Tag Archives: Oneika Mays

Namaste bitches! A Black Man’s Guide to Yoga.

Namaste bitches courtesy of regretsy.comYesterday I took my first yoga class.

That sh*t was no joke.

If you had asked me what I thought of yoga before the class, words like smelly, sweaty, crunchy and weirdos in strange poses, come to mind.

It certainly would not have been: strenuous, challenging, or bad-ass.

Who would have thought that yoga was the official full body workout?

Seriously, its up there with P90X and Insanity.

Without all the jumping around.

But since having my yoga cherry popped, I have a new-found respect for that-which-I-formerly-dismissed.

I titled this A Black Man’s Guide to Yoga because yoga has always been something that white chicks, Asians or gay men did.

I’m soooo PC.

But a Black man doing yoga?

As the infamous Ed Lover says “C’mon son!”

If you’re like me, at first glance, yoga seems innocent enough.

It’s like stretching.

Do a bunch of poses.

Breathe.

Throw in a couple of ‘Oms’.

And you’re done.

Right?

Wrong!

Sure. You do do poses.

But you pose with intention.

And you hold your poses.

For what seems like an eternity.

Every movement is purposeful.

Even your breathing is purposeful.

Inhale.

Exhale.

No. Don’t just inhale and exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

See the difference?

Fuck you.

It doesn’t translate all that well in text.

But take a yoga class and you’ll get it.

My girl Oneika Mays (total bad-ass) completed her teacher training a few months ago and has been imploring me to take it up.

So yesterday, I took her up on the offer.

How hard could it be?

Hard!

Real. Fucking. Hard.

Mind you, I’m no punk.

But I was on the verge of crying like a byatch yesterday.

Not really.

But I did want to slap the shit out of somebody.

Anybody.

Just something to distract me from the pain.

Who knew yoga would make me want to slap my momma?

Yoga looks so easy.

It is anything but.

Five minutes in, I was sweating like a slave picking cotton in the middle of a African summer.

I never thought downward dog would make my triceps scream.

Or that warrior one would put a serious burn in my quads.

Sit-ups and crunches pale in comparison to the ab workout I got activating my core doing those damn poses.

I was at my wits end when we finally got to shavasana, or corpse pose.

Which is essentially playing dead.

The corpse pose is the last pose in a session, meant to relax you.

And (thankfully) it washed away the pain from the previous 50 minutes.

I walked away from class like nothing ever happened.

Must have been the endorphins.

So children, what is the takeaway from all this?

Yoga is awesome.

Period.

Oneika, signs off on all her blog posts with “Namaste”, a customary salutation among Hindus and Buddhists.

But since I’m a Black man, I’ve got to flair it up a bit for my peoples.

So Namaste bitches! I bid you farewell.

Now go do some yoga.

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Filed under advocacy, yoga

Get my cook on! Salmon curry rub.

I gets down for my get down in the kitchen. Ya dig?

I was inspired to post about food because of my girl Oneika.

Every Sunday, she writes a post (the eve of Meatless Monday) on aoinspiration.com about what she’s cooking.

Since I’m always cooking, I figured I’d write a post about how I gets bizzy in the kitchen.

If you were unaware, I throws down in the kitchen.

I don’t mean I can cook – I. Throws. Down.

Pots throughout New Jersey and the metropolitan area, speak of me as legend.

Take today for instance.

Chanel has been complaining about how excessively spicy the salmon filet she’s ordered from HLS have been.

She’s gotten the honey jerk, the mustard vinaigrette, and even a ‘hold the sauce’, but they’ve all been too spicy.

I figured that since she’s so fond of pan-grilled salmon, I’d give the pans some lovin’ and hook her up.

So I pulled out a pound and a half of wild Alaskan salmon (I leave the farm raised alone).

After cleaning it (salt & water), I patted it dry and applied a salt and curry rub, with a little olive oil sprinkleddrizzled in for good measure.

