It seems as the days go by, the weaker, more fatigued, more tired I am.  I go to bed tired, wake up exhausted, and yet I manage to go to work and put in a full 8 hours, Monday – Friday.

Most people my age are just getting started, they are in the prime of their lives and all I want to do is medicate and sleep, even eating is a chore.

I have chickens and dogs to care for, and here lately, I’ve contemplated selling off the chickens, so I don’t have to get up so early in the morning to feed them, nor spend the time it takes after I get home from work giving them fresh water. Here in the south, fresh water is a must, it should be every day and I used to, until my fusion, now they are lucky to get fresh water every other day because I’m in too much pain to bend, stoop, undo the water containers, fill up, and walk them back to the the pens.  Sorry, I know, but I’m only being honest, for who ever cares, smile.

I can’t get rid of my dogs, they are my children, I just wish I had help with the three that aren’t mine.  I put their feed in their plates every morning, get on the floor (and wallow around a few minutes before managing to get up) and beg them to eat.  My two will always eat (Chichi’s) but the other three, I’ve given to picking up their food, putting in back in the containers, putting it in the frig, and moving on to the next task of the morning – getting ready for work.  I keep dry dog food down, so if they want to eat before I get home, they can eat dry food, the wet food is a treat, to give them something different, but if they don’t want it, I’m not going to beg them.

Life was going fine until I was rear-ended, 2 Aug 2011, then everything changed.  I couldn’t exercise, I started gaining weight, I had surgery, and now I can’t seem to get out of this slump I’m in.  I’ve tried, to no avail, the ever present pain keeps me down and when I do try to walk/do yoga the next day is even more painful than the day before.

I beg God do heal me, or just take some of the pain away, so I can function and get my life back, but apparently, He’s too busy dealing with ding-dongs who are trying to hurt/kill/take over the world and He knows I’ll keep plugging along, even if it’s at a snails pace.  I won’t quit, He didn’t make me that way, and my parents didn’t rear me that way either, so it’s ‘Onward, ho!” pain and all.

And then I see people, read about people, who are in worse shape than me and I feel SOOOO freakin’ bad for feeling bad. However, I’m human, and pain is pain, I just have to find a way to be an overcomer, again!

God bless and Namaste!



Cabin reserved…

thanks to my baby sister!

We are going to take a mini-vacation this summer.  Sorry, can’t tell you where nor when, don’t want to deal with any crazies…sorry.

I can tell you it will be days with no dogs, chickens, cats, phone, nor people to interrupt my already planned out schedule, see below.

Yoga, eat, biking, photographing, knitting/crocheting, reading, watching some satellite tv, more yoga, sleeping…repeat daily….  Sounds like the life of a superstar, so I’m pretending to be a superstar for a few days, although I have no one to cook/clean for me, but I think I can manage that without any problems.

I should be released from the doctor by then, so maybe I can get in a few mini-jogs, as I’m still afraid to run.  I’ll take my camera (which is huge) and that will force me to walk/jog and guarantee I get in some nature photos.

I’m super-uber excited!!!!!!!!


9 weeks later and…I’m baaack!

On 27 Feb, I had a C5, C6 fusion.  The pain in my neck had become so bad that I was unable to do anything, no yoga, no running, no holding my niece, nothing, but eat, work, sleep (and not much of the sleeping!), thus the decision to have the fusion. My doc originally told me I could go back to yoga after 2 weeks, but I was unable to do it.  During my 3 week post-op visit, he told me to try again, so I did.  Needless to say, it has taken me 7 weeks post-surgery to do one of the things I love, yoga.

Having said the above, as I entered The Yoga Room, after work yesterday evening, I felt at home.  My yoga instructor, Tammy Brahan, and I talked for a few minutes about the fusion, where I was still having pain and she said to just take it easy and do what I could do.  I was just so happy to be back, I could’ve laid in savasana the entire class, smile.  As it turned out, my need for neck and shoulder attention became the theme for class and Tammy worked us over, gingerly of course, honestly, she did, this time, grin.  The two things I remember so poignantly was when we went from sphinx to cobra, my cobra asana was probably the best I’d done since the accident.  I was up, and the body was proud!  The second thing I remember was during savasana, as I laid there with my eyes closed, I could literally see purple waves washing over me.  If you read my post, you know savasana isn’t so quiet for me, but last night, all I could see was purple waves and feel my body thanking me for giving it the release it needed.  Now, we are on the road to healing again.  With the help of God and yoga, I have no doubt, the healing process will not be too long.  I just have to remain diligent, be careful and remember to be in the pose, breath through it, and come out if I need, but to get right back in it as my body, my soul, needs it.

I would like to give thanks to my family – my momma, daddy and little sister, as they have taken the best care of me while I’ve been on this journey; my co-workers – as they have had to tow my line while I was out of the office for 6 weeks; my friends for calling and coming by to check on me; Therapeutic Kneads – Manny, for helping get the blood flow started back in my arm to help my nerve heal (I haven’t forgotten to come back I just haven’t made time for me, smile); to Tammy – as she works through her busy schedule and life’s little curves, she still has time to stop and talk to me; and most importantly, to Jesus for pulling me through the surgery, as I am feeling better every week.

I’m blessed beyond measure and have the scar to prove it….


Valentine’s Day. Yoga. Healing.

Valentine’s Day Yoga, that’s what I called yesterday.  All day I reminded myself that I had somewhere special to go after work.  Some where that I would feel unconditional love.  People who love me for me, not for my past, my present, nor my future.  They love me for who I am that moment in time as we all gather on our mats.

Valentine’s day has always been hard for me, even when I had a “Valentine”, but this year I noticed I wasn’t down.  I wasn’t angry.  I wasn’t unhappy for others.  I was okay with it because I’ve realized, through yoga, that this has been my decision.  My decision to be sad on this happy day.  My decision was to be happy for everyone.

