Inspiring woman Jules Mummery: ‘Yoga changed my life’
-Apr 26, Hannah Hargrave, Living -
When Jules Mummery’s yoga journey began 27-years-ago she never believed it would transform her and her family’s life the way it did. She has shared with Lumity why living her healthy lifestyle is so important to her.
It’s hard to believe that Jules Mummery is 57-years-old. The mother-of-two insists that her youthful appearance and positive outlook on life is all down to her daily dose of yoga, but she didn’t become a yogi to fight the signs of ageing – she did it for her children.
What inspired you to start yoga?
Well, I have two children who are now 30 and 26 and my son is autistic. He’s got dyspraxia – a developmental coordination disorder – and autism and when he was a baby I basically started yoga to destress. I thought I really need to look after myself, for him and I’ve never looked back.
Were you active before you began practicing yoga?
I’d always been active, I loved horse riding when I was younger and tennis too, but after having the children and working, that active part of my life got lost. It wasn’t until my son was born that I made yoga part of my life.
So for you yoga isn’t just about working out or how it makes your body look?
To me it’s not exercise, it’s not a fad, it’s my life and part of who I am. It’s like a massage for all my internal organs and it starts from the inside out.
What changes did you notice about yourself when you took up yoga?
I felt so good about myself that it also made me want to look at my diet.
I began drinking more water, cut out tea and coffee and made healthier food choices overall.
I looked into my children’s diets to improve them too, especially because my son Jack was slightly hyperactive and I was inspired to start reflexology to help my son too. All of this stemmed from yoga so you can see it really changed my life and theirs.
How often do you practice yoga?
I couldn’t go a day without doing some sort of yoga. I do it every morning and every evening. Generally I get up half an hour earlier than I need to fit 20-30 minutes into my day and do another 20 minutes in the evening.
Are there ever times when you feel like you literally can’t fit that hour into your day?
Of course there are times when I get waylaid by my business – which I started up myself two years ago – or my family or the dog but even if I can only find 10 minutes I’ll just take it and concentrate on my breathing just to get oxygen into my body.
There is no denying you look amazing, do you credit that to the yoga?
Definitely, I really do. Once you start helping your insides you see the difference on the outside. My joints and flexibility improved, my skin was better, my eyes were brighter, my posture improved. I just looked healthier.
I’ve also had no menopausal symptoms in any way. My periods stopped seven or eight years ago but that was the only way I knew I had gone through the menopause and I believe yoga and keeping active has helped me in that way too.
How else do you keep active?
I also go out on my bike, I run, and walk with the dog, but I believe it’s the yoga that has kept me going. I have no aches, pains or anything and I don’t feel any different in my body than I did 20 or 30 years ago.
What sort of yoga do you practice?
I guess you’d say I do Hatha yoga but I don’t like to give it a name really. I’ve worked out what works for me. In the evening it’s a more of a relaxing yoga than in the morning when I do alive type yoga to get oxygen into me and to give me energy.
I also found a book called ‘Chinese Face Reading’ which is like reflexology for your face – a bit like facial yoga really – and I began doing that every day too. You can do that wherever you are, even in the car. People look at me strangely when I’m sat at the traffic lights doing it but it doesn’t bother me.
What would you say to people who say they are too old or too unflexible to start yoga?
You are never too old. Truly. There is a woman I saw on Facebook who is 105 and she started yoga at 90.
You don’t have to be flexible either because so much of it is about the breathing too. You shouldn’t be afraid to start just because you can’t touch your toes.
At the beginning I couldn’t do any of the moves. I could barely do child’s pose – one of the simplest moves – because my head felt fuzzy and uncomfortable, but I didn’t give up.
Did you start with a class?
Yes, I did classes for a year or so but then I just started doing it at home instead. Then you don’t have to stick to anyone else timetable and it’s completely free!
You started yoga for your kids, so have they followed in your footsteps too?
My daughter Alice is now a fully fledged yoga teacher. She is currently travelling the world – check out her fabulous Instagram @aliceinmotion – but when she returns she’s going to set up her own studio.
She used to do yoga with me when she was little and that’s where her love of it has stemmed from. I believe it helped her became very aware of herself and her surroundings and of course it helped my son Jack to destress too.
I actually think they should start it in primary schools to teach children a bit more about themselves, who they are and how they breathe.
In addition to all of this you also started your own business at the age of 55?
I did. I’m a personal cook. My company is called ‘Dine with Jules’ and I cook for dinner parties and small events. I bake puddings and cakes for Highgrove Royal Gardens where Prince Charles lives too. So I’m very busy….but I always make time or yoga.