camp Gymnasium at Burning Man 2016

Burning Man festival this year saw the second installation of our theme camp Gymnasium, which refers to the Ancient Greek institution for athletics, philosophy and socializing. You can read more about the concept of our camp on its webpage, but here is our report with some imagery that should help you imagine what it was like (or evoke some good memories, if you participated in our events).

naturist philosophy camp Gymnasium 0000 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Even though our theme camp was first conceived with an idea to revive the ideals of the Ancient Olympics, this year besides the athletics we put more effort into another aspect of the concept of ‘gymnasium’ in its original meaning – philosophical discussions (with wine). For one session, each participant received a quote of a Greek philosopher and lead discussion on its subject, which let us cover all kinds of topics. We also had a session when we talked about our personal attitudes towards nudity as well as our views on the possible role for naturism in the [default] society. The common theme was the feeling of liberation and bonding with others that brings the simple act of social nudity – and the photos here seem to confirm that.

An entirely new idea for this year was the gymnastics wheel (aka German wheel). Several month before the festival, I stumbled upon a photo with German wheel gymnasts from 1920’s and immediately got an impression that it would be a big hit at Burning Man. As you can see below, it provided a perfect link between the theme of our camp and the theme of Burning Man this year  – ‘Da Vinci’s Workshop’.

naturist gymnastics wheel Vitruvian Man camp Gymnasium 0000 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

We of course refer to the drawing of the Vitruvian Man by Da Vinci, and expectedly the Man himself took the iconic shape this year.

Vitruvian Man

We were so happy to see that our idea was immediately understood by other burners – as soon as we rolled the wheel onto the playa, we had people queuing to take a picture,

naturist gymnastics wheel camp Gymnasium 0002 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

and it seemed like it was self-explanatory that one was supposed to get naked for a photo à la Vitruvian Man :-)

naturist gymnastics wheel camp Gymnasium 0001 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

This was a big success in terms of bringing all kinds of people to try a new fun activity in the buff and in public,

naturist gymnastics wheel camp Gymnasium 0004 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

and they were creative with poses.

naturist gymnastics wheel camp Gymnasium 0005 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

But we didn’t forget the primary function of the gymnastics wheel,

naturist gymnastics wheel camp Gymnasium 0003 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

and  the flat playa surface was perfect to roll it.

We had to be careful to avoid possible injuries, as even one rotation proved to be a lot more difficult than we had anticipated. The gymnastics wheel turned out to be a great magnet for people back at the camp too – dozens of passers by stopped to try it every day; only a few managed though, even with helpers.

naturist gymnastics wheel camp Gymnasium 0075 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

In their defense, I have to note that in the first days we only knew one, difficult way of holding yourself in the wheel during rotation: pushing up with your arms with all power while maintaining them as straight as possible. That was until someone came by and said that there had been a workshop on gymnastics wheel at Hellfire Society camp. (On what subject isn’t there a workshop at Burning Man?) So we went there, and the camp lead gladly arranged another workshop specially for us. It turned out that while our technique wasn’t impossible, the typical and much better way to hold yourself during rotation on the wheel was by hooking your feet.

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After we learned that, the success rate among all the newbies to gymnastics wheel skyrocketed, and we were on the roll🙂

naturist run camp Gymnasium 0000 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Our first athletic event in the week was the running race.

naturist run camp Gymnasium 0002 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

This year we only had a short race on our street,

naturist run camp Gymnasium 0001 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

but it was a nice way to get attention from our neighbors and passers by.

naturist run camp Gymnasium 0004 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

It was all for fun, but it was a competition nevertheless.

naturist run camp Gymnasium 0005 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

It was no surprise that David won the race, as he was among the top runners at Bouncing Buns trail race two years ago.

naturist run camp Gymnasium 0003 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Our Gymnasium also offered daily fitness exercises, with Matt leading push-up sessions every morning.

naturist camp Gymnasium 0000 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

This year we had a certified yoga/acro-yoga instructor among our campmates,

naturist acro-yoga camp Gymnasium 0002 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

so we had a few sessions at the camp

naturist acro-yoga camp Gymnasium 0003 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

and also played a bit on the playa.

naturist acro-yoga camp Gymnasium 0000 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

We probably should have spent a little more time posing with those amazing and massive art pieces,

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5702/30885939485_b68b54a42d_z_d.jpg

but unfortunately some of them were burned much earlier in the week than we had anticipated (e.g. the pyramids on Friday morning).

naturist camp Gymnasium 0001 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Some installations were quite interactive and served as great frames for photos, literally.

naturist camp Gymnasium 0002 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Other installations referred to familiar views of the “default world”, like NYC skyline at the Kostume Kult, making the whole experience only more surreal…

naturist camp Gymnasium 0006 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

(I wish we could sip our morning coffee in Manhattan just like that!)

Unfortunately I enjoyed my nights out in an immediate manner, and recorded neither my own naked dancing on the ashes of the burned Man and at the White Ocean nor the performance by a couple of naked fire-spinners at the Mayan Warrior art car, which was probably my favorite mutant vehicle in terms of the music (and certainly in terms of the lights). But here is a short clip from that night I found online, where you can see those two naked fire-spinners, but resting in the crowd at the time – perhaps a video with their performance will appear at some point too, but I’m just happy to have witnessed it.

As you can see, our camp was primarily focused on providing interactive events rather than art and installations,

naturist camp Gymnasium 0005 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

but we arranged some decorations to highlight our reference to Ancient Greece.

naturist camp Gymnasium 0003 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

This year we added a statue depicting Hercules wrestling Diomedes for his 8th labor. By the way, I haven’t been able to find an explanation behind that ‘penile grip’ – so if there are specialists in history of art among the readers here, please enlighten us in the comments😎

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Speaking of wrestling, finally getting to our camp’s most famous feature – naked oil wrestling – with more than 600,000 views of our last year’s wrestling video on Vimeo and a mention in the Independent, we can truly say famous!

naturist wrestling camp Gymnasium 0000 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

As you’d expect, our wrestling matches are preceded by oiling up (with a pure Greek olive oil),

naturist wrestling camp Gymnasium 0006 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

which feels great in the arid environment of Black Rock City.

