Tag Archives: Isis Phoenix

A surprise visit with the New Hampshire Naturists

I gladly accepted the invitation of Tom from the New Hampshire Naturists to come as their guest to their nude Thanksgiving. I had reached out to him the day before inquiring about listing the naked yoga classes that I was starting in Central Massachusetts on their event page. He responded warmly and much to my surprise by inviting me to an event called Nude Thanksgiving, a naturist social that included all the wonderful things naturists love – nude swimming, pingpong, saunas and hot tubs followed by a large homemade Thanksgiving feast catered by the local Inn Keepers that I was told was to die for. ‘Would you like to come as our guest?’ wrote Tom. ‘Does a bear shit in the woods?’ I thought to myself but modified my email response to him with a simple and immediate “Heck yeah!” I gladly accepted his invitation with absolute delight. These were ‘my people.’

It was about a forty-five minute drive from where I was in Massachusetts to where they were in New Hampshire. I had desperately been missing my naked community since my recent move to Central Massachusetts and though I loved where I was living, being close to nature and embraced by a quieter and slower pace everyday, I needed to be around other people who had similar thoughts around the healing and therapeutic benefits of nude recreation. I also deeply desired a community around me that practiced naked yoga. Perhaps even intuiting I would be going somewhere soon where I would be around the community my heart was longing for and that I would need to bring food, I had baked two pumpkin pies the night before. Receiving Tom’s invitation felt so serendipitous. I scooped up one of the pies the next morning and I loaded myself, the pie and a beach towel into my Subaru, plugged in my GPS and set out for Troy New Hampshire.

The drive was lovely with the last leaves falling off the New England trees and in under an hour, I had arrived at a beautiful farm and inn where the New Hampshire Naturists gather several times a year. I knew I was in the right place when there was a discreet sign that said ‘closed for private party’ and a wooden plaque propped up outside that read NNH.

I opened the door and walked down the steps carrying my pumpkin pie with my towel draped over my other arm when I saw the first flash of bare buttocks walked past. Instantly my body sighed in relief. I was home. A lovely older gentleman walked up right away and welcomed me with a kind warm smile. I said hello and asked if Tom was here. He took me right over to Tom who was a polite host and welcomed me at once. I placed my homemade pie on the snack table and Tom took me to the social area where I disrobed and grabbed my towel and took a tour of the location. There were two social areas as well as an entire room dedicated to ping pong, a beautiful warm indoor pool, a dry sauna, a hot tub and a beautiful lush green house that had a sitting area. I was introduced to a few people who were leaders in smaller naturists communities, one who had been to Travasuns, a monthly nude social and pool party in Long Island that offered naked yoga. I introduced myself and my quest to start naked yoga in Massachusetts and felt immediately and totally enfolded with love and acceptance from everyone around me. This was what I loved most about naturist communities, an absolute acceptance and inclusion of everyone, heart and community centered values and a place to simply enjoy the freedom of being nude in mixed social company.

After making some initial connections and talking shop, I took a quick rinse and padded my way to the sauna where I met a lovely couple who had been making the rounds to all the east coast naturist resorts. They spoke highly of the ones in Florida including Caliente and Cypress Cove and I had the opportunity to swap stories of my recent West Coast naturist adventures to an unofficial nude beach in Seattle as well as my trip to Nudestock, a yearly music festival at Fraternity Snoqualmie in Washington State.

The demographic was mostly older at the New Hampshire event which seems to be what is occurring at most naturist clubs these days. The baby boomers who revived naturism are now coming into their senior years and few of those in my generation are following. My being there as someone under the age of thirty-five and also a woman was a big deal. An extraordinary resurgence of a younger group of naturist however has occurred in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania led by the Young Naturists of America who are encouraging and inspiring nude recreation for naturists under the age of thirty-five. The Young Naturist Movement has had wonderful success over the past few years and many of the naturists in New Hampshire knew of them and had attended events that were YNA affiliated. The most frequent and common comment I received from New Hampshire Naturist about YNA ‘what a fun group of people!’ One older woman in her mid-sixties even seemed to squeal in delight at her memory of participating in the famous YNA slip and slide that comes out regularly wherever the Young Naturists convene. Somehow the being around young people and their enthusiasm for nude recreation seemed to enliven the younger spirit inside the older generations and the spirit perhaps of what originally drew them to nude recreation..

