Blog

Posts about yoga, meditation, psychology, culture, and staying centered. New Posts most Mondays. Check back often for new Core Thoughts!

Hand Over Hand

Hand Over Hand

Hand, foot. Hand, hand, foot. Slide. Grab, hold. Pull. Foot. Foot. Breathe… I’ve started rock climbing. I’m not very good, ...
Read More
First, Do No Harm

First, Do No Harm

Sigh. Dammit. I don’t know. I just… Where to even start? We live in strange times. The national conversation feels ...
Read More

On Gaining Weight and Not Giving a Shit

Y'all wanna know something? I gained some weight in 2016. Wanna know something else? I don't give a shit that ...
Read More
earth-day

What the Light Can Do: 2016 Year in Review

What a strange, difficult year to reflect on. I know many good and joyful things happened, but the things that ...
Read More
15027658_10154284681668138_797598417627579096_n

Letter to My Graduates 3

Dear Yogis, When I was a little girl, my mother once read me a story about a mom who would ...
Read More
hillary-clinton-silhouette

We Go High

Here I sit--like so many of you--sad, confused, defeated. Exhausted from almost no sleep. Deeply hurt and betrayed. And very, ...
Read More
Age 19, just a few months after my rape

It’s Not Okay: On Being Raped, Men in Power, and a Presidential Election

I said yes. At first. I was a virgin, and he knew it. He knew I wasn’t on birth control, ...
Read More
unnamed

Letter to an Old House

Tomorrow your listing will go live. Someone will hit a button and broadcast on my behalf that it’s time for ...
Read More
c93dc19e-77cd-4a26-8c98-f60a323fd06f

Sometimes I Need It, Too

I step back to my first Down Dog. My foot slips in a wet spot on my mat. It’s too ...
Read More
Notes from the Road

Notes from the Road

Cooper looks at me from his carrier. His eyes are big and green and calm. He’s done and seen this ...
Read More
roxanegay

On Feeling Less Than

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I just got done reading Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. It’s a fantastic book ...
Read More
1794699_10153680708193138_7605483780477384167_n

How to Turn 33

Dear Melissa, You laugh a little, don’t you, when people ask, “How did you decide on Chile for your birthday?” ...
Read More
10420188_10152605411703138_5275954105733977982_n

Dear Future Trainee

Dear Future Trainee, Next week, we start our journey together. Your application is in, your tuition is paid, and you’ve ...
Read More
kenwyn_alexander-6063

“You’ll Never Work a Day in Your Life”: One for the Dream-Chasers

“We should catch up! Do you want to meet for coffee at 3:00 on Wednesday?” “I can’t. That’s when I ...
Read More
11709626_10153199398183138_9036401742570056310_n

Why I Talk About Body Image

“I’m not really clear on what you’re doing here. You’re just posting pictures of yourself doing yoga with no shirt ...
Read More
One of my earliest yoga photos

How I Practice: A Meditation on 12 Years on the Mat

When I first started practicing years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a vague sense ...
Read More
2016

Time After Time: 2015 in Review

I love New Year’s Eve. I’m a sucker for beginning and ending rituals. I revel in the feeling of turning ...
Read More
12227053_10153440759273138_5472650964665530003_n

Letter to My Graduates 2

Dear Sisters, I’m writing this a few days before you graduate, and it’s very possible that I’m not yet far ...
Read More
unnamed-2

How to Listen

“Will you tell me about her?” Her eyes widen and fill with tears a little. “Of course!” she says. She ...
Read More
12096408_10153473886129279_5864149342578784346_n

For The Girls

I hit the back button on my phone. Those first piano chords strike, and my heart melts a little, just ...
Read More
IMG_3247

U-Haul, We Haul: I do it for the stories

He pokes at this phone. “If we keep the rental car longer than 26 hours, the price goes up to ...
Read More
10420188_10152605411703138_5275954105733977982_n

Why You Should Do Teacher Training with Me

When I designed my teacher training program over two years ago, I poured my heart and soul into it. I ...
Read More
1459863_783826821681835_2055254053324901866_n

Yes and… No

“It’s aaalllllllllll about acceptance, baby,” she croons. Tears run from my eyes down my temples to my hair. I already ...
Read More
10-signs-you-should-go-to-the-emergency-room

On Being Sick

It’s a strange thing when your body shuts down on you. One minute you’re a healthy, happy yogi on the ...
Read More
images-1

Poem: I Want You to See Me As Wild

I want you to always see me as wild. I want to always be the girl you fell in love ...
Read More
11061253_10152873240543138_404220221685406264_n

How to Turn 32

Dear Melissa, As you know, college football programs often have “re-building years.” They are seasons spent re-grouping, re-assessing, and re-strategizing ...
Read More
2338737975_b92ebb16f5

Interstate Love Song

I’ve always loved driving on the interstate at night. When I finally got my license at age 17, I defied ...
Read More
background

Poem: When I Die

When I die I want you to scatter my ashes in water. Fling me into the mouth of the mighty ...
Read More
prayer-hands3

Still, A Pretty Good Year

Earlier this year, one night in the middle of the summer, I told someone one of the truest things I’ve ...
Read More
screen

A Tale of Two Christmases

On a cold Sunday in December two years ago, I walked into the sanctuary of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, alone ...
Read More
4707547309_6cc8e36a92_z