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Our entertainers led the show,

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and we had a good turnout of spectators and participants for all three matches that we hosted.

naturist wrestling camp Gymnasium 0043 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Just like last year, we used sumo wrestling rules, as the simplest to adopt at a festival setting.

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The wrestlers had to stay within the boundaries of the blue mats,

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and only their feet were allowed to touch the ground.

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There was a great deal of pushing

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and lifting,

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or even carrying the opponent outside the rink.

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Though pushing was certainly the favorite technique,

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and sometimes our puzzle mats did not withstand all that force.

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But some matches looked a lot more elegant,

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almost like a dance.

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And surely it helped to possess a good grip (which the oil made more difficult)

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and/or ability to escape one (which the oil made easier).

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We had some well matched participants,

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so their matches were intense

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and unpredictable.

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Sometimes we’d need a few judges to decide who stepped outside or touched the ground first, but often enough the victory was clear.

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When the most active participants had wrestled each other a few times, we selected those with most victories for semifinals and finals.

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You could tell the finalists took the competition seriously,

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although all they’d get was a laurel wreath and glory, just like in the authentic Olympic Games😉

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After the winner was determined for each of our three competitions,

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we awarded them at our ‘temple’.

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And the winners awarded us with their glorious smiles🙂

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Besides giving the golden laurel wreath,

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we added one more touch of the Ancient Greek ceremony by scraping dust, oil and sweat from the winners with a strigil (bought on eBay, supposedly authentic!)

naturist wrestling camp Gymnasium 0001 Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV, USA

And here is a video compilation from the wrestling matches – our only video from Burning Man this year. Enjoy, hopefully it’s a good reward for your long wait for our report!

 

Fifteen shades of tan… on Sandy Hook beach

naturist 0002 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Finally, summer weather has come to New York and it’s time to open beach season here! My favorite beach around is Gunnison on Sandy Hook peninsula in New Jersey. I’ve written about it on multiple occasions already (just make a search on the site for other blogposts), but I have some nice photos to share from last year – in anticipation of yet another great beach time this summer!

The best way to get to Sandy Hook from New York City is by Seastreak ferry.

view 0003 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

I used to post the discount coupons for it, but it seems there’s no need for it anymore. According to the ferry website, starting this year, with fist departure of the day, you always get a $30 return ticket to the beach (regular is $45). A sad news is that there is no late departure from the beach anymore – the last ferry to the city is at 5:45pm, while it used to be 7:45pm – no more sunsets on the ferry? However, there is a shuttle to the late ferry departing from the town nearby. Update: the late ferry is back on the schedule!

The ocean water is probably still too cold to swim properly this weekend, but there are plenty of other activities to do on the beach! Volleyball is very popular at Gunnison beach, as expected from a naturist location.

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But our favorite pastime last summer was acro-yoga.

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It was great to see how engaging it was, as a few strangers joined,

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while I was practicing acro-yoga with my friends David, Eddy, Antony and others. (Remember our spontaneous handstand class 3 years ago?)

naturist acro-yoga 0014 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Acro-yoga creates a great connection between the ‘flyer’ and the ‘base’,

naturist acro-yoga 0004 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

and it’s even greater when done in the nude.

naturist acro-yoga 0003 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

It’s quite an amazing experience,

naturist acro-yoga 0002 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

if you  do it in the open air, especially in a place like this beautiful beach

view 0001 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

with Manhattan skyline in the background.

view 0002 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

But we also experimented with a log as the base –

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floating in the air yoga?

naturist acro-yoga 0010 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Probably the most entertaining acro-yoga pose is ‘the laughing dragon’ (you might remember some more pics of it from last year’s Burning Man post).

naturist acro-yoga 0018 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Well, the more participants the merrier!

naturist acro-yoga 0000 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

So, Sandy Hook is a perfect place for socializing and getting your all-over tan!

naturist 0001 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

PS Sandy Hook is also good for watching airplanes coming to NYC airports. Who can spot an airplane on one of the photos in this post? Where does it seem to be landing?😉

PPS If you like to bring a lot of stuff with you to the beach, which can be difficult while walking on sand, you should support this campaign for funding of the extension of the matted walkway!

camp Gymnasium at Burning Man 2015

Here comes our report from Burning Man festival this year, when 18 of us gathered together to create a camp themed around Gymnasium as an Ancient Greek institution for athletics, philosophy and socializing. You can read more about the concept of our camp on its own webpage; we launched this project a few months earlier at FreeForm Festival, and here you can see how it came about at the festival of festivals, Burning Man. (But keep in mind that this is by no means an attempt to write about the festival as a whole, there simply “too much” fun stuff happens to be able to grasp more than just a fraction of it.)

