Yoga is more fun under the sun… and stars

naturist-0000-yoga,-the-Woods-campground,-PA-USA

Last minute announcement: This coming Sunday, we’ll be at Sandy Hook beach with two yoga instructors from the group that I organized a few months ago. There are several yoga groups in New York City that practice yoga naked (see my review of Zensual yoga, for example), but my group started as much less formal gathering of friends; now it’s become a regular, weekly class with 2 rotating instructors and more visiting, and a dozen or so students, and we’ve even had a retreat at the Woods campground!

naturist 0003 yoga, the Woods campground, PA USA

I haven’t announced this group on this blog because it was meant mainly for friends, and it grew fast enough with word of mouth. During summer, we’ve been holding classes at the rooftop of one of us in Uptown Manhattan in the evenings. Well, the sky in Manhattan isn’t very starry, but even so it is pretty amazing to stretch out on the roof under stars… and airplanes. I must say after getting used to doing yoga al fresco and au naturel, it would be hard to practice it any other way. The weather seems to be great on Sunday, you can join us at Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook (see my previous blogpost for the ferry coupon) to do some yoga under the sun and try something like this:

naturist 0012 yoga, the Woods campground, PA USA

Partner stretch/acro-yoga class was probably the most popular at our retreat in the Woods. Besides that, it was also pretty amazing to have an awakening morning yoga session listening to the rain (that one we did under the roof). After that, we covered ourselves with mud and did the no-rain dance, so the sky was clear throughout the rest of the retreat weekend. This time, it looks like we don’t even need that, the forecast is fine 🙂

naturist-0000-rain-dance,-the-Woods-campground,-PA-USA

coupon for the ferry to Sandy Hook (another excuse to post about the beach)

We had quite an awesome blogpost about Sandy Hook beach for the 4th of July, but as I am often asked about the discount coupon for the Seastreak Ferry that brings you from Manhattan to the beach, I am just posting it here on my blog (they don’t make it easy to find at the Seastreak website).

This is also a good excuse to post some of the older photos that have been waiting for a moment like this.

naturist 0002 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

So, as you can conclude from the company’s name, the ferry brings you to streak by the sea 😉

naturist 0001 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Well, this is not exactly streaking, as the Gunnison Beach of Sandy Hook is a legal clothing-optional beach. By the way, as you can see, even nudists are not opposed to using fabric… and there are some other options of using it besides clothing 😉 It is nice to see it waving in the wind.

naturist 0000 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

In the end, it is all about freedom, you can leave your hat niqab on 😀

naturist 0003 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Here is a couple of photos from the last two visits. When many people got scared of rain and clouds last Saturday, not only did they miss the Tacoboy’s Beachfest and perfect weather for volleyball, but also a full rainbow in the end of the day!

rainbow 0003 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

Sunday turned out to be a full day of sun, and the last ferry was bringing us to the city with a stunning sunset view!

naturist 0002 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

Could it be more perfect? Maybe if the sun was right by the torch of Miss Liberty… but let’s not ask for too much from a casual trip to the beach.

naturist 0001 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

Seeing these iconic views on the way from the beach makes taking the quite expensive ferry worthwhile (besides bringing you to the city faster than by car).

naturist 0000 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

By the way, I almost forgot about the discount coupon with all these views, here it is.

Seastreak Ferry coupon to Sandy Beach 2013 summer season

some exciting events, from Pilobolus show to streaking for tigers at London Zoo and Volleyball Super Bowl

There are some exciting events coming soon, very diverse in their agenda but you know what’s in common.

This Saturday, Jersey Shore’s Sandy Hook beach will see Tacoboy’s Annual Beachfest (check for my review from last summer). This potluck party attracts a fun crowd, many of whom are also participants of Burning Man festival, so expect the beautiful Sandy Hook beach to become more even vivid and festive than usual!

