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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.