After months of preparation, the last days before the festivals were very exciting but also a bit scary – with this endeavor being our first experience as such a theme camp, something was likely to go wrong! Indeed, our early arrival/construction crew had a flat tire at the start of the trip in San Francisco, and as we collected all the stuff that we planned to carry to Black Rock City, we realized we had to buy an extra trailer. We resolved all the issues smoothly but experienced another setback due to the weather, as on Saturday before the opening of the festival, when we had planned to construct our camp, a severe dust storm took place; we could only enter Black Rock City in the evening and started construction early on Sunday.

naturist gymnasium 0001 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Well, luckily we didn’t plan on building anything complicated, so we raised most of our shade structures before the rest of our campmates arrived. (Then later on in the afternoon a strong gust almost blew off a part of our shade structure, bending some of the carrying metal parts and tearing apart one of the tarps, but we were able to fix it; although it doesn’t say so in the instructions, it is apparently important to fix the structure with additional ropes and rebar.)

naturist gymnasium 0005 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

The final touch was putting up the banner of our camp.

naturist gymnasium 0009 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Our location was great – at 7:30 Portal and A, we were at a busy intersection, but also with  easy access to the Esplanade and an open view all the way to the man.

naturist gymnasium 0002 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

And that view proved to be nothing short of amazing on the first night, with the supermoon rising next to the Man statue.

naturist gymnasium 0004 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Another nature’s wonder was a mini-tornado coming to us from the playa –

view 0005 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

it was not any dangerous though, as you can see in the video below.

Well, this video shows a few other things too, but there’s still a lot more to the story (and two more videos) – so keep on reading. A couple more words about the camp:

naturist gymnasium 0013 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

We had a simple bike rack available for the visitors (note the horse head masks used for its decoration, I’ll mention them later).

naturist gymnasium 0014 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

For decoration, we used an olive tree (artificial – live plants are prohibited at Burning Man), columns adorned with ivy, and a small statue of Poseidon (without a trident, to make him look more like a generic Ancient Greek athlete…) – next time, we plan to team up with a 3D-printing camp to make a bigger statue.

naturist gymnasium 0015 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

The schedule of our activities was put daily on the blackboard.

naturist gymnasium 0018 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Our first event included two running races – a 100-yard sprint

naturist gymnasium 0006 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

and a longer, approx. 1.8 km run from our camp to the Man and back.

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The sprint was won by Chris, and the long run by yours truly🙂

naturist gymnasium 0007 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Admittedly, there weren’t that many participants, but it was still very early in the week, while many camps were still wrapping up their construction. We had other races planned, e.g. piggy-back and barrel-run, as we did at FreeForm, but we had to postpone and eventually cancel those due to dust storms and because the horse head masks which were meant for the final run of that race were stolen borrowed without asking from our bike rack. We also had to cancel our only night event – ‘discus  (LED-lit frisbee) throw in the dark… and in the buff’ – because the nights were bitterly cold in the second half of the week! (Though as you can briefly see in the video above, we still managed to dance naked at some night parties getting warm by the fire from the art cars.)

Our ‘Naked Philosophy’ session was more of a personal introduction among our camp mates, as we did not know each of us in person; and then we discussed our experience in naturism and what it meant for us.

Our most successful event by far was the naked oil wrestling, and here is our second video dedicated to it. Unfortunately some of the video is quite blurry, because oil got on my camera, and most of the footage was not usable at all:-/ Oh well, at least it was a GoPro in a sealed casing, so the camera was totally fine after washing.

Our naked oil wrestling drew a lot of attention, even people in fancy mutant vehicles stopped to watch the match.

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0012 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

As at FreeForm Festival, we used sumo rules, which are the easiest to follow from all wrestling types, and added some Greekness to it with olive oil (and nudity), as a reference to the authentic Olympics.

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0014 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Each match started with ceremonial wide steps, and then opponents tried to push each other

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0004 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

until one of them stepped outside the ring;

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and the soles of the feet were the only part of the body allowed to touch the ground – so pushing the opponent down could also work.

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0041 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

But perhaps the most effective approach is simply carrying the opponent outside the ring, preferably keeping him upside down!😀

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0043 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

For each pair, the victory was decided in 2 wins out of 3 matches.

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0026 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

We didn’t structure the whole event as an ultimate competition though – anyone could challenge whoever they wanted, and more than once. But we had two wrestlers that stood out

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0022 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

and were well matched –

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0048 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

so their sparring was very intense and captivating.

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But even the fiercest match ended with a hug.

naturist wrestling gymnasium 0039 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

And both of them received well-deserved golden laurel wreaths!

our winners!
our winners!

(By the way, I lost their contact, so if anyone knows them – please put us in touch!)

After the final match, all wrestlers were welcome to go to an amazing massive group shower ‘perfoamance’ at the camp called ‘Something Freaky Foams This Way’. Next day, we arranged the same competition at their camp – so that people queuing up to get foamed would try their strength in wrestling and entertain the public, and skip the line.  We got in touch with one of the organizers of this camp at FreeForm Festival, and this was the best collaboration we could ask for – getting clean and relaxed felt particularly amazing after days in the dust and then even more so after wrestling. Decent showers are obviously quite sought-after at Burning Man, but this camp brings the whole experience to the next level by making it a massive group (40 people at a time) and entertaining activity (with countdown and music, water and foam sprayed under high pressure).

Here are some more photos from the wrestling matches at our camp and ‘Something Freaky Foams This Way’, if the ones above and the video aren’t enough.

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Besides planned events, we had a few spontaneous activities, e.g. dance practices by Antony and damoN.

naturist gymnasium 0021 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Unfortunately, we don’t have any footage of our fun session of a naked Greek dance with music from ‘Zorba the Greek’. It was lead by our new friend from another camp, and he rightfully suggested we would like the idea of performing this dance naked, which he said was his fantasy from a while ago, when he learned it at a Greek restaurant.

And if you follow this blog, you shouldn’t be surprised seeing some naked capoeira here🙂

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And with Tam around, acro-yoga was bound to happen sooner or later –

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to our own and guests’ entertainment.

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Then we toured a bit around the playa and did more acro-posing with some of Burning Man’s most interesting art constructions in the background.

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This structure proved to combine very well with acro-yoga,

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as its multiple lines were quite easy to align with the body parts of the posers.

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From afar, it looked as if the giant metal ball was resting on Antony supported by Tam’s legs…

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or arms.

