After Naked Yoga and Two Delicious Dinners

Photo on 8-13-15 at 2.42 AM

JEFF: What? You expect me to what? It’s almost– well it’s after two in the morning.

OTHER VOICE: So?! You’ve blogged sometimes at four or five in the morning after being out danceing all night. And that was in cities like Nashville an Birmingham and Atlanta! This is the granddaddy of American cities!

JEFF: Yeah, I guess your right. But I sure do feel tired.

OTHER VOICE: What did you do tonight?

JEFF: I told you; I went to naked yoga in Brooklyn.

OTHER VOICE: What’s that like?!

JEFF: What do you mean “what’s it like?”

OTHER VOICE: I mean– naked yoga?! Isn’t downward facing dog sort of– I don’t know, undignified?!

JEFF: Look, if you’re trying to look “dignified” while your doing a yoga practice you’re not focusing on the right thing anyway. Plus, when you’re doing downward facing dog, so is everyone else so it’s not like anyone is staring at your browneye! Their gaze is down toward their feet as well! (pause) Look, I think you’ve got the wrong idea about what it’s like?

OTHER VOICE: Well, what’s it like?

JEFF: Well, it’s at the private home of this very nice couple. They open their home to this group of guys, usually between fifteen and twenty-five every Wednesday night. It’s a very friendly and spiritual group of guys. People usually come in and shuck their close pretty quicklyin the hour leading up to the practice. There’s a sauna on the roof so oftentimes, guys will go in there first or sit around visiting– catching up on what’s happened with their friends since last week. Some will smoke a little pot. Some of the dinner preparations happen before we practice.

OTHER VOICE: Wait, there’s dinner!?

JEFF: Oh yes, a very elegant and delicious dinner. After about an hour and a half of yoga we all sit down to dinner and enjoy breaking bread with the men we just had this deeply spiritual–

OTHER VOICE: But surely you’ve put on your clothes by then?

JEFF: Boy, you’re really focused on the naked part, huh?

OTHER VOICE: Well, you have to admit…

JEFF: Admit what? As a matter of fact, no, we just sit down as we are and enjoy the feast.

OTHER VOICE: I mean– a whole bunch of naked guys hanging out, smoking weed– drinking? Is there drinking?

JEFF: You really should get out more. (pause) Look, this gathering isn’t about the little bit of weed or wine that some of the men enjoy, it’s not about the fact that we’re naked– it’s just an incredibly nurturing and affirming environment in which a group of man get together and participate in this thousands of years-old spiritual practice. We care about each other by virtue of our common experience and our common humanity. It’s actually one of the more life-affirming things I’ve ever been a part of. Oh! And at the beginning– when we were– we sort of stand around in a circle and set the intention for the practice, tonight’s leader, Dominic asked if any of us had any special requests. I think he was talking about certain poses or body parts but I told the guys that since I had last practiced with them that my mother had died and I would appreciate it if they would remember her during the prayer part of her practice. I told them her name was Judy and they all repeated her name as if they’d been told to. “Judy” they all said and you could feel her love in the room. This are just the sort of guys my mother would love. They are peaceful and smart and kind to one another– I’ve been so awash in gratitude since I got back to New York yesterday. I’ve just been walking around taking deep breaths and opening my eyes wide to take it all in. I love this city so much.

OTHER VOICE: Hmmm (pause) hmmm. (pause) Sounds nice.

JEFF: (after a moment) Yeah, it’s nice. (to camera) See y’all tomorrow.

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