Monstah Wants To Train To Teach Yoga by Reginald Crump


Help Monstah Get Certified To Teach Yoga

Most people know me as as one half of the dance pop duo The Illustriuos Blacks or from years of my being a Choreographer/Dancer/Performance Artist.

From July 9th through July 29th, I'll be diving head first into Vinyasa Flow Yoga 200 hr Teacher Training  Intensive at Sacred Brooklyn. This program is a three week intensive focusing daily from 7am to 6pm on techniques, training, practice, asana, pranayama, meditation, teachng methodology, anatomy and chakra systems, to name a few.

Yoga has become an extremely important aspect of my life . With this certification I'll be able to share my knowledge of Yoga mixed with tools I've developed throughout my career of performance creation. I'll provide healing, strengthening, lengthening and empowerment  through the practice of health and wellness (Yoga) and creative expression.

Help Monstah Get Certified To Teach Yoga

I am in need of the help from my community.  So, I'm reaching out to my family, friends and those who
believe in supportng the growth of
my vision to ask for a small donaton f $10 to $100. 

My goal is to raise $2,000 by July 9th. The money I raise will help with the expense of tuition and  reading materials. This is easliy done if we think in terms of 200 people donating $10.

Please become a part of my growth toward providing wellness services to those in need. Any support you are able to provide will be fully appreciated and my hope is to be able to give back to you through yoga and my artistic visions. 

Perhaps a private yoga session once I'm certified?

You can make a contribution here.

Help Monstah Get Certified To Teach Yoga

 Photo by Charles Meacham

Photo by Charles Meacham

The Surgical Story - Merry Christmas - Merry Life by Reginald Crump

For the very first time ever, in all of these years of our knowing each other, Manchild and I are seeing each other on the very day that Jesus was born. Our first Christmas together. At least the last couple of hours of Christmas Day.

The night after Santa's arrival.

What a Christmas present. Yaaaaaass Gawd!

If I didn't have these plastic vines running from the machine into my veins, I'd be doing somersaults in my designer, backless, hospital gown right now.

I'd be balancing on the edge of the flat screen TV that's hanging precariously from the wall.

I'd be doing my best rendition of 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist, Romanian born, Nadia Elena Comaneci. My technique would be flawless.

It happened!!!

I had an idea.

But... I'm still surprised!

This moment is something I'll never forget.

Let's face it. One of the reasons we felt it necessary to sign the legal document for our commitment/marriage, was for this exact reason. Without it, we had no legal rights to visit each other if hospitalized.

Imagine that.

No really. Take some time to meditate on that.

You done?

You spend your life together, in peace and love and the government has the right to say whether or not you can visit each other in the hospital. Someone else can decide whether or not a person has the right to not serve you based on their "religious" beliefs. What kind of god wants to condemn people who aim to empower, inspire, uplift and spread peace and love globally?

If you need a minute to meditate on that. Take your time.

What God wants their followers to condemn that?

Is the problem behind the terms themselves?

Decades of standing behind the term "ho-mo-sex-u-a-li-tea?"

Is it binding? I feel bound. Limiting as a Hu-man Be-ing?

It gives you no choice but to think sexual act. Simply because... "sex" is in the word.

"Words get in the way of my mind, when I'm trying to move my ass to the beat."

Well, what about "homo-emotionality?"

May not sound as fun to some, but... it happens.

When relations are based on emotions rather than a physical act.

When it's not based on lust or instant orgasm.

A skin to skin dance that bible slingers parading on televised pulpits can't help but imagining and in return condemn. Do they envision the love between same genders resembling scenes from the film Caligula directed by Tito Brass and Bob Guccione?

Are there minds crowded with images of bodies doused in oil? Slithering amongst snakes? Flames towering over heads? Naked bodies nursing each other with drugs, alcohol and pleasure. Sounds fun, right? (smile)

Well there is an emotional element to same gender love that doesn't necessarily embody what conservatives fear most within themselves.

Manchild leans over the hospital bed to give me a kiss and a hug as the nurse pulls the reclining chair closer to the hospital bed, prepares it with a blanket and asks him to make himself comfortable. He reclines and we begin our night of chatting about all of the craziness that has occurred in the previous week. We chat like cackling pre-teens, in bobby socks and dresses by a fire place, until my pupils bid a farewell to the night and my lashes bring the scene to a close.

Merry Christmas - Merry Life

The Surgical Story by Reginald Crump

I take a break from singing my creepy, melodic tune, to flip through the TV Channels. I hope to find something other than HGTV to focus my attention on.

No such luck.

HGTV it is.

