38, Owner of The Yoga Kickback and Yoga Teacher

Family matters: 

Family matters: My family comprises my partner AJ and beautiful children Morgan and Mariah! We have two pets, a dog named Mase and a cat named Meatball. Morgan is a brilliant five-year-old boy, and Mariah is my bubbly two-year-old girl. Morgan loves Monster Trucks, dump trucks, and using his building blocks to build out everything in his imagination. Mariah loves playing with her baby dolls and learning from her big brother. She enjoys listening to her favorite nursery rhymes and meeting new friends! 

Motherhood rewards & challenges: 

My favorite part of motherhood is seeing the evolution of who I am as I continue into motherhood. My children have pulled out a part of me I never knew I had—a more vulnerable and nurturing side. I’ve never been a better human than who I am when I am with them. They are my teachers, and I’m so grateful for them. The biggest challenge has been that both of my pregnancies were very high-risk. By medical standards, my pregnancies were geriatric (I began at age 32), and I have a 10 cm fibroid that grew in my womb with both children. My pregnancies consisted of sickness every single day. This fibroid began to increase in size as the babies did. I didn’t want to remove it because, based on the location, I may have risked my ability to conceive. So I took a chance, and I’m happy I did. 

Balancing motherhood & fitness: 

It is tough sometimes to prioritize being active and your duties as a mom. Someone always needs you. Someone always wants you. There are so many other things that need to be done, but I must remember that my wellness is essential for me to serve in this capacity. It is just as important as having access to water. Prioritizing my health ensures that I can serve and show up in capacities that I know my family needs. 

How I stay active: 

I practice Ashtanga yoga as my primary wellness routine. I love how it constantly challenges me by always offering me something new to work on physically and mentally. I also dabble in group fitness. I love barbell strength classes and kettlebell training. 

Take a class with me: 

I hold classes daily at my boutique studio and teach a class in Downtown Memphis each Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. April–September. 

The importance of prioritizing wellness: 

Prioritizing my wellness is important because I’ve seen what not prioritizing it has done to many families and friends. I recognize so many people are just trying to survive, and making health and wellness a priority is hard. I believe that we have to start the conversation of how being proactive about our health is better than reactive. We have the power to control what is happening in and outside our bodies if we just listen. 

My advice for new mothers: 

You’ll never be ready. There is no preparation like getting in there and doing the work. It’s the most rewarding task ever. Just get in there. 

By Lucy Modzelewski

Photo by Laramie Wheeler