After a lovely conversation in the sauna, I dipped myself into the warm pool. There were a few people chatting standing waist deep in the warm water. I swam over to a blue inflatable ball that was floating in the center of the pool and shouted ‘heads up!’ and tossed it to an unsuspecting man who blinked fast until his reflexes reacted and he caught the ball just before it hit him in the face. Game on, I smiled. We tossed the ball back and forth and then I tossed it to a few who were mid-conversation. Sometimes to start a game, all it takes is an invitation. The game of toss expanded to four, then five until suddenly we had ten people in the pool and a playful game of volley began commenced. This playful game of volleyball however turned increasingly competitive and even a bit raucous at times. All of a sudden baby boomers and seniors who were a bit lethargic became young and agile in the pool and some who I hadn’t anticipated being active had some mean spikes and some wicked fake-outs when serving and playing the sport. One man, bless his heart, no matter what position he was in or whose turn it was always thought it was his turn to serve and would snatch the ball away from others and bat it to the other side. We all laughed and played along. There was a low ceiling above the pool so many of us got hit in the head by the soft inflatable beach ball we were using and had some good hearty laughs when we did. After ninety minutes of an intense game of which no one kept score and we all played for the simple joy it brought our hearts, we crawled our way out of the pool totally exhausted and deliriously happy.

We dragged our tired bodies to the sauna and hot tub and hydrated to prepare ourselves for the delicious meal that the innkeepers were going to serve us. Sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to stay for the six course meal which I have heard from everyone there was absolutely unparalleled in quality. Next time. The true feast, however, felt like being in the company of community and of also seeing the beautiful transformation and joy that the simple act of a game of naked water volleyball, regardless of age and ability, could transform and lighten the hearts of all involved. I think this group is ready for naked yoga.

I thanked my host, collected a few cards from people who ran different nude recreation groups and went home that night I’m sure like many others did, with a spring I my step and joy in my heart. Even I felt younger that night.

Isis Phoenix teaches weekly women’s naked yoga classes in Central Massachusetts. Mixed nude classes will soon be offered as well.

For more information about her classes email sensualshaman@gmail.com

Women’s Naked Yoga Class with Isis Phoenix starts in Leominster, MA

Women's Naked Yoga

Dear Naked Yogis! It is my pleasure to announce a new women’s naked yoga class beginning in Leominster, MA on Wednesday nights 6-7:30pm. The class is for women and is $20. RSVP is necessary for location as space is limited. There’s more information available HERE

Women’s Naked Yoga is a beautiful sacred and naked yoga practice for women. There will be a focus on vinyasa yoga and body positive affirmations as well as Taoist energy cultivation practices. Our naked yoga practice will focus on spiritual aspects of the divine feminine, loving self-care of our bodies and the intimacy and bonds of female community. Email Isis: sensualshaman (at) gmail to register.

For all of the male yogis, I will be offering a gender inclusive class once a month as soon as a large enough space is secured for the practice. Thank you for your inquiries.

Blessings,

Isis

Bikram Yoga Auburn finds Naked Yoga ‘laugh worthy.’

Due to the growing number of requests form women as well as men for naked yoga in Central Massachusetts, I am in an effort to secure a space for a gender-inclusive naked yoga. I took the bold move of cold emailing some studios to see if there was rental space for one night a month and to also see if there happened to be a simpatico studio who would actually welcome a naked yoga class into their space.  I received an email response almost immediately from Sam Goldman of Bikram Yoga Auburn. Note: A little bit about Bikram yoga – this practice is done in a heated room and people wear next to nothing.

Below is my email followed by Sam’s response.

Hello!

I’ve recently moved to Central Massachusetts after a long run with my own studio and practice in New York City. For many years I taught regular vinyasa as well as the unique and healing practice of naked yoga. 

I’ve had requests by several students to begin a naked yoga class in the area of Central Massachusetts and am currently looking for rental space or a simpatico studio that would like to perhaps incorporate a naked yoga class or rent their studio one evening a month to one – dates are flexible.If this feels like a good fit for your studio please let me know.
In the meantime, I have a blog on the practice with recent press articles if you’d like to learn more:

Thank you for your time!

