"Facing heart surgery, I'll never forget the tears in the eyes of my gymnastics coach when I told her I was going under the knife. I knew then, at 10 years old, this was a very very big deal" . "My life had already been spent in & out of the hospital. As I had already had multiple bladder & kidney reconstructive surgeries I was used to being operated on . By the luckiest chance of fate, I ended up being able to have an experimental, non-open heart surgery on my 11th birthday, but as I was misdiagnosed, the surgery didn’t have a lasting effect . I did alright in the years following until my freshman year of high school when my POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, presented itself. I was also sent to a geneticist and diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Most days I couldn’t even manage to go to school. By sophomore year of high school I was on full medical homebound . The next two years are a blur of different concoctions of experimental drugs to combat my symptoms. At my worst I was on about 19 pills a day. I got worse and worse as more pills were added. My days were spent on the couch as I had zero energy and could hardly stand . . Many nights I ate dinner with my sister feeding me laying down. I could allow myself one good day a week to go out with friends, and then I would pay for it the following six. By Junior year of highschool, age 16, I realized that my health was in my hands. I educated myself and cut out almost all animal products (I am now full vegan) & began exercising . At first this was just laying on the ground and stretching, then I progressively made my way up to standing, and even running over the course of a year. Yoga saved my life 🙏 . . In the eight years since I have FINALLY gotten off all medication & practice yoga almost every single day. I cherish this practice for giving me the power to chose what MY body needs! . . Yoga has given me the strength to live & I am currently in YTT hoping to do the same for others 💚 Tessa .