On Sunday, there will be another ‘burner’-inspired event but right in New York City, at DL Rooftop in East Village to be precise – I Feel… Pirates Beach. I’ve been to this venue before and it seems perfect for this kind of event, as it’s styled as a tropical paradise (as much as you can do it Downtown Manhattan). Their Facebook page says re ‘Dress code: Imagine you’re on a tropical beach with sexy pirates. Be a mermaid, an Islander, Nudist, Blackbeard, Morgan, Sparrow, Pirate/Pirate maiden, Gypsy, Victorian…. Use your imagination… Creative attire encouraged!’ So, as my friend from Vita Nuda puts it, it is a nude-friendly event.

Pilobolus

New York will also see what surely has to be a stunning modern dance performance by my favourite troupe Pilobolus on multiple dates in July and August at Joyce Theatre. Yes, you got it right, the dancers will be naked at least in one of the episodes. I loved their show last year, their Gnomen is probably my favourite modern dance act so far. So of course I got even more excited when one of the dancers commented  via facebook that he’d be wearing ‘less clothes than this photo [below].’

Pilobolus

It does say at Joyce theatre website that ‘the program [A] contains nudity’ (though this could still mean more than no clothing). Let’s see if I get a new favourite dance show on my list!

OK, so that you don’t think I am totally US-East-Coast-biased, here is a unique event that London Zoo is hosting on the 15th of August:  ‘Streak for Tigers’ – turn Englishmen’s favourite misdemeanour to a good cause! Zoological Society of London wants “300 supporters to strip off and bare all for tigers and streak around ZSL London Zoo! With only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, this event will hopefully not only raise much needed funds for ZSL, but it will also highlight and raise the profile of the drastic work that needs to be done in order to save the Sumatran tiger.” London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo, so I guess it’s going to be pretty much a historic event. I ran in a fundraiser race for Wildlife Conservation Society in the Bronx Zoo, but I could only wish we’d show our wild animal side there… I hope at least one of my friends in London will go, so we can get a first-hand report!

Then there is Burning Man, of course, which I am going to miss this year, but many people I know are going, including my burner friends AJ (the one who got his ticket thanks to me and this blog) and Niko, fellow blogger Brenton and an entire Naked Village organised by Vita Nuda group.

For those who have missed the World Naked Bike Ride in NYC or other cities in Northern Hemisphere, there is another chance in Philadelphia – Philly Naked Bike Ride is on Sunday, the 25th of August.

Finally, while on the naked trail race in Pennsylvania at Sunny Rest resort, I was reminded about the Naked Volleyball Super Bowl at another naturist resort in PA, White Thorn Lodge on the weekend after Labor Day (i.e., 6-8 September this year). It is a very big event that attracts even pro players! The lodge also offer great deals for the week and weekend, so it sounds like one of the best naturist vacations you can get! How about getting a team for αctive Naturists? Let me know if you are interested!

Gymnastics and capoeira at Sandy Hook beach

naturist 0000 4 July flag of USA @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

This blogpost contains some of the best photos that qualify for both ‘active’ and ‘naturist’. It was prepared for the 4th of July, but instead of finishing it on time, I went to the beach 🙂 Well, I guess most of the readers in US did the same anyway, so one day delay is OK. Moreover, now I have this photo with historic American flags to add. Thanks to the nice couple who brought these flags and my friend Andre, I got a little lesson on American history right on the beach (I wish all history classes were like that, I would probably have learnt way more). Although I’m not a US citizen or a big fan of any sorts of patriotic celebrations in general, it seemed appropriate for the Independence Day to take a photo with the 13 star “Betsy Ross” variant of the first (or second?) flag of the USA, as well as the Gadsden Flag. Actually, I liked that according to Wikipedia contemporary significance of Gadsden Flag includes its use as “a symbol of disagreement with government, or a symbol of support for civil liberties”; given unfortunate recent developments with closure of some nudist beaches around New York and anti-nudity law in San Francisco, for example, this rebellious interpretation seems more appropriate for a nudist beach. Well, I don’t want to get carried away with this topic for now, I promised some of the best active naturist photos 🙂

