For the last ten years, I have been an endurance runner. Partially as a result of not listening to my injured body, as well as not sufficiently taking into account my mid-60's age, I suffered a pinched nerve in my left hip, leg and foot. My MRI determined I had severe L4/L5 vertebrae spinal stenosis, which resulted in my need for spinal fusion surgery. Afterwards, I was advised that yoga might be helpful to me in my recovery.

I searched the internet for a yoga therapist and was extremely lucky to find Julie Wilkins near Fairhope, Alabama as a well educated and experienced Certified Yoga Therapist and teacher. Her personal journey to back health let me know she has been there. I was anxious to get started soon after my surgery, but Julie wisely advised that we should not begin until my doctor was in favor of it. So after three and a half months, I met with Julie with the hope that she would be the right person to help me with my recovery. She was exactly what I had hoped for.

Julie is a great listener, and waits until you have told your story and your issues, before advising what goals she believes will be obtainable. She then very patiently takes you through a short session of moves and positions to get you started with some home activities. She builds your confidence immediately about your outcome and is very encouraging about your progress. I am very excited that Julie is part of my recovery team, and look forward to being able to confidently move with the knowledge that she has helped me lessen the chance of injuring myself in the future. -Scott


Julie,

I just wanted to take a minute and let you know what a helpful resource you have been for me............................and send you a thank you for that! I am 64 years old. It will be 2 years ago this April that I suffered a traumatic back injury that necessitated my having spinal fusion surgery. Prior to that I had been living a wellness lifestyle that included daily yoga practice, frequent aerobic exercise and weightlifting each week (lots of hiking and birdwatching too) along with a healthy diet. My lifestyle choices stood me in good stead during my postop course, since you can appreciate how daunting the rehab is from this surgery. I am still working towards my best outcome but am happy to say that I am now back to a close facsimile of my previous activity level. Where you come in is that I found you to be a wealth of information about how to modify standard yoga practice to suit my new limitations. I felt that you were knowledgeable and could give me safe guidance. I purchased your videos and have found them to be a great resource.
I also have enjoyed reading your blog. I feel that we have similar views on accepting your body where it is, and making the most of it.
I now have my own "tool kit" to take care of my back, even on bad back days. Currently I am working with a new massage therapist who is schooled in myofascial release and I am happy to report that my comfort level has improved. Anyway, thank you again for putting yourself out there. I am so glad that I found you and could benefit from your experience.

Trish


I have refused to let my fusion (T5 to L3) slow me down. I have lived a great life since my surgery. I have four children and six grandchildren. In addition to my profession as an income tax profession, I teach water aerobics and spin classes. I workout 4 to 6 days a week. I have always wanted to do yoga and was told that I couldn’t because of you back. Your work is a calling. I am so glad I found your programs and look forward to increasing my flexibility and strength as I follow you.

Janet


I have just found your videos on youtube. I have been doing yoga off and on for years but each time I think I'm strong enough and can start doing it, I have to stop because it creates pain. I have a much smaller fusion that yours. Only L4 & L5, but still have a hyper extended back, so cannot bend backwards in anyway, even cobra. Although I have no pain with merely walking, I wanted something more and being at a wonderful menopausal age, needed a more relaxed spiritual form of calming exercise. Sadly normal yoga is too much and I was about to give up, when I found you. Thank you. Just some small changes and do's and don't is going to change my life and my thinking. I am hooked, watching, exercising and looking forward to a properly strengthened body.

Gill


I just found your videos on YouTube I wonder how I've missed them. Anyway, they are greatly helping me. L1-S1 in 2011 and C4-6 in 2015. Stroke in Feb and now completed rehab. Rehab has adapted yoga so I started in May. WOW.. Now I find you. Feeling better everyday💜

Susan


Hi Julie, I’m so happy to have come across your site.  I have been fused for 35 years, I am 49.  I had a double curve so my fusion is as high as yours and lower.  Then 14 years ago I had emergency surgery to fuse C3-5 in my neck. I make a regular visit to an osteopath and have been doing this for about ten years now.  She helps to ‘unlock’ me.  But the fact that I have found you and your yoga has come as a welcome relief to me as I can now begin to help myself.  Every time I try yoga I hurt myself so finding your site is heaven sent. I have been doing your part 1 and 2 You Tube stretches this week and I am already feeling an enormous difference in my range of movement and relief to my aching back.  I am excited to explore your website more. Thank you! Kind regards,

Tania


Hello Julie,

I just wanted to take a minute and let you know what a helpful resource you have been for me............................and send you a thank you for that! I am 64 years old. It will be 2 years ago this April that I suffered a traumatic back injury that necessitated my having spinal fusion surgery. Prior to that I had been living a wellness lifestyle that included daily yoga practice, frequent aerobic exercise and weightlifting each week (lots of hiking and birdwatching too) along with a healthy diet. My lifestyle choices stood me in good stead during my post op course, since you can appreciate how daunting the rehab is from this surgery. I am still working towards my best outcome but am happy to say that I am now back to a close facsimile of my previous activity level.

Where you come in is that I found you to be a wealth of information about how to modify standard yoga practice to suit my new limitations. I felt that you were knowledgeable and could give me safe guidance. I purchased your videos and have found them to be a great resource.


I wanted to say thank you so much for your ideas you've put out over the years. I've had a T2-L2 spine fusion for 6 years now and since day 1 your videos have been life changing. I've been working off of your practice for years now and I feel so much stronger and more capable in general but you've also made working out possible for me. So thank you thank you thank you. I look forward to more of these and incorporating them into my practice ! Jenn