Archives for category: yoga

IMG_5030In our last post, we described a wonderful outdoor acroyoga class we held in Washington Square Park, where one of our members instructed us in balancing each other in midair on our feet.

IMG_5442IMG_5585It was a blast. But before we started flying, we had a more down-to-earth meet-up, and we wanted to share that with you too.

IMG_4982IMG_5218IMG_5022It always makes for great photos when we do something out of the ordinary — go rowing on Central Park lake…

octpfas_080513-9288…or snowball fighting in the middle of winter…

IMG_9682But our usual fare is more modest, even if not in the conventional sense of the word. We bring towels out to the park, like you do; we bring a few snacks and some bottles of water; we bring books to read and friends to talk with; and we take our shirts off to enjoy the feeling of the sun on our skin.

IMG_5078If a group of men did this, it would inspire exactly zero comment. Groups of men do it all the time, in fact, and zero comment is what it inspires. But get a group of women together to do the exact same thing, and… Well, on a good day, pretty much the same thing happens, at least in New York. But even here we get the odd comment. “There are children nearby,” one concerned and exasperated-sounding woman called to us. “Don’t you think you should put something on?”

IMG_5246No, we replied. We don’t think that, but thank you for asking? What we do think is that children will grow up healthier — both girls and boys — if they learn at an early age that there is nothing more shameful about a woman’s body than there is about a man’s; that those rounded shapes under a girl’s shirt aren’t some mysterious prize to be quested after or peeked at or groped, they’re just parts of the body like noses or biceps or knees; and that no woman has to apologize for or conceal the way nature has made her. We don’t always love our bodies, but they’re our bodies. And we’re all entitled to enjoy them equally.

IMG_6015IMG_5015IMG_5355The nice thing about Washington Square Park is that out of literally thousands of people enjoying the day together with us in peace and tolerance, only one felt the need to disturb the serenity with an outburst like this. But that’s Washington Square Park, and that’s New York City. We know that women elsewhere in this country and elsewhere in the world don’t have the same freedom we do. And that’s one of the reasons we created this blog, and why we keep posting to it year after year. People still need to discover that women’s bodies are something perfectly ordinary (half the people in the world have one!) and deserve to be treated as uncontroversial whether covered or uncovered.

IMG_5294If you feel the same way we do, we’d love to have you join us sometime. All body-positive women are welcome. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we’ll find an event that’s right for you.

Remember, it’s already August this week! The summer won’t last forever. If you’ve ever felt curious or tempted or eager to try it for yourself…carpe diem.

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IMG_5748Everyone’s afraid of something. For some of us it’s spiders, enclosed spaces, heights. For others it’s being naked in public. Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you we spent an afternoon in an enclosed space with spiders — that’s a post for another afternoon. (Or never.) But we did have a chance recently to tackle the other two.

IMG_5818IMG_5564Does two or three feet off the ground count as “heights”? Well, it kind of does when you’re being hoisted up and then balanced on a friend’s legs. It’s an exhilarating feeling, but also kind of terrifying, and we got to experience it when one of our members who’s an acroyoga instructor led us in an acro class on a lawn in Washington Square Park.

IMG_5638IMG_5896And does just having no shirt on count as being naked in public? Well, it kind of does when you’re not used to it. So one of our instructors — who had no issue being hoisted and balanced, or even being spun like a beachball while being rotated between another acro pro’s legs — wore discreet pieces of flesh-colored tape rather than go bare-breasted.

IMG_5506Will the second time be easier for all of us? No doubt. Nothing feels quite as scary as the first time you try something new. But kudos to everyone who demonstrated bravery and curiosity the first time out. We had a great time.

IMG_5827IMG_5767There was even some throwing and catching involved, for the very bravest among us.

IMG_5868IMG_5870And one important lesson: you don’t have to be the very bravest. Even if you come to one of our events, you don’t have to do anything you’re not ready to do. Some of us sat out the acroyoga this time, and that was fine.

IMG_5211Some weren’t ready for the toplessness, and that was fine too. You’re welcome either way. Just send email to us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. If you’re female or a female-bodied person, we’ll find an event for you, whether you’re facing your fears or utterly fearless. (Or like most of us, somewhere in between.)

Won’t you come fly with us?

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IMG_6531For our second annual private lesson with the incomparable Willow of Naked In Motion (purveyors of nude yoga to New York, Boston, and Parts Unknown), we decided to turn the lights down low and practice our asanas to the illumination of a dozen flickering candles.

IMG_6516IMG_6513cIMG_6524This was a boon for the room’s tranquility; less so for the event’s photography. (We did try taking a photo or two with the flash turned on, but that shattered the serenity and we quickly turned it off again. The only bright sparks we displayed from then on were the divine internal variety. Namaste.)

IMG_6508This lesson combined yoga and a bit of pilates, with some extra attention given to pelvic floor muscles and other areas of interest to participants.

