Thursday, December 29, 2005

Naturist 2006

The New Year is almost here, and the main event on the international naturist scene will be biennial world congress of the International Naturist Federation, now scheduled for September on Spain's east coast.
While I'm still not sure whether I'll be able to attend, I need to focus on shorter-term priorities. There are several possibilities here. I can do what I discussed in one of my previous postings, get on with the formation of a group for foreign naturists in Taiwan, a Taiwan International Naturist Association or TINA.
Another way to promote naturism to the Taiwanese public I thought about, is more indirect, but could eventually be more effective: publish a book which introduces naturism in an indirect way. The best way would be a picture book about Croatia, in which the story of my last holiday there in 2004 comes first, but which would also include the naturist parts, i.e. my visits to a naturist beach on the Red Island near Rovinj, and my stay at the Valalta resort for the 2004 INF World Congress. This book would be a picture travelogue first - as there are many now on the Taiwanese book market, about Spain, Turkey, Rajasthan, etc. - but would include a strong naturist component, as an introduction for readers unfamiliar with the movement. My proposal for such a book is already with a publisher here in Taiwan, but I'll have to see if anyone bites.
While I hope for a positive naturist 2006 in Asia, all I can do is wish you a happy naturist 2006 as well.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Nude Yoga

No fewer than two Taiwanese television stations took on the topic of nude yoga this week. Both Formosa Television FTV and ERA News presented a report from the United States about naked yoga classes in San Francisco. It was TV, so there was footage of people, both men and women, participating fully naked in yoga classes inside a room. It was Taiwan, so the participants had most of their bodies covered in mosaics, i.e. the rectangular pieces of glazed space that blink to hide potentially offending body parts.
The average Taiwanese viewer probably thought "what weird people these Americans are, really!" but still, I think the report presented the exercise as a normal, non-ridiculous, healthy form of relaxation.
We naturists believe that any form of sports or fitness exercise can be done naked, because most of those are far more comfortable without any items of clothing sitting in the way. Think of swimming without a sticky swimsuit, volleyball or basketball without a T-shirt or floppy shorts. Most kinds of sport are outdoors and need good weather anyway, so why not go all the way and discard all those cumbersome clothes. It feels so much the better, and on top of that, afterward you won't have too much laundry to do. With indoor activities such as yoga, it's pretty much the same.
But us naturists are not extremists. The few sports which would call for clothing are those usually performed in cold environments, think ice hockey. But even so, Alpine mountains sometimes welcome nude skiers, so everything is possible for naturists. The sky's the limit, but clothes certainly are not.