I re-adjust my hospital bed and request my bedside potty to be changed. Urgh :(.

Dinner arrives.

I sort through the choices on the plate and "zero" in on the healthier selection provided, which leaves me with the "vegetables" and canned "ginger ale." (Note "zero" healthier selection).

Out of frustration I dive into the "meat" vowing to eat healthy once I'm released. I keep my fingers crossed that my next vital check doesn't reveal high blood pressure because of the meal plan I'm provided in this situation.











Eventually I drift off to sleep.


It's been a relatively quiet day in the hospital.

At least on my floor.

The rhythm of pitter patter of walking feet on the shiny hospital hallway floor become distinct.

I here in the distance someone approaching the nurses station outside my door.

They ask a question. Slowly the pitter patter approaches my door.

I lay in bed.

Eyes closed.

Focused only on the sound of each step.

Eventually a hand begins to push the door open.

Through the slits, no wider than the thin button holes on your favorite cardigan, I barely open eyes.

Peaking toward the direction of the door, to my surprise a smile conquers my face. My cheeks pull the creases of my lips toward my ears like curtains in a brand new theater opening for the first time. My pearly brights take center stage.

The Surgical Story by Reginald Crump

The Dr. continued with how I'd be given instructions, along with a demonstration of how to remove 2 inches of gauze, daily from the inside of the wound and cut it off.

I'd have to do this myself, by someone in my family or have a nurse visit until the gauze was completely withdrawn, in order for the wound to heal correctly. The nurse would be included for 3 days but nothing more without an additional fee.

I shrank down deeper into my bed.

Becoming one with it.

Knowing that what he described to me, had to be one of the most painful and difficult things to ever have to do to yourself. Although I know there are much harder things to do. I've seen it in horrifically thrilling movies like Saw or... you get the picture.

Anyway, I knew that on Monday morning I needed to time the pain meds just right so that when that demonstration took place I was already on cloud nine and mesmerized by the gapping hole in leg.

Christmas Day slides into early evening and just as I'm about to drift off to sleep the visits begin. To my surprise I look up and at the door is one of my best friends Rita and my parents. Apparently they pulled into the parking lot at the same time. Now my sad Christmas Day was turning into a jolly, happy Christmas and I was thrilled to have them sit with me for a few hours to laugh. Laugh a lot.

It's so weird to be in a hospital bed and have people show up to visit you. There are so many conflicting elements. The rest can be good, but it's still challenging. But, for the person hospitalized (I'm sure this varies from person to person/situation to situation) it really makes a difference to have that outside human contact because that hospital situation plays with your mind. It plays with your mind. It - plays - with - your - mind.

The routine visit from the nurses asking you for your name and date of birth before they check your vitals is a mind f*c@ within itself. Partially because you are a number within the system. I get it, I get it. They don't want to get the numbers wrong and I don't want them to either. Mixing up the medications or assigning the wrong surgery would be "absolutely dreadful."

I continue to Kiki with my parents and Rita as HGTV plays in the background. My parents leave and Rita stays for a little bit longer, so we continue to laugh at inside gossip and situations that we felt we couldn't talk about with "grown ups" around.

As we get deeper into evening Rita heads home to spend the rest of Christmas with her family and I of course sink back into GarageBand land A-flat to B-sharp. Now playing with vocals over my track in a pinch, I start repeating melodies. After a while I realize that an outside ear in Newport News, Virginia may not understand my level of experimentation. I notice that some of the nurses start checking in on me to make sure I'm ok. After all, I'm heavily medicated. I could very possibly sound like I'm losing my mind to their ears and eyes (imagining what I look like in the monitor as I flail and articulate my arms and develop limited movement phrases).

But, what they don't realize is that this is what I do in general with my time, with no medication or substances. Even when I'm not confined to a hospital bed. Trust me, there is nothing wrong with my head. If you only knew. If you only knew.

I settle for a bit as thoughts of being strapped to the bed begin to enter my mind.

The Surgical Story by Reginald Crump

June 5th, 4:30 am 2017

I lay awake as rain creates sonic patterns outside my window.

The rising sun inspires a hint of blue.

The promising dawn of sky.

My toss.

My turn.

Reminiscent of what kept me awake almost 7 months ago.

I flex, straighten and point the foot of my left leg, sending energy out of my toes as I point them toward the ceiling. Eager to show how grateful I am for every moment of strength it has given me within the past month. How the tone has once again replaced the lifelessness that crept in when I was one with my hospital bed.

Lighting strikes the morning sky.

I revert back to Christmas Day of 2017.

The morning conversations by cell phone.

