I’m one of “those” women who lost the baby weight quickly.

Case in point: the {never before shared} photos above. The left is me, exactly 2 weeks from giving birth. The right is me, exactly 1 week after giving birth.

At the time, a lot of people said I should start coaching women on how to get fit fast after baby.

Number 1, NO.

And Number 2, this happened for me largely due to a super-healthy pregnancy, plus a conscious diet and exercise routine for, say, 15 years before I ever got pregnant — not some special, 7-day postpartum trickery.

Yep, I lost weight fast. But beyond the surface, my body has changed in ways that have been hard to accept.

The biggest culprit is that, like every other mama, once I had babies >> time and energy to take better care of my physical self.

I kept up my most critical care rituals since becoming a mama, but my hair still fell out. I still had The Sweats. I still got postpartum body odor (what. the. hell?).

But mostly, I let my yoga practice slide. I’ve done only a little, a lot of the time. And it shows.

My once-advanced yoga moves — which were part of my identity — have diminished. I’m a fraction of how strong I once was.

I got wrist, shoulder, and back pain (because, breastfeeding). Poses I used to easily hold for 2 minutes now make me quiver and shake — if I can do them at all.

On the yoga mat, my body feels like a foreign land. But I’m making myself at home here, one breath at a time. (This is, in fact, the practice.)

If you’re a new{ish} mother and you feel like a stranger inside of yourself, imagine: what if THIS is the chance to start feeling at home in your own skin instead, as-is?

What if you could drop the pressure to bounce back, and…

…see this as a “transformation time?”

…peel back the layers?

…drop the veils?

…meet more of who you might become while you’re on this adventure?

Care rituals are the secret ingredient to any transition. Because they soothe not only your physical self, but your spiritual and soul selves, too.

And motherhood gives you opportunities, over and over again, to honor your whole self and all of its parts.

If you’re a yogi, how can you commit to your practice consistently again? And if you’re not, how might you commit to some other form of care ritual that illuminates you?

Whatever your ritual, remember that your self-care is supposed to evolve over time — not stay the same.

If you can’t hold the pose, or run the mile, or fit into the same jeans, have courage. You are on a new journey.

Letting go of who you thought you were, is the only way to connect with who you truly are. And that’s where the gold lies.