Interview and self-care tips with the inspiring Julie Montagu

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If you are not already familiar with Julie Montagu, then it is my pleasure to introduce you. She is a complete inspiration. Truly a woman who has embraced self-care of mind, body and spirit. Yoga, nutrition, author, an online nutrition course the Flexie Foodie, recently launched wellness membership site Truly Julie and so much more – this mother of four is worth getting to know.

She very generously agreed to answer a few of our questions and offer her top tips on self-care. Enjoy.

You are originally from America. Was yoga popular in your hometown and how does it compare with the practice of yoga in the UK?

I’m originally from a sweet little ‘town’ called Sugar Grove, Illinois in the middle of corn fields. No joke!  And nope, I don’t think any of us growing up in Sugar Grove had even heard of yoga!

Have you experienced anxiety?

Yes.  After my fourth child was born almost 11 years ago, I definitely experienced mild anxiety.  I had 4 young children under the age of 8 and I was exhausted yet worried and frantic. I would jump down my kids’ throats, my husband’s throat and really anyone who slightly irked me!

If so, how did you know it was anxiety – Were there physical signs?  

I started to get heart ectopics (when your heart misses a beat) and quite frequently throughout the day.  I would therefore, have to lie down and consciously breathe in order for my heart to start beating normally again.

When did you start exploring yoga and food as a resource to treat anxiety?

Quite quickly after my fourth was born, I knew I needed to make a change.  I mean, the heart isn’t something to mess with.  So, within a year I was practicing yoga on a daily basis and began my coursework in Plant-based nutrition through Cornell University.

Can you explain how yoga poses work in the body to relieve anxiety?

The difference between yoga and other forms of exercise is that yoga is a mind-body practice.  There are the physical poses combined with controlled breathing as well as relaxation and even meditation at the end of a class. And this winning combination helps to reduce stress, lower bloods pressure and your heart rate.

Are there different holistic tools you recommend for prevention vs relief?

For me, yoga encapsulates both anxiety relief AND prevention. That’s the amazing thing about yoga – it does both.

Why is self-care so important?

One word: RECHARGE!  So many of us give so much of our energy away to everyone else that we forget about ourselves and before we know it, we are exhausted, unhappy and feeling just overall yuck.  If we simply take just 10 minutes out of our day for us to recharge our batteries, it makes a huge difference in our interaction with others and our energy levels too.

What would you say to someone who feels they are too busy to take care of themselves?

They need to reassess their priorities and quickly!  Or they will eventually… burn out.

Check Julie out on social media or on the brief helpful video below.