INTERVIEW: Sarah Larson Levey, Founder of Y7, says Fuck It & Announces Two Miscarriages

Photo Credit: Griff Lipson

Photo Credit: Griff Lipson

We’ve had a serious girl crush on Sarah Larson Levey for a while now, and it grew even more recently when she publicly announced her difficult story of going through her second miscarriage.

When the idea of Mamala started, we were about mama’s. After meeting with Sarah we decided (as our Founder also suffered from a miscarriage), to officially shift to be about women in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and the real shit they deal with. And we’ve created a group to discuss this real shit, join it. Read Sarah’s amazing story here…

Sarah Larson Levey is the Co-Founder and CEO of New York-based Y7 Studio. She is an innovator, entrepreneur, 200-hour registered yoga instructor, author, and certified Health Coach.

After working in Fashion for five years, Levey launched Y7 at 26 as an answer to her personal desire for something other than the (very) traditional yoga practices offered. Since launching in 2013, the Y7 brand has expanded to a bicoastal business with ten studios across New York and Los Angeles, disrupting the fitness space and flexing real influence. Uniquely positioned—Y7 classes combine 60-minutes of intensity with heat and strength, complemented by deep breathing to calm the mind, all while set to the latest beats.

Photo Credit: Griff Lipson

Photo Credit: Griff Lipson

My miscarriage story... 

In February 2019 I underwent my second D&C in just over a year at eight and a half weeks pregnant. I had my first one in January 2018 at twelve weeks. We did testing and found that the embryo had Trisomy 16 - a chromosome malfunction. I have not yet received results from this round of testing. In both cases the egg did not take but the placenta kept growing which is why I needed the D&C as it could become life threatening if I continued to wait. 

How did you decide to publicly talk about your experience and what has the reaction been? 

I was in a really dark place and feeling so isolated keeping everything I was going through to myself. If I did speak about it to someone I was always surprised by how many other women it has happened to. We often only associate motherhood with women who have a baby to show for it, however, there are so many of us who have felt the joy of expecting and haven’t actually had it work out. This has been the case for myself twice and I felt like it was time to speak about it and let people know that it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to talk about it. There is nothing wrong with you and we should all support each other in our journeys to motherhood, whatever that may look like. 

How has being a public figure in fitness & wellness factored into your healing process? 

It has actually been really amazing. Of my closer personal friends I only know two who have miscarried or had fertility issues. Everyone else has had multiple healthy pregnancies. It was really really lonely. By having such a public platform I realized how many women I know in my life have gone through the same thing. The best part of healing is being able to talk about it with women who have been there. 

What has been the hardest part?  What helps you stay positive? 

The hardest part has been receiving unsolicited advice or comments from people. "it will happen when its your time" , "it will be when it is meant to" , "it will happen for you don’t worry" …FUCK OFF (you do not have to say that lol). There is no appropriate "time" to lose a potential life. I am fortunate to have a great support system and I turn to those people in my life when I start to feel hopeless and frustrated. 

What message do you help women takeaway by hearing your story?  What advice do you have for women going through a similar situation? 

I want other women to know that you are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you. Getting pregnant is not easy, there are so many things that need to happen for the chromosomes, DNA, placenta, egg etc. to all come together in the right way - it’s not just sperm hitting the egg. And please know that you aren’t alone - I want us to stop feeling ashamed of miscarrying, I want us to stop thinking that it is the woman's sole responsibility to deal with the ramifications. My advice is do what feels right for you. If you want to talk about it do it. If you don’t, don’t. I chose not to talk about my first miscarriage - it was a shock to me and I wasn't ready. Now after my second and being more educated and trusting my body I want to share my story. But it is your journey and that means doing what’s right for you and having the support system in place for what you want. 

Hard StuffJulie Zukof