All the Best,
Isis
SAM’S RESPONSE: 

OMG I cannot stop laughing… thank you very much….

Who cleans the mats?
thank you very much for your time… I really needed a good laugh.
I do not think naked yoga is a good fit… I dont know how my clientele would look at that…
My response to Sam:

Hi Sam,

Thank you for you taking the time to write back. 
Each yoga practitioner brings his or her own mat.
Part of the practice is around healing body shame which is often guarded by laughter and dismissal of something that has the potential to transform. If you desire a further conversation around the therapeutic benefits of the practice I am available for that.
I wish you all the best.

Beth’s Story ~ “My Body is always communicating to me…”

Isis Phoenix’s Interview with Beth Nolan.Beth Nolan, 48.Licensed Massage Therapist,Yoga teacher, energy healer using Reiki and Dowsing and Health Kinesiologist. 


Beth Nolan
I’ve always been a nudist, a naturist, someone who wants to be free.  When I was little, I loved to streak.  Needless to say, my parents found my nakedness inappropriate.  Growing up, I was confused why I had to wear a shirt and my older brother didn’t.  My parents wouldn’t allow this inherent freedom of expression and celebration of the body, especially the female body.  In Kindergarden, I was at a sleepover at a friend’s – I decided to try my luck and walk around shirtless to see if I cold get away with it.  My friend’s mother came up to me immediately and said “I don’t know what you do in your house but we don’t allow that here.”

At age twelve, I developed psoriasis.  My parents generation was one that grew up idolizing doctors.  No doctor could find anything to cure me.  My streaking subsided.   Then there was an actual need to cover up.  Itchy, red, scaly patches on my knees and elbows, on my torso and scalp.  I always wore long pants and shirts.   At the beach I would cover up in a onepiece.

Beth Nolan 2In my teens, I was in a bad car accident.  It left me with a limp.  I found an amazing chiropractor that worked with me on healing my body.  He introduced me to the power of energy medicine, dowsing and muscle testing.  I was amazed at my body’s ability to heal itself with this support.  I started working in the chiropractic office as an assistant when I was seventeen.  I became attune to the energy meridians in people’s bodies and learned how to support patients with supplements and diet through muscle testing and dowsing.  It took a few years, but muscle testing ultimately helped me keep my psorasis in check by figuring out what foods were causing my irritation and what supplements would support my digestive system.

The chiropractor’s office was just the beginning.  I went on to train and become a massage therapist.  My mom couldn’t understand why I would want to touch people and always had questions about who I was massaging.  To me it was a natural extension of my own healing journey. My massage teacher told me, in order to have any longevity in massage, I needed to practice yoga.  I did yoga for years as a way to heal and restore my body and eventually went on to become certified as a yoga teacher.
I’ve been working in some form of alternative healing for over 30 years.  As for my own healing and exploration Tantra, breathwork and Orgasmic Meditation has helped get to the bottom of core issue.  The issue of shame. As I release the deep seeded beliefs of my family, It has been a big part of my own healing and then became a gift I could offer others. Trauma, injuries, conditions – they come and go, but each accident or illness has taught me more about my healing journey.   My body is always communicating to me, if I eat sugar the itchy scales start up again.  By listening, I’m present to my body’s needs and I am really grateful to have these tools to support me and free me from old beliefs. In my celebration of self love and connection, I’m hoping to guide other people on their healing journey.

Beth Nolan 2Beth teaches naturist yoga in New Yoga and New Jersey.

Two great Naked Yoga classes with YNA at Goodlands over Labor Day

Had a beautiful last swan song of summer weekend with the fun-loving members of Young Naturists of America. Here’s a great article written about those weekend whose hi-lights which featured two naked yoga classes, one taught by Anya Castellano and the other a naked partner yoga class taught by me!

Earthy asanas with Isis Phoenix.

Earthy asanas with Isis Phoenix.

http://www.nerve.com/true-stories/a-wild-free-completely-nude-weekend-with-the-young-naturists-of-america

Is Naked Yoga Legal ??!

Naked Yoga with Isis PhoenixSurya from D.C. writes to me this week a common question that I have received from yoga teachers who desire to begin a naked yoga class in their community.

