Melisa Darby Yoga

Based in Dallas, Texas, Melisa Darby offers yoga instruction that strengthens your body, mind, and spirit for all fitness levels. Yoga is for everyone.

Melisa Darby has been practicing yoga since 2003, and teaching since 2005. Melisa graduated from 200 hour teacher training in 2006 from Down Dog Yoga in Washington, DC. Melisa has studied with Baron Baptiste, Shiva Rea, Ana Forrest, Seane Corn, and others. Offering private or group instruction on site, Melisa brings yoga to you. No matter your fitness level or experience, Melisa Darby Yoga offers


"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
Friedrich Nietzsche



Growing up, my patron saint was St. Therese the Little Flower, or St. Therese of Lisieux. I read her autobiography, Story of a Soul, five times. She was the only saint I could relate to. She was a cloistered Carmelite nun, and died at the young age of 24. Her life was heroic, yet so short. Her superior asked her to write down the events of her life, and her writings turned into the book Story of a Soul. In the book, she describes the path of spiritual childhood, complete trust and abandonment of one's own will to God's. St. Therese is a Doctor of the Church. Her writings, her life is so simple and child-like. She completely trusted God even when it seemed God had abandoned her. My theory on why God took her so young and takes many saints at a young age, is that the older you get life gets more complicated. I know from my own experience, the older I get the more complex life gets, the more complicated I get. It is seemingly impossible to maintain or retrieve that priceless clarity I had when I was younger, before life throws so many curve balls. Spiritually and mentally, my constant goal is to find and connect to that clarity I had when I was younger, even a little of it. Maybe I will never have that pure channel to God again, but there are brief, precious moments that give me hope.

I highly recommend reading Story of a Soul.

The music is from my favorite band Laboratorium Pieśni. They are from Poland. If you can, please donate to them at their PayPal account:


"Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction." - St. John of the Cross

[04/30/20]   I’ve been practicing yoga for about 17 years now since January 2003, not counting last year which I did not practice much at all. What I have learned over the years, and this is my own personal experience is that your experience of yoga/prayer/God that touched you personally on a soul level- that experience no one can take from you. No one- not your teacher, not a guru, no one. And it is your responsibility to respect yourself and honor that first touch from God and be faithful to it. Especially when you start to share that experience through writing, artistic expression, social media, or teaching- the major challenge is remaining open to people while honoring your “true north”, your knowledge of yourself and your purpose gifted to you by God. This becomes really challenging as various challenges in life happen. Sometimes you have to drop what you know and deal with the pressing situation at hand. Your dream has to fall by the wayside as you prioritize family or a pressing financial situation or any other possible crisis that life will inevitably present. These challenges make me realize what a true GIFT it was to be able to share my love and passion for what I love to do. True north to me is being true to yourself at a soul level, the you that is childlike and curious and open. When you open yourself up and put yourself out there, you willingly open yourself to connect with others who may not receive you well or very surprisingly read into your actions or intentions as something negative. The challenge is to come back to your true north- the first touch from God that you experienced in yoga/prayer/Mass. No can take that away from you.

Music is Sky City by El Búho


a simple yoga class

If you are going stir crazy, maybe find a private space/room to practice some yoga. This is a simple class to get started:

Often the hardest thing about doing yoga at home is just getting started. Hopefully this very simple yoga class will help you with that. Doing some yoga at h...

[03/23/20]   Day 9 of the quarantine...I live with my mother who is 83, so I cannot be out and about. Dallas just issued a Shelter in Place order, so we will be here for awhile!

Confession: this past year has been a really difficult year, financially, emotionally, mentally. This past year was the first year since I started practicing yoga that I did not practice much at a handful of times. My circumstances and the current demands of my life just leave me with little energy, time, and inspiration to practice. Lately, after a few home practices, I can feel my body easing back into this flow, like an old friend thats been waiting for me come back. The flow is a bit more of a struggle, but it actually feels Really good, I can feel every little bit of the stretch!


From "Women Who Run With the Wolves"


loyalty is a beautiful word. loyalty is a deep word. loyalty goes to the very root- heart and soul of a relationship. loyalty is not entirely about you. loyalty is not entirely about me. loyalty is as deep as family- the love I have for my mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother. the roots are deep. loyalty makes up your identity, not only socially, but in your soul. when you are loyal, you are verifying your identity, interiorly and exteriorly. loyalty requires following your heart, and expressing your heart to the world. it is the most natural need and central aspect of a person's heart and soul, the Need to be loyal to who you are and who and what you love.

what happens when abuse of some kind happens? when some sickness burrows it's way through the heart and soul of family? the most difficult thing in life and love is when someone/something you love and believe in is not who/what they seem. the floor beneath you disappears, and so does your loyalty- not by choice, but by necessity. the great poets and saints can find the silver lining in such a tragedy. they see the heart and soul of family still shining through the muck and darkness of abuse and error. great poets and saints know how to see, express, cling to that core central beauty, truth, and love they have leaned on, defended, loved. it is impossible however to continue on as we were before we knew/experienced this darkness. it is now part of the relationship. our lives, and our loyalty- by default- has to change and adapt if we are to be whole, integrated beings. we cannot unknow what we know. loyalty will not look or feel the same. loyalty adjusts based on this new information/experience. otherwise we are living a lie, living in a delusional state of reality. and that is not loyalty. that is the problem.


