The Filming of `Naked Yoga (part 2)`
People often assume that because I teach Yoga I must have been to India. Certainly
it was a dream of mine for many years. And who knows I might make it one day (It happened in 2000).
But the urgency of that trip disappeared when I realised that Yoga can be practised anywhere, indoors or out.
Finding a quiet spot especially near the sea or on an open mountain side nearer to home, where the breeze is charged
with that vital life energy called `prana` makes the benefits of yoga just as effective, and much more convenient than having
to travel to India.
For the video, The Art of Nude Yoga, we were able to enjoy working close to the sea on the Welsh coast,
breathing pure air, sheltered from the cooling breeze by the surrounding sand dunes, but within earshot of the surf
on the golden beach. From the beach we moved to the grandeur of the ancient craggy mountains of
Snowdonia in North Wales. A cold strong wind on the day we were filming only seemed to remind us of the power of
Yoga to overcome so many obstacles as we balanced on rocky outcrops, reaching for the sky, and only feet from plunging to
a nasty end on those jagged rocks if anything went wrong.
The video concentrates
on a simple warming up sequence which goes through every part of the body, warming and loosening joints, toning and stretching
muscles gently but thoroughly. Combined with deep slow breathing the movements also help to relieve tension
and stress. This type of sequence is useful for almost every level of ability, even for those restricted
to sitting in a chair. It provides a good basic warm up for sport and keep fit. Of course
it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before you start any new system of exercise if you have any doubts about
The sequence of movements known as The Salute to the Sun is one of the most beautiful
and meaningful exercises I know. Physically it uses every part of the body. The breath
is deepened and the chest opened. The shoulders are loosened. The spine is bent backwards
and forewards and the hips and legs stretched to free tight hamstrings, buttocks and groin.
More importantly the mind is focused on celebrating Life. We reach for the Sun - the symbol of life,
but we also lie on the Earth - our symbolic mother. And when we have finished and are standing tall we
have our feet on the ground and our heads in the sky.
Yoga can of course be practised at many levels from the gentle to the more demanding
exercises of Power Yoga. Some of those challenging poses are introduced in the video. But
that is another story.
Derek Osborn has practised yoga for over fifty years. Reading
a library book about India he came across photograhs of yogis in some of the ancient poses. Fascinated he tried to
copy them and found that the claims made for yoga were true. As a student in London in the crazy sixties he admits to
abusing the benefits of yoga. Late nights, hangovers and smoking severely tested any potential gains he
might have made. And yet with a minimum of the basic exercises he kept his interest alive, and his body
in good condition.
`I don`t advocate that as being a good idea to follow by the way`.
For almost thirty years he has taught
classes, individuals and workshops in many parts of the country. Working also as a masseur he uses systems
and techniques from all over the world. Hatha, Tantra, and Kundalini Yoga, Taoism and shamanism,
with additions from modern systems of exercise and personal growth such as dance, isometrics, weight traning and polarity
therapy, are all to be found in his holistic approach to teaching and working with people, and to the life he lives.
`If it works, use it`.
`I don`t believe that yoga should always be quiet and gentle. We must leave ourselves those spaces
when we can find the peace inside ourselves, but equally there has to be some blood, sex and rock and roll - oh, and my
`I honestly and fervently believe that we all have the ability, whatever our age or starting condition, to release
that power within us to achieve physical, mental and spiritual fulfilment.