Yoga Manchester People September

September’s Yoga Manchester student of the month is the lovely Julie Neville. Julie has been practising Yoga now with Matt Ryan for over 8 years. Enjoy a little insight into Julie’s world – remember to leave any of your thoughts in the comments section below.


Julie Neville Yoga 1

Tell us a bit about yourself

Born in Bury in Lancashire, convent school educated due to my Irish catholic mother and went onto work in the family construction firm for 7 years . Married footballer Phil Neville in 1999 so technically I am a wag – although hopefully in title only!! Mother now to two children, Harvey aged 11 and Isabella aged 9 after four years living at the top of Beetham tower we are now settled and happy living in Hale. I am the founder and CEO of Win Naturally so juggle long working hours around football matches, school runs, afterschool activities, play dates and homework! We really do try to live a quiet and private life and I am happiest at home, in pyjamas on my bed with the children watching cheesy TV (when we can convince Phil to turn football off)!

What are you currently listening to?

I have a wide and varied music collection and it all depends on my mood each day. Obviously if my children have a say it is all High School Musical and Big Time Rush – oh and Justin Bieber!!! However, right now in my office I have a Smooth Jazz album on – sets the tone for the afternoon in the office. Tomorrow it could be WHAM!

What brought you to yoga and how long have you been practising?

Yoga saved me in a way – that and Win Naturally. After almost losing my life giving birth to Isabella three months prematurely – I spent two years struggling to regain my health and constantly being admitted to hospital with serious conditions. This coupled with a one year old and very sick baby who then went on to be diagnosed as having a stroke and being left with brain damage and a condition known as cerebral palsy. The prolonged periods of extreme stress left me having panic attacks, exhausted and fearing that I would never see my children grow up. Yoga healed both my body and mind and whilst I do have a sad and dramatic story to tell, we are all in a completely different place now and I feel blessed every single day!

What is your yoga super power?

I actually like back bending – it feels so good to stretch the whole spine. I also love the headstand at the end and feel like I could stay there all day. I suppose I also gain just as much benefit from the breathing at the end of the practice as it is the only time of day that I keep my body and mind still. Breathing in and out for twenty counts each time means I cannot concentrate on anything but breath.

If you could be a character in a well-known film, who would you be and why?

Well growing up I always loved Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – Richard Gere was like her knight in shining armour and she was so beautiful and elegant. But then she was a hooker so not sure if that is a good choice!

Where in Manchester is heaven?

Heaven is my home – it is the one place that I feel safe and secure. We love to travel but I always love to come home.

If you could go back in time to see something or change something, what would it be?

Well I would change so many things that I have done in my life if I could (one being having a perm aged 13 – that could never have been fashionable and I blame my mother) – hindsight is a wonderful thing. Seriously though, the moment that I had my son and they put him onto my chest and he looked up at me was my most perfect moment. I missed that moment with Isabella as I was under a general anaesthetic and we were both so sick – if I could, I would have liked to have seen her when she was born (not 48 hours later) and held her in my arms.