” I said. “It looks like you’ll have the opportunity to expand your pleasure to your entire body. Most people never make it that far and their pleasure often stays trapped only in their genitals.”

His eyes twinkled.

“That’s why I’m here,” he said with a big smile.

“How do you want to feel in your sexual expressions, play and experiences?” I asked him.

“Free, connected, expressed … present. Like I don’t have to work. I want to play,” Peter told me sincerely.

Peter’s brain bleed had also apparently bled right out the angry warrior energy that had previously filled him. I suspected that this inner warrior had finally gotten so angry he just exploded, perhaps on an actual physical level causing the bleed itself. This was a classic opportunity for a shamanic reset in the system – an injury, ailment or illness that becomes an ally and offers us medicine that we need on in the deepest levels of our being.

I escorted Peter over to my floor palette futon and we began with a simple sitting meditation, noticing where sensation was present in our bodies and speaking out loud the sensations we were experiencing. Next we checked in with our body’s desires and made requests to each other on how our bodies would like to be touched in a non-genital focused way for one-minute increments. The body’s desires are always changing so the minute-long increments gave a contained space to explore both immediate and changing desires. Because the genital focus in our interaction was off the table to create a new form of sensual relating, it opened up a world of new possibilities for touch, intimacy and sexual self-expression.

Each of us took turns making requests and unfolding the true desires of the body now that direct genital contact wasn’t hogging the primary focus. The body revealed all of these beautiful subtleties and we had the opportunity to explore not just where we would like to be touched, but how, what pressure, what quality of touch – like feathers, kneading, delicate fingernails, squeezing massage, deep or right on the surface.

We then explored the intention of how we desired to be touched – with love, with curiosity, with tenderness, with passion, with pure carnal desire.

This progressed to a gentle, “as if” role-playing game: touch me as if you were a mother cradling her newborn; touch me as if you were molding my body out of clay; touch me as if this was the first woman’s body you had ever seen; touch me as if the burning desire of the whole universe resided in your fingertips. Each ‘as if’ experience created a new and profound opening for both of us.

Next we stood up and disrobed in front of each other. I went first and asked Peter to simply be present and hold space for me while I did. I took off one piece of clothing at a time and we paused to breathe in between each one to notice what sensations we were feeling in our bodies and to speak on them. Then I invited him to disrobe as well. We stood and breathed. I then spoke what I observed about the story of his body in that moment, where my eyes were drawn to see and what they saw. Silver hair, warm twinkling eyes, hands that had held guns and babies, a stray hair here, a special freckle there, a long lean body trained both as an athlete and a warrior.  I asked him to mirror back to me what he saw, where his eyes were drawn to my body so that we could fully take each other in. Long brown hair, softness, rosy cheeks, large nipples, femininity. He did a beautiful job recounting what he saw. I received a new perspective for myself on being witnessed through his eyes.

We took turns now in longer increments sharing touch, only this time we focused on how we desired to touch each other. We asked permission with each touch and there was space to say no if it didn’t feel in alignment for us. We rolled around and played and laughed together for several hours as we explored how desire and sexual energy wanted to move through us.

As our sacred space came to a close, Peter confessed to me: “This is the most present I have ever truly been with a woman. I can actually feel the desire in my body and it can be expressed without the pressure to perform. I can’t recall ever feeling this free before. So much has just become possible.”

When the effort to move past scripts and ingrained patterns of touch and relating was presented, a new form of relating that is based on presence and authenticity has permission to unfold in the space shared between bodies. Our bodies are always changing and transforming and so are our desires and how they want to express themselves. When we work with the body’s true desire, we can be present to the possibility of expanding the pleasure palette within the body and its capacity for sensual self-expression.

Peter told me he is ready to actively pursue dating with renewed gusto and to explore the possibility of physical intimacy based on the new possibilities in sexual self-expression available to him. He is also complementing our experience with Western medicine, exploring possibilities for assisting his erections but also freeing himself from the imprisoning mind-set that erection with ejaculatory orgasm is the apex of sexual experience. There is a wide scope of supportive allopathic ways to just about guarantee an erection. What they can’t guarantee is any happiness from it. With Western medicine and the explorations into the possibilities of returning full erectile function, Peter now has a new space to play in – a penis that can maintain an erection with a template for presence and authentic connection.