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Then we posed with the Man himself –

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can you spot him here?

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And how could we forget ‘the Woman’?

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(This statue is actually called R-Evolution.)

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And one of the Mars Molecules seemed to be designed perfectly for acro-yoga, not just as a background, but as a base too.

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Here is a composition with three men again.

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And now, three men intertwined into one ‘laughing dragon’ –

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laughing and causing laughter in viewers alike.

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There were a few other camps that offered activities in the buff. Besides washing your body from all the dust, sweat and, in our case, also oil at the ‘perfoamance’ camp, cleaning the nose from accumulating dust seemed like a good idea too… and of course there was a camp for that – Neti’s (naked) Nose Spa – and naked too! I really liked how I felt afterwards, so when I got home I immediately ordered a neti pot. Some events were missed due to dust storms or cold nights (e.g. black light naked twister), others I simply forgot about (e.g. naked skateboarding session).

naked skateboarding at Burning Man 2015

The camp across the street from us, Decadent Oasis, provided the best light show at night, with their technicolor ever-changing palm trees and great music. We were invited to do a striptease for their bachelorette party, though we first had to find some clothes to put on😀 They also had a slackline,

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and we were treated with a show of really good slackline walker  who was naked and walked it all way through.

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He must be quite good at balancing, as I remember this guy on a unicycle at the Naked Pub Crawl 3 years ago.

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Speaking of which, the Naked Pub Crawl was again among the best events at Burning Man

naturist naked pub crawl 0001 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

and certainly the largest naked one.

naturist naked pub crawl 0002 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

You can see more of it in the first video above,

naturist naked pub crawl 0003 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

but as you can guess from the name, it involves cycling naked around Black Rock City with hundreds of fellow burners and getting drinks at participating camps.

naturist naked pub crawl 0005 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Duckpond camp offered some extra entertainment with their ‘mechanical bull’ ride,

naturist naked pub crawl 0004 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

but unfortunately my favorite part from the Naked Pub Crawl 3 years ago – the slip’n’slide “duckpond” – was absent, being apparently prohibited by the state health agency… A slight consolation came from a slide at another camp, which was down a giant sheep’s ass😀

naturist naked pub crawl 0006 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

But we did plenty of naked cycling on our own too,

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exploring the playa and its installations.

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One of the most intriguing and impressive was the Totem of Confessions,

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which featured plenty of nudity in its decoration among other elements.

view 0002 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USAview 0003 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Another view of the R-Evolution statue.

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Riding on the bike in the heat of the day felt pretty nice thanks to the light wind (unless it turned into a dust storm!)

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But the best conditions seemed to be around sunset time – the sun wasn’t scorching but it was still very warm before the onset of the cold night, and the air was still – that’s when we liked strolling around in our altogethers. But the photo below shows how you can be well protected against the elements while being naked!

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And for comparison, this is how the same place looked like one day after the end of the festival…

view 0006 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

Sad that everything has to come to an end, but on the other hand Burning Man celebrates immediacy, so realization of the temporary nature of… everything is part of the festival.

view 0007 Burning Man 2015, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA

We made sure to leave no trace behind us and were ready to go home for the next adventure. Gymnasium proved to be a great experience for its organizers and visitors alike (hopefully all of them, let me know if not) and will hopefully develop only more in years to come!

And here is our third, bonus video with damoN performing on the playa. This was shot while the festival was still rocking, just outside Black Rock City. In case you thought it was difficult to escape from the crowds at this massive festival, it is actually easy to find a place where you can be alone when you would like to reconnect with your ‘inner self’; and the vast open landscape of the desert will only help with that. But it’s good to know that you’re next to the city full of your friends or yet-to-become friends.

FreeForm Festival – first experience as a theme camp

naturist 0000 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

FreeForm Festival really lives up to its name, and after I had so much fun there last year, I was determined to come back, and even more excitingly, together with our theme camp Gymnasium. FreeForm brings together a very diverse crowd, and although you wouldn’t see many naked participants, it is officially a clothing-optional event. Our camp was the only one where nudity was at its core, but there were some occasional fellow nudies here and there, e.g. two naked fire-spinners at the effigy burn (to which I unfortunately forgot to bring my camera).  So, we saw it as our opportunity to reach out to many people who don’t have experience in naturism (or simply said, those who are not used to hang out naked) and show them the great fun that comes with nude recreation. This was also a good test for us before launching our project of Gymnasium on a much larger scale at Burning Man later this summer. We got lots of encouragement and ideas for collaboration, and here are just some highlights.

Our first event attracted about a dozen people, but only our camp members were naked. Well, we thought it was still a success, as to bring across the idea of social nudity, people should get comfortable with others being naked, and then maybe it will not be too long until they feel comfortable in their own skin too.

naturist 0001 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

And our event required quite a bit of collaboration, often between ‘skins and shirts’, as it was a race that combined a piggy-back ride

naturist 0002 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

and a barrel run.

naturist 0003 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

It was pure fun,

naturist 0004 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

but to add a bit of competitive spirit and even more fun, we arranged a final race for the first 4 pairs from the initial run;

naturist 0005 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

for the final, the leading person had to wear a horse (or pig, in one case) mask, which partially obscured vision.

naturist 0006 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Thus, besides making it more fun for the spectators, these masks were supposed to encourage communication between riders and horses.

naturist 0007 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

At the turn from piggy-back ride to barrel-run, riders and horses had to swap, so the participants in each pair experienced both roles, though in different versions.

naturist 0008 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Just seeing these photos, it looks like barrel run in the mask was a bit more difficult to control,

naturist 0009 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

but everybody made it till the end🙂

naturist 0010 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

My pair won, and is it was the only one where both participants were naked, let me conclude (admittedly, in an anecdotal manner) that  communication and collaboration work best between naked people🙂

maskot program 0000 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

And the horse sort of became our camp’s mascot (we hung our program with historical references at the entrance to the camp).

