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Hi, I’m Julie.

Can’t imagine anybody will read this, but here goes…

So, who am I?

Well, I’m a 57 year-old woman; a daughter, mother, wife, and nan. I am a primary school teacher (part-time now), once fairly keen club cyclist, partaker at a highly unskilled level in many sports and exercise classes since leaving school. I love the outdoors, and have always considered myself to be fairly fit, if a little pudgy around the edges.

Why do I want to write a blog on here?

About 5 years ago I began to experience more and more frequent health niggles. My mum, who sadly died 2 years ago, was crippled by osteoarthritis. Her suffering was hard to witness. I know I have arthritis too, and the impairment to movement and pain in my right hand, shoulder, hips and knees was causing me to despair. I was suffering lower back issues regularly. I could see an unpleasant future mapped out for me.

I was also suffering from frequent, debilitating water infections leading to an almost daily reliance on Oasis cystitis treatment (Morrison’s alternative – so much cheaper) and repeated courses of antibiotics.

It was shortly after this that Helen and Lily arrived to play a huge and happy role in my life. Helen has always done yoga since her teenage years, and was forever extolling its virtues. I assumed it was a bunch of folks sitting around cross-legged and saying Ohmmm, and claimed that I only did classes that made me sweat.

Shortly before a long drive to go cycling in the French Pyrenees my back seized, and I was hobbling around the house like someone twice my age. I could not see how I would get into our sporty little car, let alone cope with around 10 hours of sitting in it. Helen offered to help. She showed me some exercises (I am proud to say that I now know the names of them) and I

carried them out in the days prior to leaving, and to the amusement of onlookers on the ferry and in various French Aires. I started to change my view of yoga.

Watching Helen doing repeated handstand practise on the lawn, and catching a glimpse of her doing Ashtanga in the spare bedroom (although she often appeared to be lying on the floor doing nothing in my eyes…) I mentioned my interest in having some private tuition. She turned me down, told me I had the wrong attitude. She wasn’t wrong – it took a little longer. Nearly 3 years ago I went along to the class at Tudorville on a Friday morning. It was so tough. Who knew I was so inflexible and weak? Also it seems I am pretty uncoordinated and unaware of left and right. I got through it, ached like crazy in places that had previously gone unnoticed for the next few days, and went again the following Friday. I still go on Friday mornings, I look forward to it and am ok at it, although still probably the least capable person there but I’m fine with that.

I have made some changes that I intend to share with you over the weeks ahead, and am living a full and adventurous life. You’ll get to hear about that too if you read on.

Who am I kidding?? Hope you’re enjoying this Helen; you’re very likely the sole recipient of my musings. Whatever, the sun is shining and I’m going out on my bike. Signing off for now


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Julie Stephens
Julie Stephens
Apr 07, 2022

I look forward to many more Thursday Yin chats Diane. You meet lovely people at yoga 😊


I read it too Julie! I'm now 60 and Helen's yoga made a big difference to me too when I met her about 5 years ago. Sadly I don't attend classes as often as I would like as I work like a maniac but even so, I share your thoughts and positivity about Helen's yoga. 😊


Apr 07, 2022

I read it Julie 😁 - I started yoga again 6 months ago after about a 10 year break (wish I'd stuck with it!!). Like you I felt as if my parts of my body were seizing up but I'm getting there and the benefits are beginning to materialise already. #loveyoga.... Di English

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