"Yoga Wisdom" - Dharma Mittra


"We have all hurt someone tremendously, whether by intent or accident. We have all loved someone tremendously, whether by intent or accident. it is an intrinsic human trait, and a deep responsibility, I think, to be an organ and a blade. But, learning to forgive ourselves and others because we have not chosen wisely is what makes us most human. We make horrible mistakes. It's how we learn. We breathe love. It's how we learn. And it is inevitable."
Nayyira Waheed

Gustav Klimt


Melisa Darby Photography

#tbt Throwback to that Power Play workshop with Ramona Johnson


Some days practice is light and effortless, everything just flows. Some days it's a struggle, a real effort is required to concentrate and make it happen.


About 3 weeks into eating vegan. It's about changing habits, my body feels better, my practice feels way better. It makes sense. So far, so good


Teaching at Blue Bird Sky Yoga in NE DC Fundamentals on Tuesdays @ 6:30pm, Vinyasa all levels Saturday mornings @ 8:45am, Power flow on Sundays @ 3:30pm


Usually, what is immediately pleasing is not
interesting in the long run.
What is in your depths-
no matter how crazy or irrelevant-
this is art that is interesting
and lasts. 11/17/2017

The Signs of the Time

New blog post: The signs of the time. We want to understand the ways of God, in other words- the meaning of what's happening now, and what will happe...


Part IV

I woke up and felt an ache in my stomach and realize I have not eaten anything since breakfast yesterday, I am starving! I asked the man at the hotel desk if there was anything open or if there was anything to eat anywhere and he shook his head. So I am dragging my suitcase through the streets of Rishikesh looking for a place to eat. The weather is so cool I need a jacket. I see the Ganges river and the mountains. This is a much quieter town, hardly any cars, just motorcycles and rickshaws. I finally see a café and order a veg omelet and coffee (the town of Rishikesh is vegetarian; most restaurants do not serve any meat because of the Hindu religion). I devoured the omelet, it was delicious. I ask a rickshaw driver where is “Parmarth Niketan ashram”. They point across the river, so I take a little boat and cross the Ganges river. I stuck my hand in the water, it is a blue green color and very cold. The Ganges is considered a holy river, they call it “Mother Ganges”. I get out of the boat and ask “where is the ashram” and people point. The Parmarth Niketan ashram is huge, and beautiful. I find the office and sit in the couch to wait my turn to register. He asks if I have a reservation, that they do not have any room for those without a reservation and I tell him I do. He finds my name on the list and takes my passport and I complete several pages. He tells me to take a picture of the daily schedule with my phone and that will tell me when mealtimes, prayer times, and yoga classes will take place. They charge my just 500 rupees a night and that includes 3 meals and all of the classes. I have a nice private room to myself. I set my stuff down and go exploring. This is a very pleasant place compared to everywhere else I’ve been. This is considered a holy town, so people walk the streets bare foot. There were many Europeans there, white people everywhere, so I did not feel like I was attracting attention. I took pictures as I walked, cows are everywhere. Finally, it happened…I stepped on a pile of cow plop. Needless, to say, the shoes went to the trash at the end of the trip. There was a yoga class at the ashram at 4:00, so I went. A young indian man taught the class. I have to say, it was very boring and frustrating…probably the worst yoga class I have ever been to. The poses were half hazardly thrown together with no flow, and the class was interrupted throughout with breathing and chanting. After the class, I went to dinner and devoured a ton of rice and whatever the other vegetarian dishes were. I went to bed early that night to the sounds of chanting and praying in the ashram.