Salmon’s looking good enough to grill!

I don’t really do measurements (so use your own discretion when seasoning – if you want to make this) but I probably rubbed about a tablespoon of curry, a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Then, I cut the salmon into six (relatively) equal sized portions.

I drizzled the pan with a little olive oil, placed in my salmon portions (seasoned side down) in over a medium flame, and covered the pan.

After about five or six minutes, I flipped the salmon over onto the skinned side.

The salmon had cooked through, but I wanted to give the skin a little crispiness and texture.

A minute later, they were done.

Curry and salt rubbed salmon ready to go!

Dropped a portion on a plate with some brown rice, a little bit of sautéed cabbage I’d made earlier (really simple – cabbage cut into small rectangular portions, salt, pepper, paprike, chili powder, olive oil, sautéed for about 10 minutes in a covered pan – applying a splash of water occasionally to create a sort of gravy during the sautée) – and viola!

Curry and salt rubbed salmon was a hit with Chanel, and you’re more than welcome to try this recipe yourself.

And make sure you let me know what you think!

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Filed under Smack talking

Get Inspired! AOInspiration.com

A few days ago, my girls Ashley Gee and Oneika Mays (soft) launched their lifestyle website, AOinspiration.com, and I couldn’t be prouder!

A&O's homepage. Looks nice right?

You must know that a few months ago, A&O was just a concept Ashley and Oneika were throwing around.

But fast forward and now it’s a living, breathing, full-fledged website/brand, offering inspirational stories, articles and posts about healthy living, travel & leisure, natural hair and beauty and more.

The tagline of A&O, “Discover Inspiration” is an extension of the spirit with which the Mays sisters (yes, they’re sisters) undertook this endeavor.

Not content to be another online destination hawking this, that and the third to visitors to the site, A&O aspires to be a brand that provides more than just regurgitated bits of information.

Today, for example, there was a delicious recipe for brown rice stir fry that Oneika made (and wrote about), and a travel post on the Dominican Republic, from Ashley’s recent trip with her husband Grant.

A&O offers more than just tips on healthy living and travel, though.

Their Thoughts & Opinions section addresses diverse topics, from hip hop to activism, love to racism and everything in between.

The Mind & Body section speaks to the spiritual and reflective side.

If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend that you check them out.

While a large part of the editorial content is driven by Ashley and Oneika, they’ve got a tight team of strong writers, each lending their unique voices to A&O.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that their site was designed by Websignia, the Newark-based creative agency.

I was part of A&O’s search committee, and Websignia bested a field of talented developers to become A&Os agency of record.

Dal, I’d appreciate small unmarked bills, thank you very much.

They’ve put up a Facebook page and their Twitter following grows daily.

And I’ve heard through the grapevine that they’re hosting a launch party soon.

There are lots of websites and blogs out there, vying for your attention, so I’m sure reading about yet another, is only but so exciting.

A&O is different.

But don’t take my word for it.

Check them out and see for yourself.

I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

And if you are, I don’t want to hear about it!  These are my girls damn it!

Now go get inspired!

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Filed under branding, social media

I’ve Been Tagged – Honest Scrap Awards

So I’m perusing my Twitter account, and I come across my girl Aliya S. King’s tweet, which said “this post will self destruct in one hour” and provided the following link, http://bit.ly/HonestScraps.

Since I LOVE Aliya’s writing, and she’s one of my collegiate homeskillets, I followed the link to her blog, to a post in which she divulged 10 honest things about herself.

Always one to read about the bats in other people’s belfries, I went in and was genuinely touched by her profoundly personal piece. I was even more touched, when she tagged ME as one of the people for this chain-letter style social media experiment.

So (pursuant to the instructions for the Honest Scrap Awards), first, let me thank Aliya for presenting me with this Award.