IMG_6533IMG_6532After the lesson, we found repose in child’s pose…

IMG_6514…as well as strawberries and Oreos. Ancient, meet modern.

IMG_6470Then it was time to head out into the cold once more.

IMG_6479But we headed out more centered, more relaxed, and in better shape. What more could you ask of an evening’s recreation?

Our thanks to Willow, who was patient, encouraging, and supportive and reminded us that it’s good both to push our bodies and to enjoy them. She helped us do both, and we left with big smiles on our faces.

If you get a chance to participate in a session with Willow, we give it our highest recommendation.

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img_9025Two weeks ago, it snowed in New York City. A beautiful blanket of white. Then, this past week, it rained torrentially — a beautiful blanket of wet. Neither, alas, the ideal climate for outdoor topless book-reading (or outdoor topless much of anything else). What does our noble band do on days like these?

We meet indoors. And what do we do indoors? Well, a bunch of different sorts of things, but one of our favorites is to work on our strength and serenity, since both of those are a) in short supply and b) much needed in the world today. So on the eve of the big protest marches in D.C. and New York (and every other place on the face of the planet), a dozen of us went to learn yoga and Pilates from Willow, the instructor/owner of New York’s Naked in Motion.

img_9042img_9107img_8940And what a wonderful evening it was! Talk about an inspiring leader — Willow was the model of a welcoming, knowledgable, warm and thoughtful instructor,

img_8928helping us through stretches and poses and exercises

img_8829img_8842img_9076that many of us thought we wouldn’t be able to pull off. Were we sore after? Sure — but only in the best way. (And she brought strawberries and Oreos to soothe the hurt.)

img_8968img_9026This wasn’t a special naked session just for us, by the way — as the name suggests, Naked in Motion is all about the naked. (And about the motion, of course. But that you can get at any yoga class.) There are weekly co-ed nude sessions and monthly women-and-trans-only classes for anyone more comfortable in a single-sex environment. Boundaries are respected (and politely but firmly enforced), to ensure a positive experience for all. If you’d like to try it yourself sometime, or just for more information, you can write to Willow at info@nakedinmotion.com.

And if you’re a body-positive woman in the New York area and would like to join us for one of our events (can’t promise it’ll be yoga — but it’ll be something cool), drop us a note: toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

Either way: get naked. And savor both stillness and motion.

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IMG_0168No more snow, but this weekend it’s supposed to feel -20 degrees outside. That’s negative 20, thank you very much. Which means we’re keeping ourselves indoors for Valentine’s Day. But we celebrated its imminent arrival last night with a private Thai yoga session with the effervescent and grounded (how’s that for a combination?) Yoga Yael.

IMG_0521The temperatures may have been plunging outside, but in here, the windows were steaming up. That’s not a metaphor — they literally steamed up, as two dozen of us shed clothes and the bonds of gravity and practiced flying.

IMG_0428IMG_0370IMG_0409IMG_0358IMG_0380We also each had the chance to give and receive (Happy V-Day!) some basic Thai massage, which is a little like yoga would be if yoga were something someone else did to you.

There was time for books, of course…

IMG_0027IMG_0039IMG_0103…and for celebrating the birthday of one of our own. We’ll leave it to you to work out how old she is now.

IMG_0164IMG_0477IMG_0170IMG_0178All in all, a deeply satisfying outing, even if this one was really an inning. We really would like winter to kindly disappear — but as long as New York has pleasures like this to offer behind closed doors, and good friends to share them with, we can tolerate the six more weeks of the cold stuff the groundhog has cruelly delivered. Want to join us? Bold women are always welcome — write to us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

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IMG_9013Yesterday, on a brisk and blustery November afternoon, 21 of us gathered for a lesson — our first! — in acroyoga. A combination of acrobatics and yoga, it proved the perfect antidote to the pre-winter blahs, teaching us the rudiments of Bird Pose and Throne and other suchlike, following a warm-up of stretches, planks, and Downward Dog.

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Leading us in our adventure was yogini extraordinaire Lotsie Cash, who instructed us not only in the physical skills necessary to suspend each other’s bodies upside down in mid-air but also the self-confidence, trust, and wisdom embodied in the practice. She was a pleasure to work with and, though conspicuous in these photos as the one person wearing clothes above the waist, totally non-judgmental about our enjoying the session either topless or fully nude.

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Our thanks also to Dunkin’ Donuts, for filling their signature Box O’ Joe with hot chocolate instead; to Tate’s for making a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that totally doesn’t suck; to Pearl Studios for not minding a dozen-and-a-half naked women in their midst (and three naked boys); and Amazon.com for rushing us a pile of yoga mats on ridiculously short notice.

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Fun was had. We did things we didn’t know we had in us. And once you start down that path, who knows where it might end?

Suddenly winter doesn’t seem so bad…

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