I set my alarm to wake up early for the morning universal prayers and yoga class. I sat up and realized I was getting sick. I was achy, sore, and slight headache. I laid back down and slept through the morning prayers, but made myself go to yoga. This yoga class was even worse than the day before. This young monk taught the class, and I wanted it to be over all throughout the class. I decided no more ashram yoga classes. I went to breakfast, it was a warm, bright yellow, mush. I forced myself to eat it. I went to my room and laid down, still feeling sick. I heard someone in the room next to me throwing up. After awhile, I got up and decided to explore. I found an Ashtanga yoga studio and signed up for their next class, I have always wanted to try Ashtanga, so I was excited to see this school. The class took place in a small studio facing the Ganges river. I loved it…it was similar to Power yoga, simple and challenging, and the teacher did a ton of assists to help me go deeper in the posture. I could not ignore the fact that I felt nauseous throughout the class. I thanked the teacher and planned on taking all 3 of the Ashtanga classes tomorrow. I went to bed early. The next morning- I was full on sick, sneezing, coughing, felt terrible. I went to the ayurvedic pharmacy around the corner from the ashram and bought a couple of different meds he recommended. They helped but did not help a lot. I took advil and sipped on this Basil cough medicine throughout the day. I bought a bus ticket to go back to Delhi that night. I didn’t feel well enough to take any yoga classes. I paid a local hair place $1 to wash my hair, it was so gross. He sprayed down my hair with a spray bottle and rubbed some shampoo in it…he kept trying to add services to increase the price and I said no. Then he brought me to an alley and had me bend over. He poured 3 buckets of cold water over my head…it actually felt really good. Then he massaged my scalp and around my temples. I have to say that was the best dollar I spent on the whole trip. Now I have clean hair and feel refreshed. After that, I stopped at a juice bar and ordered honey-ginger tea, a bowl of fruit salad, and a carrot, beet, ginger juice…all of that for about $3. It was heavenly.

I went back to my room, packed and rested until it was time to catch my bus. I was really early so I sat at the café where I ate the omelet for about an hour drinking tea. I watched an indian couple with their young baby…the mother kept hitting the child on the head which made him scream…the father was super gentle with the baby. I left the café and took a rickshaw to the bus. I sat in the bus for 40 minutes waiting for it to leave and started feeling worse. My cough was out of control. I had to really exert an effort not to start coughing because it was so violent. I was never really worried during the trip before now. Finally the bus takes off, and the driver is not driving like a bat out of hell, but very….slow…ly, which made me feel worse. Well into the trip, I have a hard time breathing and I am trying to not cough, because it gets out of control and I really struggle with breath. I am miserable. The bus arrives Delhi and it is about 4am. He drops us off at a no-where place, it is not a bus stop, it is not a popular place, it is dead, and dark. Me and several others agree to share a cab to the airport, one lady stops us and tells us that you cannot enter the airport until 4-5 hours before your flight, and mine is not until 1:45am the next day. I decide to go the airport anyway and find out what to do once I am there. I arrive at Delhi airport and try to enter, but just as the lady said, they will not let any passenger enter the airport until a few hours before departure. I sit on a bench for about 20 minutes. I am exhausted and sick, and I do not have that much money. I finally decide I need a hotel room for the day, one that is near the airport. I take a shuttle to a nearby hotel, the shuttle driver gets out with me, he can see I don’t feel well. I ask him to take me to a pharmacy and he said nothing opens until 10am, several hours from now. I use my credit card to pay the 3000 rupees for a room. They tell me there is free breakfast. I close the door to my room, use the restroom and collapse in the bed. I don’t wake up until 7:30pm. I don’t have the strength to shower, so I just change clothes and go to the lobby. A taxi takes me to the airport. I have a brief scuff getting my boarding pass again because of the $135 change fee in New York that I paid and did not have the receipt. I finally get on the plane, and pray that all goes well. I did not eat but 2 bites of the food they served us. I was so nauseous, and I had mosquito bites the size of nickels all over my legs. It wasn’t until I made it home that I found relief. My trip was short and sour….it was a very hard trip. But if I go back, I know exactly what to do…


Part III

So, the taxi arrives to take me to Spencer mall, the English speaking woman on the broke down bus told me to go there to shop for gifts. The traffic in indescribable, this time I am seeing it in broad daylight, cars, trucks, buses, rickshaws, even bicycles, cows, and people walking- all on the same road. We had over a dozen near hits on the ride from the hotel to the mall, and that is normal here. There are no traffic lights, not stop signs, people just weave and dodge, look for an opening to dart through. There were a lot of vespa’s and motorcycles with 2-3 people on them without helmets going 50-60 mph. Unbelievable!

The mall was 4 stories tall and I am looking for a Ganesha statue for a friend and a special gift for the friend from NY who enabled me to get the visa. The first store I went in I found a wooden, intricately carved Ganesha statue for $12. I roamed around and had some tea in the restaurant circle. Then found a restroom. This tall lady tells me “The doctors say Americans don’t have the right muscle development to be able to go properly in those holes in the floor…better to sit on a toilet.” She was American, a real estate agent, and like me, she wanted to go someplace different, “third world”. She was hilarious and showed me a really cute shop to find gifts. I found a sequined, brightly colored bag for the NY lady for $3. I gave her my email address, we are now friends on Facebook. She was on her way to the Maldives.