Now without further ado, 10 honest things about Stephen:

1. I like big butts and I can not lie! Like Sir Mix-a-lot, I’m a bootie man. I love butts. Some men are boob men. Some like legs. Me, I’m all about the derriere. Bubble butts. Apple bottoms. Heart-shaped. Tight muscular. You name it, I like it. I’m not checking for a sloppy butt or a flat one either, but if a nice set of female gleuts pass my line of vision…well, let’s just say, I’ll pay attention.

2. My johnson curves slightly to the left. I used to be very self-conscious about my slanted schlong. I thought women would take one look at it and bust out laughing. I learned that despite the curvature, I was ‘endowed’ and quickly got over it.

3. I have a favorite child. Parents all say that they love their children equally and have no favorites. And I’m sure that many of them believe it. But it’s not true. We all have our favorites. For all parents, there is one child that stands out (for whatever reason) from the rest, and that you take to.

4. I think I’m going to win the lottery. I know that it sounds ridiculous. Who doesn’t think they’re going to win the lottery? If you didn’t think you’d win the lottery, why would you play? Right? But I REALLY think I’m going to win the lottery. Something deep in my bones tells me it’s true. Now even though I almost never play (I spend a grand total of $20 a year on the lottery), I know that one time I do, I’ll strike it rich.

5. I haven’t had a drink since 1997 (didn’t mean to one-up you Aliya). No. I never had a drinking problem. As part of my religious observation, I gave it up. And although I no longer actively practice, I didn’t miss not drinking. So I still don’t.

6. I think rappers are the most clever wordsmiths. Their faculty with language always impresses me. Now I think a lot of rap is garbage, and I’m constantly appalled when my wife turns up a REALLY ghetto song on the radio, and sings along. The first time I heard her sing, “she opened up her mouth and then I blew her brains out” with Lil Wayne, I thought, I married a gangsta bitch. But all the while marveling at how Wayne was able to so poetically describe a blow job.

7. I want to write a book. I started blogging because my friend Denene Millner said that you’ve got to write to write, and that blogging was a simple way of practicing the art of writing on a regular basis. I have no idea if I will ever actually write a book, but I’m enjoying blogging for my audience of 8, so I’ll keep doing it.

8. I want to meet Oprah. Yes. I said I want to meet Oprah. People may not acknowledge it, but Black women are treated like fourth class citizens. In terms of societal hierarchy, it goes: White men, White women, Black men, Black women. Some would argue, that it’s White men, Black men, White women, Black women. But either way you cut it, Black women are always last. I want to meet the woman, who, despite the odds, is the richest Black person in the world. Oprah, I will be your baby daddy. For real. Forget Dave Chappelle.

9. I support reparations. If the American government, actually paid reparations to the bona fide ancestors of slavery (as they did the Japanese for their internment), then they would have the moral authority to tell people of color to put slavery in the past. But so long as slavery remains the unacknowledged open wound that Blacks simply need to ‘get over’ we’ll always have problems in America. I’m not an ancestor of slaves, so I have nothing to gain. It’s simply the right thing to do.

10. I’m afraid of going bald. Sure I’ve got a head full of dreadlocks, but that don’t mean a damn thing where baldness is concerned. Lots of my contemporaries are rocking baldies to hide the male pattern baldness lurking below their shiny shaved surfaces. They say it’s genetic, and you can tell by looking at the males on your mother’s side. One of my uncles is bald and the other isn’t. How does this help me? A balding dread is not a pleasant thing to behold.

Anyway, I’ve got to present this award to seven bloggers that I admire. They are:

1. Denene Millner http://www.mybrownbaby.blogspot.com

2. James Andrews http://www.thekeyinfluencer.com/channel/

3. Cara Reynoso http://commutefromhell.wordpress.com/

4. Ben Tannenbaum http://bentannenbaum.com/

5. Anike Robinson http://anikerobinson.blogspot.com/

6. Keith Williams http://bobcatsaddict.com

7. Oneika Mays http://waytolivenow.blogspot.com/

Fellow bloggers unite!

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