Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the naked-truth.
Here, I am shown ‘Not-quite naked’ in a yoga pose, as naked as I was when I was born, in my sacred vessel, but here on the cover of Common Ground magazine. I may as well be wearing a bikini in this photo, since all the same places are covered, but because I am technically naked, it is a bit more provocative.
Let me share with you how I got there, beginning with when I got a call from Rob Sidon (editor of Common Ground) asking me to be the next model on the cover, to which I immediately said yes, because I love the magazine and would be honored to represent them! It was then that he told me that I would be photographed by Jasper Johal, a sweet long- time friend of mine and a talented artist, who is well known for shooting beautiful classic nudes. And although I love his work and admire the art he creates, still this shoot raised a question for me: What do I stand for? Why would I consider being almost naked in a yoga pose on the cover of any magazine? What will I be saying? What is the naked-truth of what I am teaching as a yogi?
I asked more questions of myself (my teacher, Jeffrey Armstrong has taught me to ask many questions of self-inquiry, we don’t have to “sell out” to succeed– we can always choose to be in alignment with what we believe, no matter who or what comes knocking on our door.)
Then I found out the cover would be part of a series called “The Body as a Temple” and I since knew no private-private parts would be shown as I was not comfortable with that since those are sacred and private, and for me not to be shared with the world.
So finally the naked truth was, our ‘bodies are temples’.
So tell me, What would you look like if you took off all the matter that clothes you? We are made up externally of earth, space, air, water, fire…so what would you or I look like without all of the 5 elements clothing covering us up? What would our form be then? What would we look like? Isn’t that what we’re all really looking to see, and be seen as? The form of our true-self?
So to me, being a part of this series represents the embodiment of yoga where the body is a temple, a sacred place and container wherein my true form resides (in yoga and the Veda’s, the Sanskrit word for the “true self” inside this body is called the atma: our invisible form, body of light and undying self).
According to the third verse of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.3: “Tada drashtuh svarupe vasthanam”. This explains that the ultimate result of our yoga is to see the true form of our undying self or atma. ‘Svarupe’, means one’s own true form, the immortal self, the luminous atma. Once we are able to see beyond the distractions of the material world, (the Vrittis) our perception of reality becomes clear. Then the seer sees the form of their true self. Then we are no longer concerned with thoughts of the past or the future, reality becomes clear and we can understand and see our true nature/form. We then remember our link or connection to all that exists.
Since technology is advancing every day, someday we may have a camera to take a picture of our true form, our atma. Then Rob will call me to be on the cover again in that most Divine form, and I assure you it is much more beautiful than a mere black and white photo of my five element temple.
So in truth, if you can see past the distractions of this not quite naked pic, and see who I really am in my true naked form (atma), then and only then will you see that the beauty shown here is divine beauty.
And NO, my next step is not playboy magazine – It is Pray-boy (or girl)!
I pray for men to help women be empowered, because it is time! This is what I teach in my women’s groups, programs and classes.
Men, I speak directly to you now, the way to help us is NOT to only get caught up in the distraction of this outer form of beauty, and run after it. Instead, help us declare that WE ARE NOT JUST OBJECTS to be used for gratification of the senses…but BEINGS to be cherished, loved, honored and held with great depth of respect – no matter what we may look like on the outside. It is time for women’s empowerment, and Men, YOU CAN HELP to hold this outward image as sacred and then to see beyond it to the true form of our immortal self.
Women, this is about us women stepping up without shame, in our natural selves, and being in our true-forms more and more.
Yes, I am being provocative here with you, what I hope for you/us all to see is that the inner form is far more beautiful than this outer form… can you see it?
In the view of Bhakti yoga, we remain an individual, and our Atma is naked, my disrobing is a suggestion we can take off all our matter, and shine with beauty. Just like if I disrobed my body, and let you see my inner naked form. Until we have the technology to reveal that…you’ll have to use your third eye and heart.
We all want to be seen in our inner truest-self, our true form, and what I teach is, to be in your sacred body, to shine your true-self, to be grateful to be alive and to release what is not true about who we are, so that you can BE in direct connection with the Ultimate Divine Reality (and all Atmas here on Earth). Namaste and may the light in your heart illumine the halls of your sacred temple.