Later in the day, we went to the temple area, played wind gongs

naturist 0011 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

and climbed trees (because why not? This won’t be an option at Burning Man :-))

naturist 0014 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Then it was time for our nude dance workshop aka NuDance, for which we collaborated with our neighbors, ‘Priority 5’ camp – they provided the soundtrack. Thanks again, guys, in case you read this! We were really lucky to have them as our neighbors, as they had some of the best music around (probably among my 2 favorite music camps along with ‘Echo’).

naturist 000000 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

But here is a sad side note about music at FreeForm: apparently, some outdoors after-hours music sessions that were not supposed to take place kept some locals in the neighboring village awake to the extent that they filed a complaint and now FreeForm has to find a new home😦 Hopefully, it won’t be difficult for the organizers.

Then there was another event that triggered some joyful nudity – a crossover from Holi festival, where participants splash each other with brightly-colored powders. I missed it, as I was getting massage at that time, but luckily other campmates brought some extra powders, so we had our own naked celebration of colors.

naturist 0012 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

And our colorful rabbit with a powerful jump deserves an extra credit🙂

naturist 0013 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

We continued with Indian-inspired activities by doing yoga that turned into a symposium (as you may know from our theme camp description, this idea of drinking wine in different poses was also inspired by depictions of symposiums from Ancient Greek vases).

naturist 0015 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

We discussed a bit how to increase attendance of our events next year, and one solution was obvious – we should apply for workshops at the lawn by the main stage to increase visibility and traffic.

But then our last event was very successful indeed. Perhaps because people started packing and bringing down their tents, so our camp became more visible, or simply because many liked the idea, we had a very good attendance at our oil wrestling match. Even the founder of FreeForm Festival stopped by; he liked the idea of our camp, being both very interactive and educational, and advised to get some Greek-themed decorations such as columns (which we’re already planning for Burning Man).

oiling
oiling

Quite a few people showed for our wrestling match, and then more were joining from passers by. It was a good idea to use oil for participants (and we used a good quality Greek olive oil), as this encouraged them to get naked (and all did except for one who kept his underwear, because his girlfriend was strict about that allegedly :-))

naturist wrestling 0073 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Here are just a few highlights,

naturist wrestling 0075 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

so you get an impression of how our matches went.naturist wrestling 0076 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

We used sumo wrestling rules, which are the simplest of all wrestling styles, i.e. only the soles of the feet are allowed to touch the ground and you have to stay within the ring.

naturist wrestling 0077 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

The most common winning strategy was pushing the opponent outside the ring, sometimes quite vigorously,

naturist wrestling 0079 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

but even then all matches ended in a peaceful manner

naturist wrestling 0080 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

and the whole atmosphere was very friendly.

naturist wrestling 0081 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Another strategy was lifting the opponent and bringing him, or her as in this case, down… Though it didn’t work for me, as my opponent clung to me, and I had to extend my arm to the ground not to fall.

naturist wrestling 0006 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Lifting the opponent and carrying him outside the ring worked well too.

naturist wrestling 0058 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

And some more selected moments for you:

naturist wrestling 0010 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

I really like these pictures,

naturist wrestling 0013 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

as they show interaction between people,

naturist wrestling 0017 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

many of whom are complete strangers to each other,

naturist wrestling 0024 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

while some are close friends,

naturist wrestling 0026 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

but in either case, it is both very physical and social.

naturist wrestling 0046 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

At times it looked almost like a fist fight,

naturist wrestling 0050 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

and then more like a dance,

naturist wrestling 0061 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

but keeping it balanced was the key to maintain the fun,

naturist wrestling 0031 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

even when the opponents were of quite different size.

naturist wrestling 0143 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Which by the way wasn’t often a good predictor of who would win:

naturist wrestling 0147 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

our match showed that size doesn’t matter, but skillfulness does!😉

naturist wrestling 0101 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Admittedly, the matches between more similarly skilled and sized opponents

naturist wrestling 0110 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

were the most exciting to watch

naturist wrestling 0117 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

and lasted longest.

naturist wrestling 0134 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

And I guess you’ve been wondering – yes, we did have an all female match too!

naturist wrestling 0139 FreeForm Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

And I’ll just finish here quoting a comment from one of them, which makes me think that our mission was accomplished: “thanks for making me feel so comfortable naked and learning how much I love how it feels!”

PS I actually love these photos so much, and I think they quite grasp the essence of the whole idea of Active Naturists and our theme camp, so here is a gallery with an extended selection for your enjoyment.

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fun naturist events this spring in the USA

Sorry for having been quiet the entire month of March, but I was busy getting new material in Florida🙂 While it’s not ready to be published yet, I’d like to announce a few events that sound like fun and well in the spirit of αctive naturists.

In a little more than a week, from 9-12 AprilFlorida Young Naturists will hold their 7th Naked Spring Bash. Joe and I visited their event in 2011 and had great time! And I must say, this year’s schedule looks even better, so it’s a shame I can’t return to the Sunshine State soon again. I like their emphasis on dance workshops this time.

On the 18th of April, Travasuns will have their monthly Indoor Pool Party in Long Island, NY, which will be my last, and unfortunately only second, this season. I usually go to their events throughout winter, but this yeah I’ve had schedule conflicts. It’s a low-key event at a rented gym with saunas, hang-out pool, pizza and wallyball.

Austin Naked Yoga will host Naked Yoga Camp for men on 7-10 May at Lotus Ranch in Wimberley, Texas. My friend Eddy will teach a movement workshop there, say hi if you attend it!