The path of self-discovery Peter is on is one of enthusiasm and wonder rather than a quest to fix a part of himself that might be considered broken. Peter knows he can have new and deeply fulfilling sensual and sexual experiences and now erections can become a part of that experience with the support of western medicine and compassionate and caring health professionals. It was his commitment to creating a template to break scripts and old ways of being and to move into his authenticity that allowed for this to unfold. Peter wrote me a few weeks ago saying that he is having a marvelous time exploring penis pumps, injections and supplements to increase his erectile possibilities. He reports that they work and that every part of this journey continues to be a learning experience. He’s excited to explore all of these possibilities with his next partner from a place of presence and authentic connection when the right relationship comes along.

I wish for him presence, play, powerful penis pumps and new possibilities for relating as he steps confidently into this new identity of sexual self-expression!

Here is a closing piece of advice and comment from Peter:

Something I believe in so strongly is the act of getting support. Getting support from caring and loving sources. It is remarkable just how lonely and debilitating it is, processing the realities of impotence. What men need to know and understand is what I learned and frankly am still learning – unless you want to remain stuck in the world of feeling badly about yourself, you MUST reach out and trust. Men who are already in a loving relationship with a caring partner have in this regard a great advantage. Presumably that partner will be there for them and process with them the oftentimes painful truths that impotence brings to light. It is men such as me not in any such loving relationship who need to be reminded of this. Men who find themselves twisting slowly in the breezes, with not a clue, and nowhere immediately to turn. It is these men who need great comfort, and these men who need to know that the worst thing that they can do is to do nothing.  It is never easy and never over.

To those men reading this who might be embarking on a journey like mine, I’d like to say that there are no magical endings. There is much experimenting, much unknown to be explored, many turns along the way that will not be fulfilling. At its essence comes the willingness to commit to the process of healing and becoming whole.

 

 

“Secret Gifts of Beauty”

Image“Secret Gifts of Beauty” by Isis Phoenix

 

The stories of our body are painted all over us

In scars and cellulite

In sagging skin or stretch marks

In in-grown toenails and stray hairs

In the distended belly

In our scar tissue

In the subtle misalignment

between the right and left

hemispheres of the body.

It is these differences

the subtle anomalies that could be considered

Imperfections, flaws

that perhaps give us

the opportunity for more

Beauty to shine through.

The beauty of acceptance.

These imperfections are our humanness

and part of our human nature and human story

They are the secret gifts of beauty

Waiting to be anointed

With your acceptance

With your love.

Re-thinking Impotence

“Re-thinking impotence”

ImageA lovely seventy-something man named Ralph visited me for a session in New Orleans. It was the second time I had seen him, the first a few weeks ago when I was visiting the area. Ralph was making sensual massage a regular part of his lifestyle and was seeing a practitioner in the area once a week. Despite being familiar with sensual bodywork, he was tentative, however, when he saw me. When I asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell me about his body, he told me he was recovering from radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Then I witnessed what appeared to be a wave of shame wash over him. “I’m impotent,” he quietly confessed. I sat quietly with him while he spoke.

“I rarely get an erection and don’t ejaculate, but I very much enjoy sensual touch and please don’t feel disappointed if I don’t get an erection while I’m with you… and please don’t laugh at me…” there was silence in the session room. I could feel the deeply tender and vulnerable place from where he spoke. I simply held space for him to express what felt like the most vulnerable part of him… I smiled warmly at him “I’m so glad you’re here,” I said. When I said that I noticed his shoulders soften and a bit of relief come over him where anxiety had previously existed.  “I have no expectations in our time together. And I invite you to release any you are holding too. I am simply here to support you in how your body and spirit want to express themselves.” I also asked him what he would like to get out of our time together.