The taxi met me exactly at 3:00 and took me back to the hotel. The hotel had wifi, so I was able to post some pics on Facebook and email. I went to sleep and at 7am took the shuttle to the airport to catch my flight back to Delhi and on to Rishikesh. I went to Air India counter, and they told me my lfight was delayed but there was a flight that leaves in an hour and half. I run to a different counter, the Air India rep asks me if I paid the $130 change flight fee in NY. I told him yes. He asked me for the receipt. I told him I do not have it. So, for the next 25 minutes, this guy disappears in the back, I am standing there getting increasingly anxious and angry. Finally, he re-appears and gives me my boarding pass. I run through security (which is nothing compared to America’s security, its like 1980’s security, you just place your bags on the machine and walk through a metal detector). I am now in the gate area. This airport, my gosh, there was a screen with all of the flights but no gate information. I ask a security officer who tells me to wait, the gate information will appear. Thirty minutes later, no gate information, not just for my flight but none of the flights have gate information. Someone else tells me I will hear it over the PA system when they announce a flight is boarding. I can barely hear the announcements, they are not loud enough and there are a ton of people milling around talking. Finally I vaguely hear my flight number, but there are several lines of people! I have to walk around asking “Is this flight number…?” Finally, I find my flight by mere chance. Whew.

The flight from Chennai to Delhi is about 3 hours. I reach Delhi and am hopeful things are a bit more civilized in this big city. I change more US dollars to rupees in the airport, and I ask the guy what is the best way to get to a bus or train station to get to Rishikesh. He points me to a bus that passes the train station. The weather outside is not as brutally hot, a bit milder, in the 80s. I take the bus and I ask the bus attendant to tell me when we have reached the train station. I exit at the train station and there are hundreds of people inside, I am absolutely clueless as to which line to stand in to buy a ticket. An employee sees me and tells me that there are no tickets left to Rishikesh today. I panic. Once again, I am in a predicament. The employee takes me to a rickshaw driver and tells him where to take me to get a ticket. The driver takes me to a tourist agency nearby. I sit across from this man who is looking on his computer and he says there are not even train tickets to Rishikesh for tomorrow either. I ask him about the buses and he knows nothing about the buses. I leave, now the rickshaw driver is advising me to take a cab from Delhi to Rishikesh for about $60. I tell him no, take me to the bus station- the Government Bus Station! I read on the internet that people will tell you all different stories to deter you from the buses because they are the cheapest and best way to get from place to place, in addition to the trains. But I cannot take a train. After much squabbling, the rickshaw driver returns to the train station. I find another rickshaw driver and tell him to take me to the government bus station. He tells me “Okay, 200 rupees.” Okay. About halfway there, he says due to parking fees, it will actually cost 300 rupees. By the time we approach the bus station, the fee is now 400 rupees, twice as much as what he originally quoted. All of a sudden, a young man jumps on the side of the rickshaw and asks “where are you going??” I tell him Rishikesh. The rickshaw stops, the man grabs my bag and says this way. I have 200 rupees in my pocket and I quickly give this to the rickshaw driver and go with the man. The driver is yelling at me as we are literally running towards this bus. The young man takes my hand, we are running through the crowds of people, we jump over a small fence and find the bus is a long line of buses. He takes my bag to the back of the bus and I tell him I have to use the restroom, he tells me to come without my bags and I tell him 3x “No.” He says something to the young man sitting in front of me who turns around and tells me your bags are safe here. He looks trustworthy. So I go with the man, actually, we are running again. I pay 20 rupees to go to the restroom- which is a hole in the ground, I have tp in my pocket, thank God! On the way back to the bus, the young man is demanding 300 rupees from me for finding this bus, I tell him no. He is yelling and demanding and I stop look him in the face and tell him “You Are NOT Right.” I give him 20 rupees and he leaves me to find my bus on my own. So I run to the different buses and yell inside are my bags in there??? Are my bags in here??? I see the face of a young man in the back and yell at him “Are my bags in there??” He nods yes. I end up sitting next to him for the 4 hour bus ride ahead of us. He was incredibly nice and spoke perfect English. He is studying engineering at a well known university in Hardi-war, near Rishikesh. There is a little boy who yells from the front of the bus which stop is coming. He told me that this bus charged him more than what he thought, they would not give him any change for what he gave them. This is a privately owned bus, not a government bus. The driver was insane…going so fast, weaving in and out of lanes…he actually hit another vehicle and the bus jumped a few inches to the right. The young guy I’m sitting next to tells me collisions happen all the time here, but they are quickly cleaned up and traffic resumes. Wow.

The young guy gets off at Hardi-war, the next stop is Rishikesh. It is about 10pm and I get off a little before the correct stop, at a hotel. The concierge asks a cab driver if he will take me just up the street to the bus stop. I get in and he says he will take me all the way Rishikesh for 500 rupees. Done deal. I get out of the cab at the first hotels in Rishikesh that we see. The weather is very cool, in the 60’s. I find a room for the night for 600 rupees. The sink is broken. But I fall asleep, and I know just where to go from here.

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