Halifax Yoga classes at St Judes Church & Dean Clough

Real Yoga, Real Stories: Julie's story

Real Yoga, Real Stories: Julie’s story

In this blog post, long-term student Julie shares her story about how yoga helps her to manage her health condition.

Who is Julie?

Julie is a successful businesswoman living in Calderdale and running her own childminding business.

Julie’s story is a little different to others in my ‘Real Yoga, Real Stories’ series as Julie isn’t new to yoga. In fact, she’s been coming to classes and doing my online yoga videos for a while. But I really wanted to share Julie’s story with you as I’m sure it will resonate with lots of people out there who might be struggling with their health and finding it difficult to find forms of exercise that work for them.

Julie uses yoga to help manage her ME, a chronic health condition that causes extreme tiredness and other physical symptoms. Over the years, quite a few people with health concerns have got in touch with me to ask if they are able to take part in a yoga class. They’ve 100% done the right thing by checking in as everybody (and every body) is different and I would always want people to be safe. Your body is your golden chariot after all. However, nine times out of ten, the answer is yes! –  you can absolutely take part in yoga.  And not only that, yoga can often help people to manage their health and help keep symptoms of their condition in check.

Julie’s story is a real-life example of this in practice and I’m so delighted that she agreed to share her experiences of yoga with us.

How did yoga help Julie?

Julie used to be a regular gym goer before she became unwell but has since found her perfect exercise balance with a combination of yoga and walking. Julie enjoys a mixture of face-to face yoga classes and my on-demand videos which she does regularly at home. As Julie’s health can fluctuate, she adapts my yoga offering to meet her needs depending on how she’s feeling that day. If she doesn’t feel able to come to a class, she’ll do a video instead.

As well as the physical benefits of yoga, Julie touches on some of the mental and emotional benefits she’s experienced too. The final part of a yoga practice with me usually involves a short yoga nidra, a guided meditation that helps us to fall into a place of relaxation.

About yoga nidra, Julie said: “There is something hypnotic and magical about that last part. It’s 10 minutes of pure relaxation and every part of your body does truly relax.” If Julie is doing a yoga video at home, she’ll even put on her pyjamas and get into bed for this part of the practice. And why not! Yoga is all about doing what makes you feel good.

What’s next for Julie?

I want to say a big thank you to Julie for sharing her story and being so open and honest. Julie is a huge inspiration for anyone out there that may have health concerns and feel a bit worried about trying yoga. It’s great to hear how yoga makes Julie feel in the moment – but also how it helps her to manage her health in the longer term.

Julie’s story really does show that yoga is for everybody and can be adapted to meet our unique needs. If you’d like to try a session but have concerns about whether it’s right for you, please do get in touch. We can work together to establish if it is the right step and identify any modifications you might need.

You can also take a look at my yoga library and try a practice at home. I also run a fortnightly Chair Yoga session that is great for those that have mobility challenges.

As for Julie, I can’t wait to see her smiling face at my yoga sessions when she feels able to practice in-person and know she’ll be enjoying her at-home yoga (in PJs!) if she’s not feeling up to a class.

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