My son finally falls asleep. I sigh inwardly, my body heavy with exhaustion. As I tiptoe toward the nursery door, my dog’s piercing bark shatters any hope of rest. A startled cry draws me back to the crib. I lift my beautiful, healthy baby with my tired, fragile arms. My jaw and shoulders tense and my eyes well with tears. I swallow my overwhelm, put on a mask of serenity, and hold my boy close. Settling him with a gentle rock, I feel anything but settled myself.

Seven years ago, as a new mother, my nervous system was gripped by chronic stress and pain. My mind and body longed for yoga, but I couldn’t find time for the practice I knew and loved. To quote D.H. Lawrence, I was like “a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air.”

Yoga has been in my life for a long time. My mom began attending classes in her early fifties. As a teen athlete, I occasionally tagged along, enjoying the opportunity to build strength and flexibility. Those benefits kept me on my mat through college until, one day, I noticed a perceptible shift. Yoga was much more than a workout. It helped me unwind tension in my body, quiet my overthinking mind, and soften life’s sharper edges. In my twenties—while working in science journalism—I joined a teacher training program to learn more and deepen my practice. Both humbling and healing, the experience ushered me into a lifelong relationship with yoga.

In the years before having a baby, I continued to study with incredible yoga mentors and became a seasoned teacher myself. I practiced yoga daily, either in a long stretch of time at home or with others at my local studio. I also became versed in other mind-body therapies, earning a master’s degree in holistic health and healing, as well as certifications in life coaching and Reiki. In short, I was resourced.

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