Bare essentials

Dallas Delahunt, owner of Studio 330, brings naked yoga to downtown Kingston

Studio 330 offers yoga by donation for all levels of practice.
Studio 330 offers yoga by donation for all levels of practice.
Photo: 
All of Delahunt’s classes, including naked yoga, will be completely donation-based.
All of Delahunt’s classes, including naked yoga, will be completely donation-based.

The practice goes beyond the physical by literally stripping everything away.

Dallas Delahunt, owner of Studio 330 on Princess St., started Kingston’s first naked yoga class last month.

The idea first came to her through an interested student about two years ago.

“He was interested in exploring the practice,” Delahunt said, “but everywhere he searched for it was only for gay men, and he wasn’t interested in exploring in that way.”

Those who practice yoga are able to love a little more, be more present in the moment and less reactionary, she said.

But this spiritual aspect didn’t come to her right away.

The self-proclaimed gym rat took a yoga class on a whim at the former Downtown Workout in 1998, without fully knowing what she was getting into.

The class had a long-lasting impact and yoga eventually became a way of life for Delahunt.

“There wasn’t anything I didn’t notice in my life [after the class], whether it was sitting down to pee, putting my socks on or rolling over in bed at night,” Delahunt said.

This sense of awareness is further heightened while practicing in the nude.

She has never participated in naked yoga herself. While instructing, she prefers to remain clothed, but still fully believes in the practice.

Naked yoga may sound overtly controversial to some, but not to those who practice it.

There’s a lot more to it than its face value.

Delahunt recalled the thought-provoking experience of one particular participant.

The woman was new to the studio. She was inspired to take part in naked yoga because she didn’t want to see labels on clothing.

“It’s interesting for me, in a sense, because I am one of Lululemon’s ambassadors and I hardly wear the clothes,” Delahunt said.

She was appointed as the brand’s ambassador in Kingston for the third time earlier this year, but does it primarily for the community and philosophical aspects behind the brand.

According to the Lululemon website, the opportunity to be an ambassador is “extended to unique individuals in our store communities who embody the lululemon lifestyle and live our culture.”

“I’m not into the label thing,” she said.

Naked yoga allows people to explore their practice in an intimate and personal way, without

material distractions.

“We put it out there to honour the human body and bring people together so they don’t have to hide behind the make-up and labels and all that stuff,” she said.

Delahunt chose to make the class co-ed, instead of making it exclusively available to gay men. She found that gender differences didn’t complicate the flow.

The class is connected on a deeper level as they aren’t distracted by things like adjusting the material of their clothing, Delahunt explained.

Without the distractions of clothed yoga, naked yoga leads one closer to oneself.

“Being more centered would only provide an opportunity to go inward toward their true self, to their sense of truth and wealth,” she said. “To me, that would ultimately lead to our connection to the spirit.”

These connections are the essence of the practice, for her.

“Ultimately, I just want people on the mat, it makes no difference to me,” she said.

For Delahunt, yoga of all forms goes beyond the physical. It stretches to notions of social change.

Yoga, she said, means a union between two different people or groups and the world.

“Until we understand [the meaning],” Delahunt said, “we’re not going to be able to make a big impact on changes in the world.”

Delahunt’s naked yoga class is on the first Friday of every month at Studio 330 at 8 p.m, payable by donation.

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