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Recovering Yogi

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When Will I Feel Like Myself Again Post-Partum?

Just HOW LONG does this post-partum period last?

Some of the most shocking news that I have ever received has also been the most honest.

When my trusted mentor and respected yoga teacher, Wendy Bramlett,  told me that it takes about ten years to recover after the birth of a child, my jaw dropped.

And… I automatically believed her.

In all of the glorification of motherhood, what there is not a lot of is honest truth about the post-partum period.

Go ahead… Google it.  Maybe you already did and that’s how you got here, but what you will probably find is a whole lot of information about post-partum depression, and barely anything at all about how you can take care of yourself post-partum and set yourself up to mine the experience of new motherhood, in its full spectrum.  There is a dearth of practical information on how to take care of your body, your mind and your spirit so that you can potentially avoid post-partum depression.

TEN years.

That’s a pretty far cry from the six week check-up or the fourth trimester of three months.

At first you might feel like my mom did when I dashed her high school hopes of doing the splits in six months and told her it would be after three years of at least three days a week of practice.

Disappointed. Exasperated. Defeated.

Or you may feel, as this sinks in, a sense of

Permission. Acceptance. Ease.

Maybe you feel a combination of both.

I invite you to allow this to permeate your being, and in doing so really acknowledge the tremendous change has gone on inside of you on the physical, mental, emotional, hormonal, and spiritual level in order to birth your child or children into the world.

According to Chinese medicine, it is the single greatest transference of life force and essence. There is no event that requires more. Out of respect for that miraculous transference, we must learn to respect a sense of time other than our normal routinized time. We can take our lessons from nature here, the daily cycles of tides, the lunar cycles, the seasons. Or as my teacher, Richard Freeman likes to say, “glacial speed.”

My own daughter is five years old now.  At the beginning of this year, I felt a distinct shift in another door flung open to my own sovereign identity, accompanied by firmer ligaments, more life force and less vulnerability in my immune system. I felt more “myself.”  Each of these phases and stages of development of our babies and children- as their independence increases, opens more windows onto ourselves as individuals.

Did Wendy literally mean 10 years? Maybe.

But maybe, like every great yoga teacher, she was trying to break down my mental constraints, my ego desire to make things go faster. Maybe she wanted to let me know that sheer will was not going to put me back together. Maybe she wanted me to give myself a break.


Kimberly Johnson, is an American woman in love with Brazil.

Yogini nomad, international yoga teacher trainer, and post-partum care revolutionary.


  • 48 years ago