So, the visitors of Sandy Hook’s Gunnison Beach may have encountered quite astonishing situations with some crazy people ‘flying’ around, sometimes upside down.

naturist 0000 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

One of them is certainly to be my gymnast friend David, who just cannot sit still for too long. His moves are impressive from the beginning

naturist 0049 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

to the end,

naturist 0076 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

but of course it’s what happens in between that draws attention!

naturist 0006 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

David can do most major exercises of floor gymnastics and tumbling and is eager to demonstrate his prowess,

naturist 0007 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

for which I have to thank him, as it inspired me to take gymnastics classes too.

naturist 0005 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

I’m still struggling with front handspring though.

naturist 0001 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

However, I could show a one-arm cartwheel…

naturist 0004 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

or a three-leg-one-arm cartwheel 😀

naturist 0003 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

A handstand isn’t a problem either 🙂

naturist 0002 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

I wasn’t the only one inspired; when we were tumbling last year during Tacoboy’s Beach Fest, we were joined by Amanda, and she learned how to do a handstand!

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Another fun activity that we’ve engaged with at Sandy Hook was capoeira.

naturist 0013 capoeira @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

We are yet to get big enough group to arrange a proper roda (capoeira game), but it’s fun even with just two (this time with Fardo), only more tiring as there is nobody you could rotate with and rest in between.

naturist 0032 capoeira @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

At least we had the advantage of not being constrained by clothes and doing it in the fresh sea air 🙂

naturist 0039 capoeira @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Playing on the wet sand felt nice (pretty close to the matted floor that we usually have in classes), but it sort of added a ‘secret weapon’ to some of the kicks, when the sand would get off the foot during the kick and fly into your opponent. Oh well, but capoeira game is all about surprise moves and being unpredictable.

naturist 0051 capoeira @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Here’s a video that sums up all this fun, hopefully more and more people will get inspired!

PS I’ve just realized, my Independence Day blogpost last year was also about Sandy Hook (check it for directions and general description), it’s probably going to be a tradition!

Sandy Hook is stronger than Sandy!

As life in New York metropolitan area slowly returns to normal after the Frankenstorm, some of the city dwellers start thinking beyond the most vital issues. I’ve heard from several people already their concern about whether we’ll have a proper beach season next summer, because of some rumours that beaches got destroyed. So, yours truly got on a plane and went to check it out. Well, luckily I have a friend who is a pilot on a small plane and we planned a flight on the clear morning last Sunday…

When we reached the coastal area of Rockaway, it was obvious that for many people by the waterfront, the most essential question was still… where to live.

A large part of Breezy Point was wiped out by fire that fire department wasn’t able to reach because of the flooding.

These are aerial photographs of one of my favorite beaches, Fort Tilden, before Sandy.

And these are from this Sunday.

The beach itself looks as beautiful, but you can see that the dunes receded… and their sand covers the road now! I have mixed feeling about it being less accessible now. In a way, it is also nice to have some wilderness areas within NYC boundaries.

Jersey Shore suffered from Frankenstorm even more, but we flew only above its northernmost tip, Sandy Hook. Gunnison beach of Sandy Hook, probably my favorite one in the area, appeared totally flooded at first sight.

But it definitely remains to be a wide sandy beach as we know it!

It’s got this interesting sand barrier structure that goes along the shore, but I doubt it will last till next summer.

Parts of the road were still flooded, and I am sure there is a lot of mud and sand.

Another thing that I noticed looking at the beach, was that the parts of sand dunes covered with plants, even just grass or small bushes, seemed to have resisted the surge pretty well.

This made me think that the fence that limits access to the dunes for protection of shorebirds, such as plovers, was actually also necessary to preserve the plant cover. This, in turn, reminded me of a couple of case when I saw rangers patrolling the beach hitting the fence while passing through it and not bothering to put it back! One friend of mine took care of it, and he made it artfully!

In any case, I have no doubt that there will be a beach season next summer. Sandy Hook proved to be stranger than Sandy!

