Good evening. My name is Luna, RYT 200 (registered yoga teacher at the 200 hour training level) and I am the face and Yogi of NuReveal Yoga. The NU in NuReveal stands for two things: Nudity and the New yoU. I was inspired to teach yoga in the nude by my boyfriend while studying to become a certified Personal Trainer three years ago. Me being an individual not to half step into anything, researched on how to become a yoga instructor and took the appropriate steps to become a certified Yoga Instructor. Now that I gave you a brief introduction to how NuReveal came about. Let me tell you how Nude Yoga became the assistant and the pathway to my healing.
I grew up in a very strict, Puerto Rican, Catholic family. I was raised primarily by my divorced mother and maternal grandmother with my little brother in New York City, Spanish Harlem. My father was around but barely. Later on in life, I found out it was because of some misunderstandings and hurt feelings between my parents that caused my father to stay away and my mother to sometimes act very bitterly. But that is another story in itself. I was taught that my body was to be hidden, boys and men will take advantage of it. But the right one will come along and sweep me off my feet and choose me as his bride and we will live happily ever after. All of this will come as long as I kept to my studies, stayed away from boyfriends until I was 16 and stayed a virgin until marriage. If I showed too much flesh, God would look down upon me with disgust and men will come after me to rape me as a consequence. I won’t be able to say anything against them since it would be seen by society and the judge that I provoked the action.
Nonetheless, I had different plans. I found myself drawn to males at a very young age. I didn’t understand then like I do know but I was looking for a male individual to replace my daddy figure in my mind and love me unconditionally and carry me away from my home life. I was just a little girl that missed her daddy, her supposed protector, her provider, her example of a male figure that loved her. I had my mother but we always thought differently. Even now, she and I differ in a LOT of things. Her reactions are sometimes over the top which causes her depression, paranoia and low self-esteem.
Anyway, intellectually I understand what my mother and maternal grandmother were saying to me about nudity. They were only trying to protect me but it didn’t explain the times when the older generation of uncles would look at me with lust in their eyes when I was just a young girl. I recall an incident when my distant uncle wanted me to sit on his lap. Me being naïve and innocent obeyed. When I sat on his lap, it just felt weird. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and proceeded to rub my thigh and tell me in Spanish that I was beauty. His heavy breathing and look freaked me out that I got off his lap and went to sit down on the couch. My baby brother was there and wasn’t asked to sit on his lap. So I just stayed with my brother until my mother or grandmother came back into the room from speaking with my great aunt. This would not be the first nor the last time his actions would be weird. He would ask me numerous times for kisses when other adults were not present or when we were alone.
There was another incident when I was in school (I was in fourth or fifth grade) and my pants had ripped in the back (seated area). How embarrassing!!! So I had a sweater or something to cover it up. Well I went with another aunt of mine to the supermarket. The supermarket had this walk in deep freezer where people can pick their meat purchases. I hated the cold and since I could not remove my sweater from around my waist I waited outside the meat section with my baby brother. (My brother is three years younger than I). Anyway, this teenager came by and stood across from us. He decided to talk to us. My brother was a very shy kid so I did most of the talking. He started getting really friendly and decided to stand next to me. I was uncomfortable but as long as my brother stood next to me I was fine until my brother decided to go to the other side where the teenager last stood. He was also too uncomfortable.
I couldn’t take it anymore so I went to go after my brother when the teenager soap the hole in my pants and decided to put his fingers there and insert his fingers into my anus, laughing. I was shocked and grabbed my brother and ran inside to tell my aunt. She was furious. That boy got an earful that day. But when I went home and my aunt told my mother she was disappointed in me for wearing the pants in the first place. It was my fault putting on tight pants trying to look cute knowing it would get me in trouble. There were other incidents such as that in my family. They were all explained away because the male was drunk and/or I exacerbated the situation with my actions.
As a teenager I became promiscuous. I was searching for love in all the wrong places, in many different scenarios to no avail. Every time I slept with someone I felt worse about myself and felt what my grandmother and mother said people would call me: “A Whore”. Oh the tears I cried. For years, I carried this with me. I even got pregnant at the age of 19 with my first son. Thank God I was a senior in college and planned on finishing school (which I did by the way). My mother and my grandmother were not proud of my decision to keep my child, the consequence of my actions. They were ashamed that people would know I was promiscuous. What made it worse was that the father of the child left me. Now not only did I bring shame to my family for getting pregnant before marriage, I brought dishonor as well by keeping the child without a father. I was told to wear my mother’s engagement to college while I was pregnant as to not let others know. Making me feel worse inside but I had to show face so I kept going. I was told no man would want to marry me now that I had a child.