YNOTU (Young Nudists of Texas United) will host their second Nude Games on Memorial Weekend,  22-25 May, at a campground near Dallas. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend again, but the program looks like fun: flag football, tug of war, a few varieties of volleyball among other things. However, it seems to me, they downplayed the athletic component this year. If any of you go there, I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts!

Tiergarten: perfect park for urban naturism

I’m finally updating information on Berlin, the most naturist-friendly city in my opinion, and I’ll start with its main park Tiergarten in the very centre of the city. Given the park’s central location, it is easy to get there from pretty much anywhere around, so you could even come there after work or on a lunch break for some relaxed sunbathing on one of a few known FKK meadows (Freikörperkultur translates as Free Body Culture) south of Straße des 17 Juni. In the first half of the day, you can also refresh in one of those “showers” from sprinklers on the lawns throughout the park,

naturist 0000 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

but one of the meadows has a proper shower installed.

The lawns of Tiergarten are perfect for frisbee, ball games, badminton and its new faster counterpart, speedminton. By the way, speedminton was invented in Berlin, so playing it in the centre of the city a la FKK sounds very authentic😉

Joe and I used to play speedminton in Tiergarten pretty often, as you can see even rain wouldn’t stop us!

If you want to try something more ancient, how about naked oil wrestling? Tam and I certainly had fun reviving the Ancient Greek tradition.

naked wrestling 0002 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

As I had very little experience in wrestling, it was more of a lesson for me from Tam, but the very slippery aspect of oil wrestling was new to him too.

naked wrestling 0005 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Given that it was olive oil, this exercise must have served as a nice skin rub too.

naked wrestling 0007 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Despite the oil, we still managed to grip each other,

naked wrestling 0008 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

and each of us (but mostly me) got thrown on the grass too a few times.

naked wrestling 0003 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

The latter was more difficult staying lower with knees on the ground in our final match.

naked wrestling 0001 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

On another occasion, we wrestled two against one, but we certainly need more practice.

naked wrestling 0009 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Another activity that proved to be fun in Tiergarten was acro-yoga.

acro-yoga-0004-Tiergarten,-Berlin,-Germany

 

We kicked off with some simple threesome poses.

acro-yoga 0000 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

After my incident with getting a fine for doing acro-yoga naked in San Francisco, it felt very liberating to do the same thing in Berlin with even more people and not being worried of getting caught by police! We had fun, and our nakedness only enhanced it.

acro-yoga 0001 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Below is a good example of how good positioning that comes with experience lets even a much lighter ‘base’ person hold a heavier ‘flyer’.

acro-yoga 0002 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

However, when the flyer is much lighter, even the arms may be enough to support the flyer.

acro-yoga 0003 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

(Excuse our friend for clothes, but she didn’t feel like undressing at that moment.)

acro-yoga 0011 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Some of the poses did not only feel relaxing (for the flyer at least),

acro-yoga 0008 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

but also provided opportunity to suntan those hard to reach places😀

acro-yoga 0006 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Some poses may seem simple but are fun to maintain,

acro-yoga 0009 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

and the next step is to learn to transition them into a totally different pose.

acro-yoga 0010 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Such dynamic exercises are much more challenging for the base,

acro-yoga 0032 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

whereas the flyer should follow his directions and enjoy the ride

acro-yoga 0033 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

until he ends up in yet another unusual but stable pose.

acro-yoga 0035 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

This pose below serves as an excellent back and hip stretch for the flyer.

acro-yoga 0012 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Here are some standing acro-yoga poses, starting from simple

acro-yoga 0031 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

to a more difficult balancing exercise.

acro-yoga 0016 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Standing on shoulders of another person is probably one of those things that seem scary and challenging primarily for ‘mental’ reasons,

naturist 0000 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

as the weight is the same as when you sit on the shoulders and the height isn’t that dangerous if you decide to jump off. I decided to avoid it though, due to my not fully recovered ankle.

acro-yoga-0017-Tiergarten,-Berlin,-Germany

Sean and Tam made it look easy from the first time!

acro-yoga 0024 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Here is another pose that combines balancing and stretch (and transitioning into it is kind of scary).

acro-yoga 0036 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Once you’re in the pose, don’t forget to point your toes (if you’re the flyer)!

acro-yoga 0030 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

We ended our session that time with the ultimate balancing exercise – two bodies maintained by one pair of arms!

acro-yoga 0037 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

I hope this blogpost will inspire Berliners and visitors of the German capital to use their main urban park for naturist activities. We can only wish for anything like this in Central Park in New York, Hyde Park in London or pretty much anywhere else in the world!

 

New Nude Yoga class in New York! Nude Yoga retreat is coming to the Woods again

naturist yoga 0002 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

After having maintained a nude yoga group with my friends for almost two years at private locations, we are finally going public. Starting from this Wednesday, we will have a weekly class in Harlem at 9pm with Michael. He is a very experienced and talented yoga instructor, and we are very lucky that he will teach us. He will also join us again for the second yoga retreat at the Woods campground on the first weekend of August 1st-3rd.

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

Feel free to comment here or contact me by e-mail for more details about the class and retreat. You’re also welcome to just stop by. We are offering $15 per class for frequent visitors who are ready to buy a 10 pack for $150 or single class for $20. As for the retreat, you’re also welcome to just join us at the Woods campground, but if you drive from New York City, we’ll appreciate any carpool options. The retreat is purely donation-based, and all costs will be shared!

naturist yoga 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Meanwhile, get inspired by these pictures of Michael stretching out at the great Sandy Hook beach!

naturist yoga 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

His routine includes some sophisticated poses and transitions that require advances flexibility,

naturist yoga 0005 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

but don’t worry, he’s a good teacher and will make sure that everyone is comfortable at their level of experience.

naturist yoga 0006 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

The doggy yogi classics is certainly on the menu too.

naturist yoga 0007 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

However, it’s always nice to see something challenging to aspire to.

naturist yoga 0004 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

We also like partner stretches and acro-yoga; below are photos from our spontaneous session last September at Sandy Hook.

naturist yoga 00004 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Partner exercises turn yoga into an interactive experience

naturist yoga 0009 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

and allow deeper stretches.

naturist yoga 0010 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Some poses even involve more than 2 partners.

naturist yoga 0011 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Join our nude yoga group, and your body and mind will thank you!