Burning Man ticket for sale, plans and Tacoboy’s Beach Fest at Sandy Hook

I’ve already announced that I’m going to Burning Man this year, a crazy festival of artful, creative and positive spirit that several friends of mine say is the most memorable event of their lives. BREAKING NEWS: guess what, I’ve got an extra ticket to sell! Last year was the first time when the organizers had to limit the amount of tickets and it was quickly sold out. This year, they tried a new lottery system for selling tickets, and I was among the lucky ones who got two tickets! Unfortunately my supposed-to-be burner companion has got a new job and cannot join me anymore. So I’ve decided to give it a try and see if there is anyone interested among my readers!

Let me know by e-mail or leave a comment here if you want to get the ticket! I don’t think I need to advertise this sought-after item, but FYI the ticket is from the cheapest tier and in the good spirit of Burning Man I am selling it face value.

Meanwhile, I was trying to pick a theme camp to join at Burning Man and chose one that might not be the most artistic but definitely is one of the most handy camps: Playa Bike Transport. Apparently, bicycle is the way to go at Burning Man, and this camp provides bikes for rent and free repair service during the event. The idea to learn bike repair is especially appealing to me, because I plan some long bike trips.

Needless to say, I’ll spend a lot of time naked there – perhaps I’ll be your naked mechanic? But I still need to think of a costume for night time, as it gets really cold after sunset.

And just a couple of weeks ago, I got a bit of  a taste of Burning Man at Sandy Hook beach. One of the famous fellows from the so-called burner community, Tacoboy, organized a mini-fest there with potluck food and drinks, hula-hoops, some music (just as loud as it was allowed at this place), give-aways and lots of smiles. There was a couple of other groups that brought some decorations.

We spent a lot of time hula-hooping, as well as playing volleyball and frisbee.

As we were a lot of people, we didn’t play with just one frisbee, but with two. Simultaneously 🙂

The game provided plenty of opportunities to take photos à la discobolus statue.

But the hollow frisbee also proved to be a nice decorative tool.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we topped it up with some gymnastics! I’ll write more about our beach gymnastics classes in one of the following posts, but for now I’ll post a photo of our awesome foursome handstand.

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Can you believe that the girl on the photo was able to do her handstand for the first time on that day? David, who was in charge of our acrobatic frenzy, must be a really good teacher! And again, such unexpected (and free!) class of gymnastics with a naked instructor is totally in line with Burning Man spirit the way I imagine it.

Sandy Hook

Happy Independence Day! As a present for our US American readers, here is the post about Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook. It is definitely one of the top clothing-optional beaches in the US, and for a good reason.

This beach is huge, even though large part of it is closed for protection of shorebirds, primarily plovers.

This part usually opens in the end of summer, when nesting season is over, but you can just go strolling or jogging in the protected area.

Once, the water was full of fish roe,

and it left beautiful crystal-like traces, or rather footprints, of the waves on the sand. And plovers were happy to feast on it.

But even the designated area is big enough to host numerous beach goers from NYC metropolitan area as well as Jersey shore.

Most people stay close to water, so there is a vast sandy part between people and dunes that may be used for  jogging

and of course nudists’ favorite volleyball.

The limiting factor is rather space at the parking lot which fills up quickly on weekends.

If you don’t mind spending more money – $45 0r $30 with this coupon on certain times – it is way better to get to Sandy Hook from Manhattan by ferry.

It leaves from two locations Midtown and Downtown, and you have an easy ride with fresh breeze and nice views.

Speaking of views, what makes Gunnison Beach very special is that there’s no other nudist beach that could boast with Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. You’ll definitely want a naked portrait with that background, just prepare a pair of glasses against the bright sun.

There you go!

Another option is to turn upside down 🙂

Oh wait, I think I did manage to get at least one ‘normal’ portrait. It is somewhat surreal to let it all hang out while seeing that crazy city so close.

Coming back to Manhattan after that feels like coming to another world.