My Visit to Buck Naked Yoga in Cleveland
I recently made a trip to visit family in Ohio. I knew there was a men’s yoga class that met on the near west side of Cleveland. I called the owner, Buck Harris, just to make sure of the time of the class and I decided to go. I didn’t bring a mat or anything, so I went in as if I were a newbie. I wanted to take a class as anyone would.
I got to the studio, There’s No Place Like Om, about twenty minutes before the class was supposed to start. I went in and found Buck, the owner, and Andy, another one of the teachers, standing in the middle of the large room. Buck said to me, “Welcome! You’re overdressed!” He welcomed me into the room, asked me to take off my shoes, and showed me a room in the back with cubbys and lockers. He said I was welcome to use either of them for my clothes, showed me where to get a mat, blocks, and straps. I put my clothes in an open cubby since I’m a pretty trusting guy, and while I was getting a mat another student had come into the studio and back to the dressing space. He introduced himself and we chatted briefly. I soon went back into the studio where Andy and the other man had set out their mats in front of Buck, who had taken up the teacher’s mat in the front. I asked where would be a good place to set my mat, and Buck said, “Right here, front and center.” So there I went, right in front of the teacher. I usually avoid that place since I often see eager students position themselves as close to the teacher as they can get. But since I was invited, I took it. I like to be up front where I can see and hear.
I engaged the other student in conversation rather easily, and found out that he was a massage therapist who was in town to work on athletes and the Gay Games 9 that was happening at the same time. Three other students came in for the class; one after it had already started. They all seemed to be regulars based on their interaction with the teacher. I was engaged in those conversations by the teacher and the others quite often, which helped me to feel very welcome, and very comfortable. During the class Buck called out our names and made verbal adjustments rather often. He also had a really inviting sense of humor. The class was fairly challenging, not in speed, but in the level of twists and stretches that we did. We did several partner poses. I was assigned to Andy, the other teacher, who was very good at helping me in the poses with my tight hamstrings and hips. He was much more limber than I am.
After class we all dressed together in the back room. Everyone was very friendly. We talked quite a bit. I was sorry to leave, but I was meeting friends for dinner nearby.
If you ever find yourself in Cleveland, you can find this welcoming place at:
There’s No Place Like Om
5409 Detroit Avenue