Natural steam rooms: traditional naturist pastime reinvented

Saunas provide an easy opportunity to have a naturist experience to laypeople and are among favorite pastimes for hardcore naturists as well, but there is a hidden and unique (please let me know, if it isn’t!) place on the Hawaii island that brings it to the next level: a combination of geothermal steam vents, small caves and lush greenery creates the most natural and idyllic steam room imaginable!

Again, I found out about this natural wonder thanks to the guidebook ‘Hawaii, the Big Island Revealed‘ – and it would be hard to know about it otherwise, as it is on private land whose owner by no means seems to want to advertise it. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to mind the visitors much either, and the place is accessible for those in the know ;-) The guidebook also noted that locals enjoy the natural steam in their altogethers, as nature intended. 

So, these natural “steam rooms” are located in the otherwise not very notable forest north of intersection of Kamaili Rd and Pahoa Kalapena Rd.

view 0000 steam vents, Hawaii, USA

You’ll have to guess where the trails are, as they are not very distinguishable in the beginning but get better by the steam rooms.  Some of those are hard to notice behind the plants,

view 0003 steam vents, Hawaii, USA

but you’ll sense the heat and see the steam. Now, how is this for a steam room?

naturist 0000 steam vents, Hawaii, USA

An individual cabin adorned with ferns and orchids!

If you’re with a bigger group AND have a ladder, you may go for this steaming hole in the ground!

view-0004-steam-vents,-Hawaii,-USA

 

Next to it, there was a small cave with a ladder installed already. Then, I noticed steam coming above a meadow below.

view 0001 steam vents, Hawaii, USA

I went down there and took a chance for using the space for my personal hot nude yoga session (based on Bikram yoga sequences I used to do 2 years ago). This was a unique opportunity to do hot yoga in an open-air space, and it felt amazing.

view 0002 steam vents, Hawaii, USA

As darkness fell, I was staring at the first stars, and, getting warmed up by the heat from the depth of our planet, I couldn’t help thinking of being one with our vast universe, and my nakedness only facilitated the feeling. The lush vegetation around and the chorus of crickets and coquí frogs also reminded me that we were lucky to be in the part of the universe suitable for life; and I personally felt very lucky to be in that particular part of the universe that made me feel life was amazing!

Kalani resort, tide pools and black sand beach (Hawaii)

Kalani retreat center was our base on Puna side of Hawaii island. Tod had been there before and loved it.

The painting in our room set our mood for another naturist adventure🙂

painting 0000 Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

As we arrived late in the evening, we were welcomed by a chorus of coquí frogs.

It’s an invasive species introduced from Puerto Rico, but I loved the ambient sound they provided (and to their defense, they haven’t really brought any harm to local ecology as far as I know). I managed to track down one of coquí frogs near the pool, which was impossible according to Tod – not if you’re a zoologist like me😀

coqui frog 0000 Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

After that, we relaxed in the sauna, and then Tod did a Watsu session for me (“a form of aquatic bodywork used for deep relaxation and passive aquatic therapy… in which a practitioner gently cradles, moves, stretches, and massages a receiver in chest-deep warm water”). Needless to say, we were naked, and the setting – warm humid air, dark starry sky, accompanied by frogs chorus – was perfect for total relaxation!

In the morning we were greeted by another cute guest, a brightly colored but naked gecko.

gecko 0001 Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

So it felt only more appropriate to do our morning stretch in the buff, and there was even a statue for inspiration😉

naturist 0000 Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

However, after we finished our stretch, a worker came to us and told that apparently we were only allowed to be naked by the pool and another remote area. We could only guess why within the same premises it was ok to take off your clothes at one spot but not at another just 50m away. Tod’s speculation is that as Kalani is becoming more mainstream, they have to adapt to mainstream public, which includes restrictions on your attire.  Oh well, it wasn’t like we planned to spend too much time at the resort itself. We left to Kapoho tide pools after that.

On the trail to the tide pools we saw this tree with interesting fruit,

tree 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

but the most interesting stuff awaited us under water.

view 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

Kapoho tide pools are popular among snorkelers thanks to crystal clear water, and we could see how clear it was from above.

view 0001 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

The only thing that interfered with water’s transparency was… water, just of different temperature. There were a few geothermal springs coming out, and at everything looked blurred where their water was mixing with water from the ocean.

water 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

Although Kapoho tide pools is not an official naturist spot, to swim in au naturel I used a technique I developed at the Red Sea coral reefs in Israel, and then in Akumal in Mexico – just put your swimming trunks around your shoulder😉

naturist 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

The corals there were not nearly as bright as at the Red Sea, but some rocks were covered with colorful moss animals.

algae, corals, moss animals 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

Another invertebrate that was abundant there was sea cucumber.

sea cucumber 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

But numerous vivid coral fishes were of course the main attraction.

fish 0002 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

Unicornfish was probably my favorite.

unicornfish 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

There was at least a couple of species of unicornfish, and besides the unicorn

unicornfish 0002 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

they were decorated with adornments on the tail and stylish make-up.

unicornfish 0001 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

It was a lot fun to navigate in the labyrinth of corals and rocks of Kapoho tide pools, and we got lost twice (lost in a sense that we didn’t know how to get to the main, deepest path). And then we also got lost in the fish.

fish 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

An impressive shoal of striped wish surrounded us all of a sudden and didn’t seem to be bothered by us swimming next to them.

fish 0001 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

But not all are so conspicuous at the coral reef. Needlefish is hard to spot and they usually don’t come too close.

needle fish 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

And this one we almost missed altogether. Can you actually spot what it is?

flatfish 0000 Kapoho tide pools, Hawaii, USA

The first reader who sees and guesses what it is on the photo above, besides sand and rocks, will get a print of any photo from this blogpost! (Maybe you’ll choose this photo? It’d be a nice background picture.) I guess I’m starting a new tradition. Comment here!

