oyos landscape

About Helen & Jo

OYOS jo stephens
Jo Stephens

As an experienced yoga teacher, Jo is fascinated by how the body works and the connectivity between all our systems, mind and body. Jo believes in giving back control, encouraging people to explore and enquire so that they are able to feel what is right for them. This is done with kindness and attention.
More about Jo >

Helen Cowper OYOS
Helen Cowper

As an accredited emotional intelligence coach, Helen is passionate about helping people create connections inside and out so they can be who they are and love what they do. Helen listens without judgement to create a safe space where people can talk, share and unlock potential.
More about Helen >

Our journey…

oyos01
oyos02

First impressions

When Helen first bounced into my yoga class, I knew we were destined to be mates. It wouldn’t be right to say her smile and energy filled the room; it felt more like they made the room bigger. So that there was space for everyone. She held it, made everyone feel comfortable, like they fitted. Everybody had a place and Helen made sure they knew that. She brought with her an ease of being that was contagious. Her ability to empathize and not judge - to instinctively know what people need, never ceases to amaze me. She has helped so many people open their eyes and embrace and nurture themselves – including me. But to begin with, I was the teacher and I was helping her and oh my goodness that neck and those shoulders…

oyos03

I have always wanted to ‘do’ yoga. I have tried many classes, DVD’s and books, nothing stuck. I tentatively contacted Jo via email to see if her class was for me. She made me feel safe as she quickly answered all my questions as they fired into her inbox and so along I went to my first class. Jo immediately helped me feel at ease, she laughed with me, explained things, and guided me through postures and movements in a way that made sense. Everyone in her class clearly loved her, she knew each person, their ailments and complaints and Jo tailored our practice to help, ease and strengthen. I knew this was not going to be another flash in the pan, I had finally found ‘my’ yoga teacher and hopefully also a friend…

oyos04

How Jo and yoga helped Helen see the light

We talked about posture, how good posture is important wherever you are, what ever you are doing. Not just on your mat but in the car, sitting at your desk, walking etc. How you sit, move and breathe has a profound effect upon your well-being. We explored where improvements could be made and the change was remarkable. Keen and quick to learn, I could hear Helens mind whizzing with the information. She absorbed it with the sponge-like brain of a child – a yoga teacher’s dream. But as so often is the case as we unpeeled one layer, we found another lurking beneath. Why was there so much holding? Why the tension in the shoulders? It led us to stress at work and the suggestion of another way. Then she got ill. Shingles, they said. But very odd symptoms. I was sure it was a result of stress. So, that first bit, the initial part of our friendship was characterised by me helping Helen. Oh, how things have changed. I recall being so very worried about what was actually going on. If there was something more sinister. Test after test came back negative. Possibly stress at work then?

oyos05

Turns out yoga is about way more than a downward dog. Jo taught me about being conscious of my posture and helped me see how physically and literally out of shape I was. I had not noticed the hunch I had developed through slumping; my poor neck could hardly support itself and my shoulders were taking the strain. When Jo showed me how I should be sitting in a car seat, I was gobsmacked. Jo suggested I looked stressed, of course I was stressed, I had a lot on! I did everything without ever needing to ask for help, if there were plates to balance, chuck another my way – until I dropped them all, or at least was forced to. I was diagnosed with internal shingles and could not work for a month. I got scared, I thought it was something more serious as every time I tried to go back to work, I struggled, I was exhausted, in pain and anxious. When I could not make a yoga class Jo would call me and see how I was doing. Sometimes she would convince me to go and it would be the best thing for me as she gently helped me move and relax. It was the start of a long journey to a new way of life.

oyos06

Tables turned

And then I got ill, Lyme disease and my - push on through no matter what - approach suddenly didn’t work. Lyme loves a push on through approach. The note on my kitchen cupboard reads, ‘rest before you are tired.’ How hard a lesson has that been to learn! Mentally, I have always managed by pushing on through. I am a rescuer. A, put others first. A mender and a fixer. Many people will identify with this. Helen knew it of old. It makes you feel of worth, I guess. And stops you from looking at what it is you really need. It stops you from being kind to yourself. Maybe this clouding of my story was about running from the pain…

oyos07

I did a lot of research when I was not recovering, I became aware I was suffering from burnout. Not just from my current job, but from years of stress, from thoughts and feelings, from beliefs I had about myself and about others. I thought being strong meant never letting anything slip, today I feel quite differently about that. When Jo got ill, I saw signs I recognised, I heard familiar justifications and reasons, I knew we were peas from the same pod. I was initially surprised it happened to her, then I realised, of course it did – she’s strong like me andI knew this was going to be an opportunity to share what I’ve learnt but also a big challenge – how do you get a ‘go faster, do more’, to ‘slow down and do less’?