Poem: An Encounter with My Ex’s Ex in a Bar on a Tuesday

It will take me a while to remember where I know her from, after she walks away from asking me, ...
Read More
10410223_10152605411613138_2800797421148127681_n-1

A Letter to My Graduates

It’s 6:30pm on Sunday night, November 16th, 2014. The day you graduated from Yoga Teacher Training. It’s dark and raining ...
Read More
000_453492516.si

Why Yogis Should Care About Ferguson

As I talked about my feelings about the decision in Ferguson, MO this week, as I lamented my feelings of ...
Read More
1779323_10152290069192783_194542115_n

Anatomy of a Practice

2:58pm My mat hits the ground with a familiar thu-thunk. The room is still warm from the last class. Every ...
Read More
Just because you're in a magazine doesn't mean...

On Being Public

Recently, within a week of each other, two different people said to me, “You’re kind of a celebrity.” The first ...
Read More
boozahol

How to Turn 31

The celebration of my 21st birthday was the most stereotypically drunken affair in modern human history. By the time I ...
Read More
Melissa and Sadie

What is Core Strength Vinyasa? And Why is It So Awesome?

Sharp-eyed yogis may have noticed a slight change in the name of my classes at The Yoga Circle and on ...
Read More
Portrait of stressed woman having head pain

Beware the Drama Bomb

This feels so familiar. My heart is pounding. My stomach feels tight and fluttery. My vision is blurring a little, ...
Read More
Melissa and her cat

“So… what are you DOING right now?”

“How are you? … And what exactly are you doing right now?” I hear those questions a lot lately. People ...
Read More
How to Turn 30, Weekend 3 and Beyond

How to Turn 30, Weekend 3 and Beyond

My apologies for the delay in birthday month posts. Life took over in ways that will become evident further down ...
Read More
How to Turn 30: Weekend 2

How to Turn 30: Weekend 2

Start with some of your favorite hometown yogis... Add in a living kirtan legend... And a few hundred other lively ...
Read More
How to Turn 30: Weekend 1

How to Turn 30: Weekend 1

"Don’t take my devils away, because my angels may flee, too." - Rainer Maria Rilke When I first conceived of ...
Read More
Yoga for a Broken Heart

Yoga for a Broken Heart

This is the post I’ve been avoiding writing. This is the one I’ve been agonizing over for weeks. The one ...
Read More
Ryan Clark

Making Meaning: Reflections on Mass Shootings and Making Sense of the Senseless

On the afternoon of April 16th, 2007, I was sitting outside the Starbucks in Five Points, drinking a cup of ...
Read More
Melissa and Sadie

Loving and Learning in Austin: Five Days of Training with Sadie Nardini

Last week, I drove 13 hours to Austin for a five-day training with my girl Sadie Nardini. Somewhere in southern ...
Read More
MLK and his fellow protestors

Us vs. Them

My parents tell a story about me from when I was about four years old. I had seen something on ...
Read More
Meditating brain

The Envision Project

The Envision Project is getting a lot of buzz amongst Birmingham yogis right now. I talked to Lauren Fields and ...
Read More
A crowd of yogis at Global Mala

What Spiritual Activism Is… and Isn’t

This week, I received a Facebook message sent to a bunch of women. It said to post a heart on ...
Read More
How to Say No

How to Say No

Recently, I was trying to get together with a group of women to discuss a powerful, exciting new project we’re ...
Read More
How to Say Yes

How to Say Yes

Two years ago, I took a major gamble. I was working at a full-time job that I hated and that, ...
Read More
Sadie Nardini teaching a workshop

Work it Out: Finding a Great Yoga Workshop

I’m kind of pumped. I just signed up for a five-day teacher training in Austin with my girl Sadie Nardini ...
Read More
A Letter to My Students

A Letter to My Students

Dear Yogi, We’ve known each other for a while now. Or maybe we just met this week. You’ve been coming ...
Read More
Two women whispering to each other

Weirdos: The Art of Living Your Yoga

Admit it: You’re the weird one in your family. Your friends comment on how different you are than you used ...
Read More
Face with finger to lips

The Things We Don’t Say

Last week, I posted about my long-standing issues with body image and my evolving relationship with my body. The response ...
Read More
Scale with feet

On Feeling Fat: Body Image and the Power of Yoga

The first time I remember feeling fat, I was ten years old. It was the summer after my fourth grade ...
Read More
Heart and Meditating Yogi

Yoga Love

It was love at first meeting. That kind of sudden, deep, knock-your-socks off love that changes everything. I was twenty ...
Read More
Aerial shot of yogis at Global Mala

“People Do Yoga in Birmingham?”

When I travel to other places for yoga workshops and events, people inevitably ask where I’m from. When I tell ...
Read More
Sadie on a tv screen

Rocking My Yoga, Part 3

Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2, if you missed them! In the middle of all this ...
Read More
Picture of a street in NYC

Rocking My Yoga, Part 2

Miss Part 1? Read it here. The next few weeks were a flurry of activity. I had flights to book ...
Read More
Melissa in Reverse Warior Pose

Rocking My Yoga, Part 1

It’s fitting that the first post in this new space is about my experience on set at Sadie Nardini’s “Rock ...
Read More