As I rang in the new year in 1997 I knew I would soon be turning 40 yrs old, I also knew that I would never turn 50 if I didn't make some drastic changes in my life. So, 6 weeks before my birthday I had weight loss surgery. Fast forward to 45 yrs old, I had lost 350 lbs and became a first time mom to my beautiful daughter, Tabitha. My world had completely changed, but literally the weight of the past affected my present and would continue to impact my future. I couldn't get down on the floor and play with my toddler because I needed knee replacements in both knees. My stamina was non- existent, I tired easily. I was weak. As an older single mom I worried about being there for my child. I just wanted to live long enough to see her grown. I saw the Yoga 101 class offered at Kai and convinced my best friend to go with me. I wasn't brave enough to go alone. I was hoping yoga would help me stay alive. It exhausted me at first and I really struggled a lot, but it made me feel stronger. Yoga helped me through the past few years as I struggled with health issues. Yoga gave me breath when overwhelming loss, grief and depression took it from me. My Yoga poses are often done with modifications and that's ok. Yoga has taught me that strength is in the perseverance, effort and value that you put in yourself, not in the perfection that you think it should be. And that is what keeps me on my mat.