oyos08

How coaching and Helen helped Jo

Helen helped me to stop and look and be honest. She helped me to see what it is I actually want and give that, just in itself, value. Mad eh… Something has value, just because I want it. That’s not selfish, that’s nurture. That’s what we want for those we love. Why is it so hard to see that for ourselves? If your children and those you love see you make choices that are right for your well-being, guess what happens? They are more likely to make the right choices for themselves. Helen has taught me to listen to my body and my mind. She has taught me to nurture myself and she has done this with such kindness and subtlety that I didn’t even really notice her doing it.

oyos09

Loving yourself is the most precious and important action yet we find it so hard to do. We all have an inner critic that seems intent on keeping us ‘in our place’. How can I look at Jo and see a kind, wonderful and beautiful person and she not see the same? I was lucky Jo let me in, she accepted my reflection and challenge with thought and contemplation. We sat with silence at times as I listened to her think. Just as Jo slowed yoga down into mindful movement so that I could feel each move, hold and release, I attempted to interject a pause into Jo’s thinking to give her breathing space for her thoughts, to see what was valid, useful or ready to be let go.

oyos10

Bringing it together

We were chatting the other day. “That’s the thing,” I said “the magic is in the holistic approach. We are greater than the sum of our individual parts, like steel.” “Like Sapphire and Steel,” chortled Helen, “When TV shows were TV shows!” Everything is connected. All the systems in our bodies need to be healthy for us to be truly well. You need to look at it all. If you want to be truly well in mind and body, you have to realise that everything is connected. Everything informs everything. I can teach you how to move and breathe and be mindful but you need Helen to help you with your emotional intelligence, your habits and your relationships, both with yourself and others. She is an expert in that internal journey. Together, we are greater than the sum of our individual parts. Just like Sapphire and Steel… OYOS – A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO WELL-BEING – connect, learn, apply, maintain.

oyos11

If I had not gone to Jo’s yoga class, I cannot say for sure that I would be starting my own company now. I do not know if I would have had the courage, the belief, or the vision. I have always felt I had something more in me, I just did not really know what it was.Now I do, I am so confident that what Jo and I bring together is life changing. I know this because it has been life changing for both of us.I am a thinker, I love to think, but I need to move. WithJo’s support, love, and encouragement I have found a movement practice that compliments my thinking, meditation techniques that are becoming habits and I am kinder to myself. Jo and I have built so much trust, empathy and understanding between us that I cannot imagine a better business partner.We have big dreams about what we want OYOS to become and how we want to help people. All we have to do is start and we want you to be part of it. We want to meet you, for you to have an ‘A-ha’ moment with us, for you to see the amazing potential you undoubtedly have.

Our journey…

oyos01
oyos02

First impressions

When Helen first bounced into my yoga class, I knew we were destined to be mates. It wouldn’t be right to say her smile and energy filled the room; it felt more like they made the room bigger. So that there was space for everyone. She held it, made everyone feel comfortable, like they fitted. Everybody had a place and Helen made sure they knew that. She brought with her an ease of being that was contagious. Her ability to empathize and not judge - to instinctively know what people need, never ceases to amaze me. She has helped so many people open their eyes and embrace and nurture themselves – including me. But to begin with, I was the teacher and I was helping her and oh my goodness that neck and those shoulders…

oyos03

I have always wanted to ‘do’ yoga. I have tried many classes, DVD’s and books, nothing stuck. I tentatively contacted Jo via email to see if her class was for me. She made me feel safe as she quickly answered all my questions as they fired into her inbox and so along I went to my first class. Jo immediately helped me feel at ease, she laughed with me, explained things, and guided me through postures and movements in a way that made sense. Everyone in her class clearly loved her, she knew each person, their ailments and complaints and Jo tailored our practice to help, ease and strengthen. I knew this was not going to be another flash in the pan, I had finally found ‘my’ yoga teacher and hopefully also a friend…

oyos04

How Jo and yoga helped Helen see the light

We talked about posture, how good posture is important wherever you are, what ever you are doing. Not just on your mat but in the car, sitting at your desk, walking etc. How you sit, move and breathe has a profound effect upon your well-being. We explored where improvements could be made and the change was remarkable. Keen and quick to learn, I could hear Helen’s mind whizzing with the information. She absorbed it with the sponge-like brain of a child – a yoga teacher’s dream. But as so often is the case as we unpeeled one layer, we found another lurking beneath. Why was there so much holding? Why the tension in the shoulders? >>>

