The Strength of Many

By Heather Young

I discovered Yoga Roots as a student soon after we opened in 2014. I immediately was drawn to the sense of community, support and friendliness that the studio emitted. By July 2014, I was teaching Barre classes at the studio and felt like I had found my “home” in Cleveland. Originally from Pennsylvania, Cleveland became the place where I lived after completing graduate school. Soon after that time, I met my now husband and though obviously home is with him, my sense of belonging to this town, this city, grew exponentially when I began working and practicing at Yoga Roots.

This past year I planted seeds and grew my foundation at Yoga Roots. Coincidentally, I also grew a tiny human. Almost daily for nine months I taught class and/or practiced at the studio. Each day the students and teachers showed their support and offered helpful hints. One instructor even gave me her maternity clothes. The comfort and love that emanated from the studio during this time gave me the strength, courage and energy to push through the not so great parts of pregnancy: nausea, swollen feet, etc. In the last week before I was due, it seemed teachers gave me special attention and offered calming “savasana massage” that put my mind and body at ease.

On July 3, 2015 I went into labor and 26 hours later welcomed a beautiful baby boy into this world. It was a long process and though painful I kept trying to breathe through the pain and thought of my Yoga Roots family supporting me and teachers telling me to let go and breathe. Though I did not maintain my yoga breathing through the whole time as I had hoped, in my mind I was really trying to think inhale (1-2-3-4-5-6), exhale (1-2-3-4-5-6). I challenge you to do that when you are experiencing the most rewarding pain you have ever felt.

A day after my son’s birth, he experienced a seizure. While nursing him, I noticed a rhythmic movement in his arm that did not resemble any infant behavior I had previously seen. We quickly called for the nurse who took our son to the NICU. As new parents, my husband and I were obviously panicked, worried and concerned. When the doctor came back to tell us they saw bleeding on our son’s brain and they would need to run more tests and most likely transfer him to a different branch of the Cleveland Clinic, I felt the floor drop from beneath my feet. My husband and I were understandably emotional, scared, worried…the list goes on. Soon after hearing the news, my nurse came back to let us know that our son’s nurse in the NICU was a student at Yoga Roots. Though the emotions were still there this brought me some sense of comfort. When we arrived at the NICU, his nurse embraced me in what I can only describe as an angel’s arms. Prior to being transferred, I asked that the next time she practice she set an intention for my son.

During the next week, our world felt like it was standing still as we waited hopefully to hear updates on our baby. I think one of the things that kept me going was knowing that everyone at Yoga Roots was setting an intention, sending prayers and creating strength for my little man. We were fortunate for a short stay in the NICU and returned home before he was one week old. Soon after our arrival home, my Yoga Roots family touched our hearts once more by establishing a meal-train for our new little family. I am forever grateful for everyone’s love, support, prayers, guidance, and delicious meals. I do not think I would have found my strength had it not been for the strength of this community. Thank you a million times over, Yoga Roots. See you all soon and Namaste.