The pressing of the buzzer for the nurse to return with additional doses of pain relievers. Catching the pain just moments before it reached the level of excruciating.

The quietness of the hospital hallways. Everyone home with their families.

Parents surrounded by wasted, Christmas wrapping paper on carpeted floors. Noisy toys that you'd wished you'd forgotten to buy batteries for.

Following my sonic frenzy with my cell phone’s GarageBand, I had a visit from the Dr's. I think it was 1 or 2, possibly 3pm. Each giving me the update on what was found, the prediction of my recovery and the step by step instructions/discipline that it would take once I'm released from the hospital. How Monday morning I’d have a visit from the x, y and z showing me how daily, I am to take care of my wound.

My wound.

 My wound, basically left open with the exception of a single stitch. A stitch holding the the flaps of skin, somewhat in place, just enough to keep it from being completely wide open.

The Surgical Story by Reginald Crump

Christmas Day 2016.

I'd never imagined that I'd be spending it like this. Alone in a hospital room miles away from family and friends.

This is just a reminder to be careful what you wish for. Be careful what you dream of and be careful what you allow your mind to focus on. Admittedly for whatever reason, somewhere around October 2016 my curiosity peaked around the idea of Christmas alone in New York City. The idea of it began to seem kind of romantic and magical. Like the world of a classic film. Snow falling, alone in an empty city. Everyone away and only strangers pass you on lonely sidewalks with the song of Christmas bells in their hearts. An empty restaurant and bar. Me, sitting, quietly, staring into space, luxuriating on what a sensitive artist I am (insert a slight smile). No phone ringing. No commitments. No conflicts. Only time to reside inside of your own mind, mentally and emotionally preparing to ring in the new year. Inside of those places are where good art is born. So they say.

Well, certainly that all sounded fantastic and magical. It's also something that my husband would absolutely not approve of. He'd insist that if I wasn't going to travel to Williamsburg on a crowded train filled with anxious travelers, then I'd have to be on a crowded train to Maryland to spend it with him and my mother in law. Which also sounds like a wonderful idea. He absolutely hates the idea of me spending a holiday alone. He feels that it would be an ultimate sadness rather than a rejoicing moment of solitude. It's not that I don't want to be around people, I'm just curious about the nostalgia of it all.

Well, that's where my mind was and somehow God translated it to this. Me alone in a hospital bed far away from everyone. The lord works in mysterious ways. When he wants you to slow down he really knows how to pick em.

Do you suppose he could have just sent me a txt message with a warning first?

Something like "sit your ass down, take some time for yourself, stop scheduling one thing after the other. Just because you can do many things it doesn't mean you have to do them all at once, take a long break or I'm gonna do something you'll regret."

I would have listened to that. A txt from God saying, "yo, you trippin, chill bitch!"

Yeah, I suppose it's important for me to honor both sides of my personality whichloves being surrounded by people/on stage people pleaser and loves being a loner, sitting in a dark corner with sharpies and crayons. That's the balance of my Leo and Scorpio energy. Sun shine paired with the depths of the darkest ocean.

This is why Manchild and I balance each other out so well. He definitely is the positive light between the two of us. It's reflected in his songwriting. I tend to lean toward the melancholy and dark. But yet, we are still "Cosmic Twins Riding On The Same Vibration.

I pull out my phone and begin to compose a track using the A-flat to B-sharp. Thank god for modern day conveniences.

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The Surgical Story by Reginald Crump

The euphoria that comes with the medication that I'm on seems to be heightened by the machines that are running in the room. I'm fully plugged in. Each machine makes its own significant sound and as time slowly passes, it becomes more and more impossible to escape it. Unless of course I'm in a deep sleep.

As the day progresses the rhythms of the machines become more and more prominent, along with the fading numbness of my soon to be throbbing knee. It reveals the pain of my incision creeping in. I meditate, focus on my breath and I shift the best way I can. All without disturbing my knee too much.

I find ways of engaging my abdominals while lengthening through both heels and toes.

The sounds from the room are the soundtrack. I design my personal hospital bed fitness class. I get deeper and deeper into my workout. Unable to escape the electrical world of mechanical rhythm.

The phone rings, this time it's my sister wishing me a Merry Christmas. She cheers me up with a series of hilarious stories, one after the other. She does this until it's time for her to get off the phone to prepare for the rest of Christmas Day.

I of course jump directly back into my hospital bed "Monstah Blacks, Hospital Bed, Christmas Fitness Series."

I'm driven by the A-flat to B-sharp. Or is it the B-flat to A-sharp?

Whatever, it doesn't matter, I'll figure out what the notes are once I'm done with the last repetition of leg lift/side twist series.