“Hola Isis! I am setting up Naked Yoga classes in D.C. beginning next month and a big question asked is …. is it legal?  I don’t believe it is but i wondered if you have an answer you give when this question is asked? 
Much love and appreciation for sharing! 


Bless!

Surya 











Hi Surya! I’m so excited you’re spreading the naked love in Washington D.C.

I’ve taught primarily in New York so my knowledge is of New York laws around consensual social nudity. Here’s what I’ve learned.

 1.    Legal in a Private Location. Basically, naturism in a privately owned or rented space in New York is legal. I taught hundreds of classes in my apartment building in New York and at a few local yoga and dance studios who had supportive building owners and managers. My experience teaching naked yoga has been mostly isolated to New York.

2    Nudity for art’s sake is legal. New York has laws that protect public nudity when it is for the sake of art which is why Andy Golub gets to paint naked bodies in Times Square. Early in my teaching, I rehearsed and filmed for a naked yoga documentary on the top of an art gallery of a three story building.  That three story art gallery was right above a high-rise hotel and a rooftop restaurant. We were seen by many who were not part of our class but those who saw were amused or seemed to shrug it off as a “New York Moment” as we never received any complaints that I know of.

  1.   Nudity as part of a religious act is legal as long as there is no mal-intent. There are special cases where nudity is protected because it falls under freedom of worship where being naked and saluting the sun could be a form of religious worship as long as it does not infringe on another’s right to worship. I wouldn’t go saluting the sun in the buff on the steps of someone else’s church.
  2. Partial nudity is legal and this right is protected for women meaning both men and women have the right to be topless. New York is one of those rare states too that support women’s rights to be topless in public regardless of if they are a nursing mother or someone who is simply sunbathing. In fact in New York there are many topless events that happen publicly like the topless book club that meets in Central Park.

Social nudity is a regular occurrence so tap into your local communities to fill your classes and receive support as well. There are regular nude events in New York that include naked painting events, naked comedy and even naked dinners at New York restaurants and other nude social activities. These are done in private settings or settings where art is a focus. Some public events skirt the issues of legality if they move fast enough to avoid getting arrested such as the naked bike rides that seem to be popping up in different big cities like New York, Boston, Montreal.

Several other states such as Vermont and Oregon that have laws in place that protect people’s rights to be naked socially.

You need to check with the state laws in your area if you are teaching in Maryland. Naturist Action Committee http://naturistaction.org/ breaks down the nudity laws from state to state. I find an interpreter for the legal jargon is good to have on hand. Here’s what a few naturists who are lawyers have shared with me about your situation in Maryland.

My lawyer friend, naked yogi and legal interpreter Eric shares “Yes, from my reading of the statutes, Naked Yoga is legal in D.C.  Basically, the act prohibits exposure or actions which are “obscene, indecent or filthy.”  According to Supreme Court rulings, prevailing community standards would apply in interpreting these vague (perhaps meaningless) words.  Unless sexual activity is involved (which of course it would not be in the type of naked yoga classes with which I am familiar), the practice of naked yoga would not be deemed to be obscene, indecent or “filthy” (god, what a bizarre choice of words, no?).   Particularly if it is done in a private setting where only those who choose to do so can witness it.  If done publicly, there might indeed be a high risk of prosecution.  You should be aware of this case in neighboring Virginia, where a person was prosecuted for being naked in his own home, with his blinds open, and was observed by a passer-by:

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/10/27/know-your-indecent-exposure-rights/

Even in that case, though, there is a likelihood that some sexual act would be required for conviction. I believe the judge dismissed this case and the defendant was not convicted.

So, to be on the safe side, the naked yoga class should not be visible to passers-by or members of the public.

In addition, also to be on the safe side, participation should be limited to those 17 years of age and older.  

I hope this helps!”

FEDERAL LAWS: If you are teaching in Maryland State you come under state laws but if you are teaching in D.C. that is different and refers to Federal Laws and also Municipal Laws. There is no anti-nudity law in place on the Federal level. Many aren’t even aware of this including certain citation officers that could write you a ticket if you were naked in a state park or by a state monument in D.C. The Municipal laws of D. C. however, state (a) It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to make any obscene or indecent exposure of his or her person, or to make any lewd, obscene, or indecent sexual proposal in the District of Columbia under penalty of not more than $300 fine, or imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both, for each and every such offense.

