This past weekend (June 9-11, 2017) there were several World Naked Bike Rides held in cities in various countries. I’ve never participated in a WNBR, although I hope to have the chance someday. But meanwhile, in the city where I live, there was a 3-day biking event over the weekend, involving several different races, lots of competitors from out-of-town… and all of it was completely clothed. And by completely clothed, I mean the bikers were wearing that fluorescent, synthetic bikewear that’s so ubiquitous these days.
If you’re into biking, or if you’ve ever been to a bike shop, you know that bike apparel is a BIG DEAL. As in, you can’t just wear regular clothes on your bike. Oh, no! You have to wear water-wicking, skin-squeezing, synthetic stuff that looks about as eco-friendly as, well, gasoline. Which is one of the reasons I like the WNBR. I suspect many of the participants are regular bikers who buy and wear that stuff, but, at least on WNBR day, they can feel the air rushing over them as they roll along – a wonderful sensation and also: air = best water-wicker ever.
This is also why I love naked yoga. The yoga clothing industry thrives on the idea that you can’t just do yoga in gym shorts and a t-shirt (although of course many people do). For companies like LuluLemon, the widespread acceptance of naked yoga would shut them down. Or at least radically alter their business plan.
The same applies for all kinds of activities as well, including such basics as running and swimming. You can spend a lot of time and money on apparel, OR, you can just, like, do it naked already. So much better for you, for your wallet, for the environment. So much healthier!
But so, how do you get there? How do you move from clothing-dependency to clothing independence? Well, training isn’t only about the gym.
The textile industry markets TRAINING pants for toddlers learning bladder control.
Toddlers are effectively trained to wear pants.
The textile industry markets TRAINING bras for adolescent girls anxious about their appearance.
Young women are effectively trained to wear bras.
The textile industry markets TRAINING shoes and exercise clothing of all kinds, to all sectors.
Everyone is effectively trained to wear clothes to exercise.
What we need is not training pants, but training pants-less!
For some people, it takes a bit-by-bit approach. Walking up the stairs, or down the hall, or even across the room barefoot, then shirtless, then in just your underwear, then naked… etc. – this is an act that for many nudists and naturists seems basic, but can detonate an extraordinary revolution for those unaccustomed to daily, ’round-the-house nudity, for those not yet accustomed to cleaning, cooking, sleeping and other regular activities in the nude.
Those first few steps beyond the door of your home, or beyond the cabin, tent, or even the clothing-optional resort hotel room, who knows – these are the precious prologue to a pilgrimage of naturism, the path toward body acceptance and awareness of human embodiment in nature.
And just as it can be a gradual process – this untraining from pants, or training pantsless – it can also take time to train yourself to be nonchalantly nude around others doing the same. There is a natural range of abilities in this training process, as in any other. Some people take to the clothesfree life like ducks to water. Others, for whatever reasons (and there are many), need more time, more practice training.
But like any training worth the effort, the results are fantastic. When you can accept your unadorned body for what it is, and as one among many such bodies, and as a part of the natural environment, then you have truly gained in health and wisdom, with spillover benefits in spirituality, environmental consciousness, even economics.
|images from Tumblr|