“And so this is the place from which to re-emerge and begin again.” – Liam Cyfrin
Day 29 Naked Yoga Challenge. Savasana. Corpse Pose.
“We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.” ~ Facebook
“Keep aspiring, Facebook. I believe in you.” ~ Isis Phoenix
Day 19 Naked Yoga Challenge. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. King Pigeon
by Isis Phoenix REBLOGGED via Young Naturists America
“Why are you taking the women away from us?!” exclaimed one of my most devoted male yoga students. He was a man in his late sixties and a longtime naturist who for most of his life was deeply committed to a nudist lifestyle. This was in 2008 when I was newly teaching naked yoga classes in New York and had a small but devoted following that filled up my twelve-person yoga studio several times a week. The comment came as a reaction to putting a women’s naked yoga class on the otherwise mixed-gendered weekly yoga schedule. The comment was almost childlike when it exited his mouth. “Why are you taking the women away from us?! That is a horrible idea!” he said, sounding more like an eight year old whose elementary school teacher had just informed him that recess would be cancelled rather than a mature sixty-eight year old yogi dedicated to a bi-weekly practice…. Read the FULL STORY BELOW: http://youngnaturistsamerica.com/womens-naked-yoga/
The title of this article is a bit deceptive. The writer makes no claims of better sex in the article. She does, however, claim feeling more comfortable in her skin and in her identity as a middle-aged woman. Bravo.
p.s. Women’s Naked Yoga begins in Central Massachusetts Dec 3rd.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Thank you for your time!
OMG I cannot stop laughing… thank you very much….
My time with the amazing Lindsay Abromatis-Smith has always left me somewhat altered. She is someone who exists primarily in the magical world. Just being around her, or in her home in the Bronx is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole. I walk into her home and things are … different. There is a a palpable shift of energy. I speak slower, I feel more. Puppets, sculptures of found objects and theatrical masks line the walls. There is a coffee table made solely of toothpicks suspending from the ceiling.
My first meeting with Lindsay was when she came to sing for a candlelit naked yoga class I was teaching in 2008. Her presence was magnetic. She is someone eyes are naturally drawn towards who holds a certain element of other-worldly mystery and magic. Over the last few years, I have come to know Lindsay as one of the most in touch physical body artists I have ever witnessed. Her body and spirit are palpably plugged into other dimensions from which she sources and creates her art. In her presence, I come to know my own body and spirit more intimately.
This is the first in a series of interviews with individuals who have embraced the practice of naked yoga and have a transformative story to tell about their relationship to their body and conscious nudity. Thank you for taking the time to read them.
Celebrating Our Holy Bodies,
When I’m naked, I don’t have anything holding me back from being in myself. I love the sensory organ of skin. I like my skin touching things.
I’m a puppeteer. One of the biggest loves of my life is puppetry.
I grew up in a physical theatre family. The body was always seen as the vessel for story telling. There’s a surrender that I have to undergo, in order to make the puppet be alive. I have to step away from my ego and surrender to the will of the thing I am holding. It can be a very spiritual experience witnessing my body and how it works this other body.
Right now my body temple is having some upheavals. I was recently diagnosed with ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease. My head and my hips are not talking to each other. My body’s impulse for movement is disappearing. My wiring is all messed up. Muscles seem to be totally disappearing in different places.
I’m learning how to slow down and refocus on my body. I’m re-learning how to take care of her. I don’t know if I’m redefining what I consider my body temple or going to a different level with it right now.
I no longer hold so true to the idea that the only way to tell a story is through movement. I’m falling in love with words again and relying on my thoughts and my words to articulate stories so they’re equal with what my body can say. Perhaps I was relaying to heavy on the physical body rather than the mental body. I’ve been doing a lot of work inside of myself and I’m coming to terms with physically manifesting in a different way.
On days when movement is available, I get down on the ground and roll and undulate and do movements in my spine and lots of spirals. My body is drawn towards moving in spirals. I try to put my head on the ground as much as possible, sometimes it feels like I have a magnet in my head, it wants to be near the Earth. Sometimes I need to absorb the Earth energy into my skull and brain and that will help calm my nerves down. My body sometimes forces me to be in the state of bowing down to a higher power. I’m slowing down to my truer nature to hear what’s underneath stuff that I wasn’t able to hear before. I walk with a cane my dad made me that has arrowheads and fairy hair in it. I have a pink wheel chair now that I lovingly call ‘the pink stallion.’ It is my unicorn chariot, designed by two puppet maker friends so that I may sit inside of the unicorn in its heart center. It is a surrendering of self locomotion and a transition into articulating to someone else how I want to be moved through space. It also makes me feel like a magic fairy queen!
Even in this time of very powerful body transformation, I want to say to my body ‘Thank you. I love you. Let’s keep going. Let’s keep going.’