Well Being

Nude Activist Says Topless Yoga Is A Civil Right. Sorry; It’s Not.

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Perhaps you've heard that in New York City it's perfectly legal to run around town topless (you know, so all the creepy guys can ogle over your bare breasts and get pics on their iPhones to send to all their creepy friends). Well, that doesn't seem to bother topless activist Moira Johnston who is hell-bent on making a statement in yoga class, of all places. Only problem is, yoga studios keep banning her topless self. She claims this violates her civil rights, but it really violates the rights of her classmates.

Johnston wants to know: if guys can go topless in yoga class, why can’t women?  It's an interesting point and we applaud her for bravely standing up for what she believes. But in yoga class? Where most of us already have enough trouble staying focused on our mats? Where this look-at-me culture in yoga today is already messing with our zen?

Yep. Ever since January when Johnston was booted out of several classes for bearing her chest, she's filed a total of 13 complaints with the New York State Division of Human Rights against yoga studios. To her, this is a matter of a civil rights violation. But is it really?

These yoga studios are private businesses, meaning they can require everyone to wear full-length snowsuits if they want. It may be the law that women in NYC have the right to go topless, but come on, use some discretion. Yoga is not a place to make a statement about your breasts or equal rights. It's a place to relax and feel comfortable in your surroundings–not make others uncomfortable. Cell phones are banned from class because they are distracting, and topless women are equally as distracting to their fellow yogis.

But Johnston sees it quite the opposite way:

The most ironic thing is that this is the yoga community, and we’re supposed to be transcending gender and celebrating equality. I would have thought that this community would embrace it even if it wasn’t legal.

Sounds like she's just trying to make a point. What does topless yoga really prove anyway?

Tell us what you think?

Photo: yogadork.com