24 January 2015

Mississippi {50 States of Yoga}

My trip really began on Sunday in New Orleans, Louisiana as I flew into MSY - Louis Armstrong International Airport.  After arriving I picked up my friend Courtney {who go there earlier in the day} from the French Quarter and crashed for the night at an airport hotel.  Monday morning we were up bright and early to start our road trip adventure.... first stop - Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

I had never been to Mississippi before, nor the Gulf Coast, so I had no expectations.  I randomly chose Bay St. Louis because it was on the way... and on the Gulf of Mexico.  The beautiful Gulf of Mexico!  But more of that later.  First we drove into town and headed straight to the yoga studio, arriving just in time.  Tree House Yoga is in a lovely wooden building... that I imagine may have been a house at one time.  It is just above the adorable Mockingbird Cafe that we visited after class for a chai latte {which they make from their own recipe}. 

They have a Little Free Library outside!
I've always wanted one of these.  =D

We soon discovered that Bay St. Louis is a retirement community full of snowbirds from the North.  Courtney and I were certainly the youngest in the crowd, but that doesn't really matter.  I had finished reading Yoga and the 12 Step Path on my flight in and one of the most valuable tidbits I learned from the book was to STAY ON MY OWN MAT.  Don't wander during yoga to look at the skinny girl, or the super flexible lady, or the one with the $80 yoga pants.  Stay on my mat.  Focus on my body and breath and how I feel.  Honor myself.  And so, as our Gentle Yoga class began with Rebecca, I reminded myself over and over again - be present within me.

After class I introduced myself to some of the ladies and told them about my journey.  It may have been mostly snowbirds, but the southern hospitality wasn't lacking.  They were so kind and curious and shared their own stories.  I had a chance to speak with Rebecca, our teacher, too - and felt blessed to have taken a class with her.  Her years of training and experience teaching in places that I have long admired {like Kripalu and Spirit Rock} is impressive, but also not surprising having spent an hour under her guidance.  I'm grateful to have accidentally discovered Tree House Yoga and Rebecca's class. 

We said our goodbyes, bought that delectable chai at Mockingbird Cafe, and drove down towards the gulf for our first glimpse of what would be miles and  miles of fine white sandy beaches... desolate, likely due to the time of year.  While at our yoga class, one of our classmates told us about a couple she had seen walking the beach the day before.  She said they had a couple of dogs and were walking from Georgia to Colorado.  Sure enough, as we drove along the beach we saw a couple I suspected were the vagabonds.  I yelled out of the window at them, they confirmed they were the folks walking to CO and I waved, wishing them luck.  We chose to drive along the gulf on a byway, taking our time to get to Mobile, AL that evening. 

As it neared lunch time we stopped at Shaggy's in Pass Harbor, MS.  I have to say this now.. this trip turned into a gastro-trip by accident.  I hadn't considered before hand how different the food would be here from places I had traveled before.  Both Courtney and I were raised on the Atlantic Ocean in Massachusetts - so seafood was a natural draw for us.  Shaggy's is located right on the Gulf of Mexico and has the charming atmosphere of a rustic seaside shanty.  Naturally I ordered local favorites that I hadn't tried before - Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Fried Crawfish Tails.  The crawfish tails tasted like fried baby shrimp - I probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference if they were mixed together.  The friend green tomatoes were tasty, but I wouldn't order them again, it was enough to have the experience once. 

I'm sucker for a good lookin' tie dye!

After lunch we drove along Route 90, along the water through Gulfport and Biloxi and their pristine beaches.  I could see myself retiring in such a place.  I've honestly never seen such perfect sand before.  It was so fine, powder-like.  The palest beige - near white.  It literally went on for miles and miles.. I didn't think it would ever end, but it eventually did.  Eventually, we crossed into Alabama and headed up along Mobile Bay, crossing the state line into Alabama.

Thanks for reading about my yoga journey through our beautiful country! I'll continue to try to get to 4 or 5 states a month. Until then... please take a look at the other 3 states from this trip!


Want to see the latest and greatest?
Click here to see the feed of all 50 States of Yoga!

Thank you for reading my blog... please let me know what you think!

No comments:

Post a Comment