On the way from Kapoho, we stopped at the pandan forest. Pandans looked quite peculiar with their adventitious roots, which in turn made me feel adventurous and want to climb them (no particular logic, just like I wanted to do push ups on the cypress roots in Mississippi swamp forest😀 )

naturist 0001 forest near Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

And I don’t know what it was about that forest, maybe the light, but I think I look particularly good on the photos from there. Another contender for your printout choice?😉

naturist 0000 forest near Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

The next stop was something that I’d been dreaming to visit for a long time – a beach with black sand! There are just a few black sand beaches in the world, and Kehena on the island of Hawaii is certainly among the most picturesque beaches.

naturist 0000 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

The first thing you’d want to do on that sand is simply to lie down and enjoy its velvet softness, which I did too with great pleasure.

naturist 0003 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

I got a new dog friend while his owner was body surfing.

naturist 0001 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

That sand really feels (and looks) nice on the skin.

naturist 0005 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

Well, if you read this blog, you’d know that I wouldn’t be lying for too long. The rocks at surrounding the beach with tree roots coming all the way down from the top seemed too tempting to climb.

naturist 0010 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

And there I was, bouldering in the buff🙂

naturist 00 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

It may not look that high on pictures, but it was quite scary to look down.

naturist 0011 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

Then we discovered a horizontal bar hanging on the tree. I’m always up for some pull-ups!

naturist-pull-ups-Kehena-black-sand-beach,-Hawaii,-USA

Then we chatted with a local owner of a small coffee plantation, who claimed that his coffee is even better than famous one from Kona side of the island. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to test that, but it was nice talking to him, as he also assured there were quite a few nudist groups in the area – something to keep in mind for the next time😉

I thought yoga would be the best to finish the day at the beach.

naturist yoga 0002 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

With such a nice sand there was no need for mat,

naturist yoga 0001 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

and I followed the rhythm of ocean wave alternating between poses.

naturist yoga 0007 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

Fresh and at the same time very warm air was perfect for stretches –

naturist yoga 0004 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

“pigeon”, all the way to the front

naturist yoga 0006 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

and “camel” – all went well deep.

naturist yoga 0005 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

After some twisting,

naturist yoga 0009 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

it felt right to finish off with balancing in the tree pose on the coconut palm tree stump.

naturist yoga 0010 Kehena black sand beach, Hawaii, USA

I so much look forward to coming back to this beach again!

enjoy the spring: naked sport events and a show (NY, Berlin, Texas)

This time, I’m not kidding about naked sport events. I was shocked (in a good way) how many people took my April Fools joke for real – I got quite a few emails requesting the details! Well guys, if you’re ready for mud wrestling with freshly squeezed garlic in the morning at a venue without showers, I know I can rely on you!😀 Well, we do plan to organize naked sport events and classes, and clearly there’s a demand for that!

Tomorrow is going to be my last Winter Indoor Pool Party party this season (organized by Travasuns in Long Island, NY). Well, I guess we can clearly say the spring has arrived to New York, but it’s still a bit too chilly to enjoy nakedness outdoors. We’ve been to a few of Travasuns’ winter pool events, and it was always fun. It’s a low-key event at a rented gym. They offer saunas, hang-out pool, pizza and even volleyball, which is often unofficially dubbed as naturists’ favorite sport. Given that volleyball is indoors too and surrounded by walls, we rather play it as wallyball

naked wrestling 0001 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

On the weekend of 10-11 May in Berlin, Tam and I plan to have naked acro-yoga and wrestling jam sessions. Please contact us by e-mail or comment here, if you are interested in joining, and we’ll send you details re timing and exact location. This is also pending on the weather. We haven’t decided as to how many sessions we’ll have, but our approach is the more the merrier. We’ll take advantage of Berlin’s healthy attitude towards nudity and do at least one session in its central park – Tiergarten – don’t worry, we won’t be arrested for doing acro-yoga naked there like in San Francisco. Wrestling might work better by one of numerous lakes in Berlin, as we’re likely to get sweaty. Here is a sneak preview from our naked oil wrestling match a couple of years ago (photos courtesy of Joe). Come and join us!

naked wrestling 0000 Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

YNOTU (Young Nudists of Texas United) will host Nude Games on Memorial Weekend, May 24-26, at a campground near Dallas. Unfortunately, none of the people form our group will be able to attend, but it seems like fun. In the program: flag football, tug of war, water and sand volleyball, beer mile, 3-legged races, potato sack races, bean bag throw, Frisbee toss and egg toss, yoga, Latin dance class. Highly recommended!

And we’ll have our round-up end back in New York. My friend Alexander Kargaltsev, who I’ve already introduced here because oh his variously themed photo works that often involve nudity, is now developing a play, Crematorium, that sounds shocking and looks beautiful, and it will have plenty of nudity too.

 Former Ukraine. In the south of Putin’s Crimea, a giant factory with chimneys is built: a Crematorium for gays. Four couples are picked to test a new machine to turn them straight. Torture, interrogation, death and cleansing in the fiery furnace await them.

Here is the preview video.

The shows are set for 29 May – 1 June at Shetler Studios & Theatres, New York. You can buy tickets online.

Hope to see you at these events in New York and Berlin!