 

What makes something obscene is often how it is perceived. So you would most likely want to choose a private naturist friendly location to hold your classes and right now there are no laws in place that would/could keep you from doing that.

If I could give you two tips they would be below:

Create Alliances: Best to be transparent that your classes include nudity with whoever you rent space from to avoid problems in the future. I find it useful to align with a body positive community perhaps one who is already exploring naturism or an arts community that is body positive. Strangely, the yoga community can be very conservative around nudity, much less so than say a dance or arts community.

Sign Waivers: Have your students sign a waiver too of your choosing of words to protect yourself but something along the lines of that everyone is a consenting adult who for the purpose of this class agree to be naked and that they will be around other naked people and that they are in good health and sound mind and release you of any responsibility for injuries etc.

Here’s some additional arm-chair legal advice from naked yogi Lloyd.

“Two issues that have plagued us in the struggle to advance a body-positive culture are the vagueness of the laws and the reliance on interpretation by the mythical “reasonable person” or “community standards.” It allows the citing officer and the judge to interpret the incident anyway they want. Avoiding trouble and winning in court are two separate issues.

I assume avoiding trouble is the main concern here. Four points come to mind:

1. Maintaining open and cordial communication with the owners of the facilities and the neighbors is crucial. People don’t sue or report their friends to the police.

2. Second, yoga is well established as a popular health discipline free from suspicion as a cover for illegal sexual activity (massage, for example, does not enjoy this freedom). Emphasize the “yoga” over the “naked.”

3. Third, yoga carries religious overtones which offers cover on the basis of freedom of religion. Anything exotic also lends itself to excuse from “community standards” precisely because it is not something commonly found in the local community. Officers are reluctant to cite activity that may be some exotic religious practice than something they’re more familiar with as fronts for prostitution.

4. Finally, nonsexual mixed nude recreation is well established. Naked yoga can be presented as a variation of nudism or naturism by alternatively referring to it as “nudist yoga” or ‘naturist yoga.’ “

This is a clever write-up from AANR American Association of Nude Recreation on the Nudist Bill of Rights. http://www.aanr.com/nudist-bill-of-rights You can add your signature in support.

My final advice would be to reach out to MARNA (Maryland Area Naturists) http://marnacamp.org to let them know about what your plans are they can also inform you of the legalities of your state and district and things to be aware of. They will know all about legalities and nudity on a state level as well as navigating any potential legal problems. They have been around a long time. So glad you’re spreading the love up there.

When I’m in D.C. I’ll totally stop in and take a class. 


Hope this helps!

Blessings!

Isis Phoenix

www.sensualshaman.com

 

Naked Church at Goodland in New Jersey July 6th!

Isis Phoenix and Rev. Goddess are hosting Naked Church at Goodland in New Jersey Sunday, July 6th 12pm-2pm. Come celebrate your holy body!

Isis Phoenix and Rev. Goddess are hosting Naked Church at Goodland in New Jersey Sunday, July 6th 12pm-2pm. Come celebrate your holy body

Testimonial from a naked church attendee:

“I have attended the Naked Church for about 2 years now and I think most highly of Reverend Goddess Charmaine, Isis Phoenix, and all those who attend these services. The gatherings are always very dignified and non-judgmental, and provide a time and space in which to shed all that keeps us hiding from the world in our daily lives. The absence of fancy designer clothing (meant to impress others) or flashy jewelry (to say “look what I can afford”), leaves nothing but the essence of who a person is — as naked as the day they were born — to be shared with the others in the room. Goddess Charmaine and Isis Phoenix are always friendly, open and welcoming. They exude genuine love, warmth, compassion, and a free spirit that is very contagious. If you have never experienced the pure joy of being completely naked and “vulnerable” yet welcomed and supported by others (in a setting with appropriate boundaries to ensure your comfort) then this is the place to be!!!!!!!!!!” — Kevin

Read More about Naked Church HERE

Hope to see you at Goodland. We’ll be with our friends the Young Naturists.