He mentioned to me that he enjoyed being sensual though he was impotent and wanted to receive touch though he knew he could never satisfy a woman again. His belief of never being able to ‘satisfy a woman’ hung in the air like a dense cloud of oppression.  He explained to me his nerves were fried from radiation but that the area of his pelvis and genitals were still very sensitive. “How wonderful you can still experience pleasure there,” I said. “Did you know your entire body is capable of experiencing pleasure and also orgasm?” He patted my hand as if I was a child telling him… did you know the Easter Bunny is real and I’ve met him…

He undressed and got on the table lying face up. We started slowly with gentle touch and cradling each part of his body, letting it know it was loved. His face softened and spread into a wide smile.

I told him there was so much more to a woman’s sexual sensual happiness and pleasure than penetrative sex from a hard penis and also so many different ways of experiencing pleasure for differently-abled people but for now let’s focus on him and being present with the sensations of pleasure that wanted to unfold in his body… He patted my hand again as if to say “Yes Isis, I know you, you’ve told about your experience of meeting the Easter bunny before…”

The simplest and most basic need people come to me with is desiring acceptance and love. It is our absolute most basic emotional and spiritual need. When love is present we rest deeper into our own becoming and the pieces of ourselves that feel unlove-able come up to be reframed and integrated in a new way. When there is a space of love held, a new model for self-love can emerge. Generally after that need is met, there is another intention that enters into session space, which is the desire to deepen the individual experience and self-expression of pleasure and intimacy.

Ralph lay on my table. We worked gently, almost in slow motion with touch and energy, focusing much on cradling and holding different parts of his body, resting in dynamic stillness and deep breathing and moving energy through his body with breath and sound. After his body felt held and all parts of him present, I stretched him this way and that with different Thai yoga positions.  He sighed, moaned and groaned on the table and thanked me for being so kind and good to him… the Easter bunny story was becoming real. He relished the attention but mostly because it gave him a new dimension of experiencing pleasure in his body, not only isolated in his genitals which were now experiencing pleasure and sexual energy in a different way post radiation therapy, but his entire body had a new experience of pleasure – a whole body experience.

After about 2 hours into our session, we began a Tantric breathing exercise that moved sexual energy through Ralph’s pelvis and up his spine – the energy that unlocked in him was so powerful he trembled and his legs shook. The awakening from this breathing exercise started in his genitals and shot up his spine and his hands clenched and face contorted. It then moved through his spine out from his body in what energetically to me felt like a bubbling volcano. He soared through this energy orgasm that erupted for at least 2 straight minutes, energy moving and rolling through him, subsequently through me and what felt like through the entire French Quarter of New Orleans.

When we looked at each other after the experience subsided we both looked like we had just been blasted up through the cosmos, twisted round in a whirlwind, pummeled by the ocean and plopped back down on the massage table in New Orleans. “Wow Ralph… wow” I said. “I think it’s time you rethought calling yourself ‘an impotent old man…’

“I didn’t know that was possible with what had happened to me…” he said, sounding a bit dumbstruck.

“Something tells me Ralph that in your seventies, your sex life has only just begun…” His eyes twinkled and his mouth gaped a bit at the notion. I gave him a list of resources to look into – from my sexual shamanic teacher Kenneth Ray Stubbs to resources for sexual energy work for ‘differently abled’ people.

Good sex really unfolds from embodiment, presence and self-expression. After cancer and radiation, Ralph’s body works differently. Ralph’s first step in reclaiming his sexuality was to accept that his body works differently now, but in working differently there are different energies and experiences to him available that could possibly be even more pleasurable and bring him into deeper levels of ecstasy and connection than were previously available.

With Ralph’s declaration that he was impotent, I began to think about what that word actually means. The word itself implies a lacking or absence of potency. Ralph was certainly not short in this area – he was fun, light hearted and playful in our session and the potency from his orgasm was surely felt through all of New Orleans that day. He was anything but im-potent. His potency however required a different route of expression while his body healed itself after cancer and radiation. He booked a 3 hour session with me the following week. “I need to know this is actual possible,” he confided in me.

“Each experience of your sexuality will be unique,” I told Ralph, “but I think it’s safe to say, you can release calling yourself impotent,”

“Next week, let’s shoot for the stars!” We laughed and embraced and he exited with a potent stride and a pep in his step.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries