Kirsty Tavolacci isn’t afraid to post nude pictures of herself in yoga poses on Instagram. She isn’t afraid to fire back (with love, she says) at rude comments about her body. She isn’t afraid to delete or block those comments and followers, either.
“That is rude,” Tavolacci, 21, responded to one Instagram comment about the size of her breasts on a post of her doing a hand stand nude on California’s Avila Beach. “You would NOT like it if someone commented on your photos saying something negative about you. As a society we should be telling others they are beautiful and empowering them, not doing the opposite as you are doing right now.”
“Are we born for something bigger than a simple life on tracks? Station to station, just pressing time to the finish line Are we fooling our imaginations? Like ships on the shore or planes on the floor Or trains on the highway You’re a colorful soul in a technicolor world While you’re living it black and white . Where we are is not all we are It’s the path we’ve run so far Have you ever felt so alive? You feel the blood in your veins like ice Melting down your spine Oh, have you fallen in love? Felt that shiver, that shift in your soul Crashing down like a wave On the seaside, on the seaside” – All We Are by Andy Kong . . . Enjoying my last afternoon in Coronado on the beach then saying goodbye to @stringbeanyoga At 3 I’m taking a train up to LA to see my “gram” bestie I’ve never met, @lexcreid in just a few short hours! Going to a HIIT vinyasa class later tonight in Venice & def. gonna be cuddling her kitty see you soon babe! . . #pincha #pinchamayurasana #HIITtoINVERT #backbend #yoga
Tavolacci, who has more than 31,500 followers as @tiny.kirsty on Instagram, can take the heat in the social media realm. Besides, Instagram is what inspired her to start practicing yoga in the first place.
“I found women and men who were so inspirational to me and I wanted to be able to do even a quarter of the things they could,” said Tavolacci, who is from New York but grew up in North Carolina and has a background in competitive cheerleading.
She started practicing on the first day of 2016. She just completed her yoga teacher training in April during a 16-day immersion intensive in Pahoa, Hawaii.
“I wanted to be a teacher because I genuinely love to teach and help others find their passion,” said Tavolacci, a substitute instructor at Hero Fitness in Matthews. “Fitness and yoga for me has been a complete game changer in my life. It has inspired my personal development, and I hope to bring that inspiration to the world.”
One way she’s spreading inspiration is with her ebook, “HIIT to Invert.” She and fellow yogi Heather Barb filled the book with a combination of yoga and high intensity interval training guidance to educate readers about inversions such as handstand and forearm stand while increasing flexibility and strength.
“Our goal with the ebook is to continue to spread our love for inversions and to help others feel the empowerment of being upside down,” said Tavolacci, who spent a year in college before leaving it behind to focus on yoga and entrepreneurial pursuits.
Lately, naked Instagram posts are part of Tavolacci’s efforts to inspire, too, from Big Sur, to Santa Barbara, to North Carolina (in lingerie).
“Why are people so mad at girls who are okay with themselves? Do you know how many problematic things they have had to unlearn? How much self-destructive stuff they have had to erase from their memory? Don’t patronize someone for feeling confident because you don’t know the process that went into building their self-esteem.” . Never sexualising the naked body with @petranellea & @acro.evie I wish, for the world, that every woman (and man) had the confidence to walk around naked, natural and truly themselves.
Tavolacci said it wasn’t hard for her to hit the “publish” button on those posts, and her intention is not to sexualize the human body.
“Honestly, I don’t believe confidence should be hidden and I am a firm believer that every single person is perfect the way they are,” she said. “I was prompted to post naked yoga photos because it was freeing, liberating, and truly a form of art that not many people had seen before. The purpose of the photos is to let everyone know that they are beautiful and to let everyone know that in their most natural state, confidence and self-love is everything.”
Plus, practicing yoga in the nude makes her feel powerful.
“It makes me focus on the pure physical and mental practice,” she said. “No distractions and no judgment.”
As for the spectacular backdrops for her latest Instagram posts, those are a natural result of her nearly month-long trek across the country with a teacher training “spirit buddy.” The two stopped in scenic spots like Arkansas, Denver, Colo., and Horshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, with Coronado, Calif. as the final destination. There, Tavolacci met up with friends she had made on Instagram.
“The purpose with my trip was just to simply explore — explore places and explore myself on a deeper level,” said Tavolacci, who returns Sept. 19.
As for what’s next? Tavolacci plans to start teaching backbend and inversion workshops. But for now, she’s still traveling, with a trip to Maryland to visit her best friend and a trip to Georgia to visit her boyfriend on the horizon.
“I never know what my life has in store, but I’m excited to take every opportunity this year to continue to grow,” she said.
So I woke up this morning so sick. I got less than an hour of sleep because the sinus pain in my ear was so excruciating ( update** I have an ear infection. ) Honestly, I’ve had a horse throats for the past 3 days and kept telling myself that I wasn’t sick and that I would be fine.. because physically, I did feel pretty decent. Sometimes life catches up to you.. and now it’s time to rest all day today before I fly out of LA tomorrow to go home for a few days. I am a little disappointed I had to cancel my plans with @namastejenay this afternoon, but such is life. I am at the minute clinic right now & hopefully will feel even the slightest bit better before my plane ride anyways, hope you all are having a better day than me xo
Photo: Kirsty Tavolacci