I blame this completely on yoga and the fact that it has made be take responsibility for ALL of my decisions.  I’ve chosen not to have a Valentine (for personal reasons, I still am working on!).  I’ve chosen to no longer project my decision on those who are happily involved with their someone special.  I’ve chosen.  I’ve chosen.  My decisions.

This is what my yoga practice is teaching me.  When I hit the mat, it’s all about me!  When I emerge from the mat, I am responsible for my decisions – past, present, and future – not a family member(s), not my neighbor, not someone I loved, not my co-workers, not my yoga guide, not my yoga community.  Again, it’s all about MY decisions, and all decisions – good and bad – have consequences. Those consequences can build me up or destroy me.  They can be building blocks or stumbling blocks.  I, now, choose for them to be building blocks.  I’ve allowed my past to destroy me, cause me be stumble and stay down, but no more.

At my altar of prayer, I finally know I’ll meet my Jesus.  I know I can allow myself to be forgiven for my past and work toward my future.  Yoga has taught me that!

Remember, yoga isn’t about what a man or woman teaches you, it’s about what you learn from within.  Your heart’s guide. For me, my guide is Jesus Christ.  I can finally stop punishing myself mentally and let Him have it. (This coming from a preachers daughter and a saint on the pew.  My dad would be so proud, but I think I’ll keep this between us. Smile.)

What has yoga taught you?


"Intense" bow pose…

Last night, I forewent the 1st ever Hattiesburg Mardi Gras parade to join the other yoga faithfuls in our quest for backbends this month.

As we started practice, all seemed to go smoothly, then Tammy decided to show us a few different ‘ways’ to do bow pose.  One, with the thighs on the ground, heart lifted high; and second, with the legs lifted high and the heart of the ground.

Well after she demonstrated this, I gave her another one of my “have you lost it” looks and she walked over and I said “I can’t do that!” (I know, I said I wasn’t going to say that in yoga class, well I failed, but I’ll do better next time!) She said “I’ll help you or do you just not want to try?”  Now, I was being and ninny, and I admitted it out loud in class, but when Tammy says that, it’s more of a “she’s challenging me” and everyone who knows me, knows I’m always up for a good, healthy challenge.  I said “No, I’ll try it.  I’m just being a ninny.”  Everyone laughed, but it was true.  My body was hurting, my head wasn’t feeling too well, and for the last few days I’ve been having shooting pains in my neck, so I wasn’t to enthused about doing it.  So, in the pose I went, Tammy pushed my feet down, I pushed against her and up I came, BAM!, just like that.  I was impressed.  Then Tammy says, “Look at Melissa everyone, she’s doing it!”  I started laughing and then had to come out of it.  The minute my head hit the floor (not literally), I took a headache above my eyes, across my forehead. I knew that wasn’t good, but I finished out the class and headed home, but not before we did another ‘wild thing’.  Those are contagious!  If you don’t believe me, try one! You’ll be in heaven, not because of the pose, but because you can DO the pose.  (Or maybe it’s just me…hmmm.)

The headache was gone by the time I left the class, I made sure of it ’cause I hate to drive with those kind of headaches with lights hitting me in the eyes.  It’ll bring on a migraine in a heartbeat.

Once home, I told my sister what caused the headache.  For a minute I thought she was going to beat me up.  I received a full minute of lecture before I could get her to shut up long enough for me to say “I DIDN’T CURL MY NECK BACK!”  She stopped and said ok.  If you didn’t curl your neck back, then it wasn’t caused by pinching your neck worse.  She said I was probably holding my breath or was extremely tense and those three big veins across your forehead are attached to the spine, which is attached to everything else, so next time I’m to breathe more and ‘relax’.  I laughed and said “relax in that pose, you really were not watching when I showed you, were you?”  She laughed and said “I’d better be careful or she’d tell my soon to be neck surgeon of my wild yoga poses”.  As if I’m scared of her (I sure hope she doesn’t find this yoga blog, grin)!

The body is sore, but my tummy isn’t as sore as I expected it to be, so that’s a plus.  (I’m sure it’ll sneak up on me tomorrow, as I try to sit up in bed!)

Babysitting tonight for my brother, so no home practice tonight.  I’ll do it tomorrow, when my body has had time to really be sore from last night…laugh.


Breathe. Be.

Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose).  We had two new yogis in class last night and when Tammy started, I was like, yeah, this is going to be an easy class. WRONG! What was I thinking?!

I’m learning that Tammy is compassionate, but when it comes to yoga poses, beginner or advanced, she ‘pushes you off the cliff’ and you fly.  It’s that easy….  I managed to sweat almost as much as if we hadn’t had the two new people.  Then she said “we are all going to do Utthan Pristhasana, lizard pose”.  I looked up like she had lost her mind ’cause I know lizards and I know how they walk and stretch.  I knew we were in for a challenging pose.

I was right!  Now see the pose in the picture?  Now, put your right hand on your right thigh, rotate your torso to the right.  Now, put your hand on your hip and get deep into the stretch, then raise your right hand toward the sky and lead with your heart.  Hmmm, my right leg, at the crease, was hurting so badly that I could barely move out of the pose once it was over.

I know, I overlooked my own rule, no pain, just to the edge….

I just knew I’d be so sore in my groin this morning, but nope.  My legs feel good!  And to that note, Tammy is so good!  Laugh.

I think those who enter a yoga studio are walking to the edge and giving the instructor permission to push them off the edge to allow them to fly because they (the student) don’t have the nerve to do it themselves.

Yoga requires one to stand on the edge, breathe, be present, and then push off that edge.

Flight is freedom!  Flight is joy!  Flight is the chance to see what is below you, behind you and what lies ahead.