Chingford local bringing yoga to all

PUBLISHED: 15:31 01 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 01 November 2019

Mental health, anxiety, depression and mindfulness can all be helped through yoga

Mental health, anxiety, depression and mindfulness can all be helped through yoga

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Local West Essex teacher Julie Martin explains how she adapts her yoga classes for both mind and body, plus young and old alike

Julie Martin, a former teaching assisitant, is passionate about the benefits of yoga for all agesJulie Martin, a former teaching assisitant, is passionate about the benefits of yoga for all ages

Former school teaching assistant Julie Martin, 48, from Chingford, began her Me Julie Yoga classes just five months ago, but she's already started expanding her range to accommodate as many local West Essex people as possible. "Although I've only been teaching since mid-2019 my classes have really taken off," explains Julie, who runs her yoga school from home in Chingford. "I trained with Yoga London and qualified in June, but I don't aim to stop there. I'm really interested in using my experience and personal knowledge to pass the benefits of yoga on to the local community."

Julie's personal circumstances changed recently and that prompted her to switch from being a teaching assistant in a school, to becoming a full-time yoga teacher. She now wants to pass on all the positives, both physical and mental, that she's gained from yoga to her pupils. "In particular, I'm currently attending the Special School of Yoga to be able to teach gentle Vinyasa, Restorative and Yin yoga, and the Minded Institute for yoga for mental health, anxiety and depression. I'm going to continue training, focusing on the mental health aspect of yoga as this will open up a wonderful avenue full of new possibilities," explains Julie, who is also very interested in helping youngsters. "There is now a strong focus on mental health in our education system, beginning in primary schools, and it's something I really believe in and have a passion for. Ultimately, I hope to help SEN children by using mindfulness in yoga, but I can adapt my classes according to both adult and child requirements," she says.

Julie strongly believes that yoga has a place in helping mental health, anxiety, depression and mindfulness and is doing lots of training to support that. "I am hoping to add to my skill set next year by training as a yoga therapist, so I can offer classes designed for the individual needs of both adults and youngsters," adds Julie. "I teach at home in Chingford and my house is just two minutes from the station and very close to Epping Forest, which gives me a great green space to enjoy. There's no hot Bikram yoga, but I can accommodate beginners, intermediate or advanced practitioners with classes that aim to support wellbeing in mind and body," she concludes.

Exclusively for West Essex Life, Julie has put together her top six yoga benefits, covering mental, physical and spiritual outcomes, and explains how

Yoga increases flexibility and strengthens muscle tone and helps you feel more positive about yourselfYoga increases flexibility and strengthens muscle tone and helps you feel more positive about yourself

she hopes her classes can benefit her clients:

1 Connect

Yoga helps people of all ages and abilities to feel connected to each other in the shared group practice - it's a great social activity.

My classes are small, but I make sure everyone is at roughly the same level and ability so no-one feels uncomfortable or like they are struggling. The class atmosphere is very supportive.

2 Transformation

Yoga can help you to transform your body and your mind - it increases flexibility and strengthens muscle tone and helps you feel more positive about yourself, plus it can help you gain more resilience and patience. The yoga I teach - Vinyasa, Restorative and Yin - are gentle but effective in helping you achieve core strength, agility and calmness through poses, stretches and breathing.

3 Focus

Yoga can help our self-focus - help us to discover our true self, and again help us feel more connected to the world at large. Yoga classes are time-dedicated to you, your mind and your body. Together we can focus your thoughts on feeling the physical and mindfulness benefits.

4 Wellbeing

The practice of yoga can lead to neurological changes in the brain promoting a sense of calm and overall sense of well-being. The physical practice can also lead to a spiritual one. It's amazing the transformation regular yoga can bring to your mental health. You will find yourself less stressed, more

in control and a lot more mentally prepared for all that life might throw at you.

5 Calm

Yoga asanas (poses) can really benefit our para-sympathetic nervous system, thus providing a sense of calm and well-being. The combination of poses and the correct breathing technique have been scientifically proven to have genuine health benefits, and this applies to people regardless of age and ability.

6 Energy

The practice of yoga leads to increased personal awareness and promotes self-regulation with pranayama/breathing exercises that encourage the flow of prana - life energy. In a fast-paced and frenetic world it helps to have yoga to draw on as a source of personal strength and wisdom, as well as a sense of calm.

Get in touch: Me Julie Yoga, 07721 604143, mejulieyoga@outlook.com

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