Still I got married at the age of 23 and had two more kids later on. Life I thought was great; hard but oh so wonderful living in Florida enjoying the warmth and living a new life away from gritty, hard, uncaring New York City. Little did I know that the Universe had plans for me to return to New York for one year to learn a hard lesson which made me the woman I am TODAY. In 2007, I moved back temporarily to New York and lived in my In-Laws 2 bedroom NYC apartment with 3 kids. (My youngest needed medical care and the top doctors were there.) Space was scarce. We were close but space can make tempers fly rather quickly. Selling my house in Florida was becoming rather difficult and I had no explanations why. After 9 months living under the roof, something happened that changed my life and my marriage forever. My husband is very close to his family, very close. I always had a belief in my heart that if there was ever a day that he had to choose between me and the kids and his family; he would choose his family. That fear came true in part.
On November 2007, my father in law attempted to have sex with me while my children were asleep and my husband and his mother were away. To make a long story short, he grabbed me, groped me, kissed me and tried pushing me into a bedroom to have sex. I was able to get away but it scared me good and reopened the wounds I thought were healed. All the experiences I had as a child came rushing back and I felt helpless. Here I was not naked; not dressed provocatively (I had sweat pants and a sweat shirt on) and I was attacked in such a way. What did I do to deserve this? What wrong signal did I give him? Intellectually, of course, I knew I did nothing wrong but everything that happened as a child made me think I did. I was scared to tell my husband but was later convinced to do so. We eventually returned back home to Florida. My father in law attempted to apologize in private for his actions two years later after telling the family that I lied, provoked him or seduced me. He never bothered to correct the family of what he said. According to them, he apologized to appease the relations between his son and him. There was nothing he did wrong. So again, I was the “dirty” one. It didn’t help that when I was starting to model and trusted certain photographers with nude poses, I had gotten assaulted by two. My husband and I separated in 2010 two and a half years after the incident with his father and divorced officially in 2011.
It took me a long time to get over this. No therapy helped. When my boyfriend suggested getting used to the fact of liking myself enough by going nude on a regular basis. He was a nudist and I modeled nude but to me that was different. Doing yoga in the nude however was a totally new type of surrender. I was not only revealing myself to others but I was leaving myself open to the Universe lacing myself in different poses that may give men an opportunity to attack me.
Little did I know that my Higher Power was leading me to my discovery. When I say in my classes that yoga is your journey, I mean it. I found myself on that mat. My Higher Power spoke to me and held me in a way that revealed my inner beauty, my inner peace, my inner joy, my complete and utter surrender. Once I removed my clothes, it was as if I was offering my complete self to the Universe to do its will with me; removing layers upon layers of gunk. I was surrendering my body, my ego, my spirit, my essence to the Higher Power; releasing my control of it; leaving myself completely vulnerable as a newborn child to be molded and cared for. I cried deeply and I sighed. I found peace and serenity on my mat. There was nothing better than that. I wanted more. So I began to study more about spiritual surrender. I reread the Yoga Sutras, Yogic Philosophy, The Bhagavad Gita, Wheels of Life (Chakras) and every other spiritual text I had to read during Yoga Teacher Training. I listened to the Dalai Lama speeches on book on tape. I meditated more. I prayed. (There is a difference between the two. I will teach you in class). Every time I practiced and read, my spirit grew stronger. My body cleaner and my mental clutter cleaned and organized. I no longer felt as if I was a “dirty whore”. I no longer felt as if I was here to be abused and molested by men. When such thoughts come back into my head, I just get on my mat and practice. If that is not enough, I read my spiritual text, meditate, pray and redo yoga again. Once again, I am at peace. YOGA IS reading spiritual text, meditating, praying, movement, etc.
If you have suffered what I have suffered or worse, there is help. There is light at the tunnel. I know. I have seen it. There is a light in you as there is in me. It is in all of us. I do not blame my mother, my ex-husband, his father or anyone else for that matter. We are one with the Universe and the Universe shows us the light of itself. There are people walking around with dimmed lights. Some are due to poor choices and others due to circumstances. Nonetheless, the light is dimmed or hidden. Let me guide you to your light and to the light of the Universe. Allow me to be your guide to YOUR journey. Everyone’s journey is different but the purpose is the same. It is to find your light and then share with others so that they too may find their light. The light will grow and soon we will all become one huge light.
May the light in me honor the light in YOU. Namaste.