>>> It led us to stress at work and the suggestion of another way. Then she got ill. Shingles, they said. But very odd symptoms. I was sure it was a result of stress. So, that first bit, the initial part of our friendship was characterised by me helping Helen. Oh, how things have changed. I recall being so very worried about what was actually going on. If there was something more sinister. Test after test came back negative. Possibly stress at work then?

oyos05

Turns out yoga is about way more than a downward dog or a warrior pose. Jo taught me about being conscious of my posture and helped me see how physically and literally out of shape I was. I had not noticed the hunch I had developed through slumping; my poor neck could hardly support itself and my shoulders were taking the strain. When Jo showed me how I should be sitting in a car seat, I was gobsmacked, the idea that a head rest is actually to rest your head on whilst sitting up straight – who would have thought it?! Jo suggested I looked stressed, of course I was stressed, I had a lot on, everyone has a lot on, this is normal! I did everything without ever needing to ask for help, if there was a battle to be won, count me in, if there were plates to balance, chuck another my way – until I dropped them all, or at least was forced to. >>>

>>> I was diagnosed with internal shingles and could not work for a month. I got scared, I thought it was something more serious as every time I tried to go back to work, I struggled, I was exhausted, in pain and anxious. When I could not make a yoga class Jo would call me and see how I was doing. Sometimes she would convince me to go and it would be the best thing for me as she gently helped me move and relax. It was the start of a long journey to a new way of life.

oyos06

Tables turned

And then I got ill, Lyme disease and my - push on through no matter what - approach suddenly didn’t work. Lyme loves a push on through approach. The note on my kitchen cupboard reads, ‘rest before you are tired.’ How hard a lesson has that been to learn! Mentally, I have always managed by pushing on through. I am a rescuer. A, put others first. A mender and a fixer. Many people will identify with this. Helen knew it of old. It makes you feel of worth, I guess. And stops you from looking at what it is you really need. It stops you from being kind to yourself. Maybe this clouding of my story was about running from the pain…

oyos07

I did a lot of research when I was not recovering, I became aware I was suffering from burnout. Not just from my current job, but from years of stress, from thoughts and feelings, from beliefs I had about myself and about others. I thought being strong meant never letting anything slip, today I feel quite differently about that. When Jo got ill, I saw signs I recognised, I heard familiar justifications and reasons, I knew we were peas from the same pod.I was initially surprised it happened to her, then I realised, of course it did – she’s strong like me andI knew this was going to be an opportunity to share what I’ve learnt but also a big challenge – how do you get a ‘go faster, do more’, to ‘slow down and do less’?

oyos08

How coaching and Helen helped Jo

Helen helped me to stop and look and be honest. She helped me to see what it is I actually want and give that, just in itself, value. Mad eh… Something has value, just because I want it. That’s not selfish, that’s nurture. That’s what we want for those we love. Why is it so hard to see that for ourselves? If your children and those you love see you make choices that are right for your well-being, guess what happens? They are more likely to make the right choices for themselves. Helen has taught me to listen to my body and my mind. She has taught me to nurture myself and she has done this with such kindness and subtlety that I didn’t even really notice her doing it.

oyos09

Loving yourself is the most precious and important action yet we find it so hard to do. We all have an inner critic that seems intent on keeping us ‘in our place’. How can I look at Jo and see a kind, wonderful and beautiful person and she not see the same? I was lucky Jo let me in, she accepted my reflection and challenge with thought and contemplation. We sat with silence at times as I listened to her think. Just as Jo slowed yoga down into mindful movement so that I could feel each move, hold and release, I attempted to interject a pause into Jo’s thinking to give her breathing space for her thoughts, to see what was valid, useful or ready to be let go.

oyos10

Bringing it together

We were chatting the other day. “That’s the thing,” I said “the magic is in the holistic approach. We are greater than the sum of our individual parts, like steel.” “Like Sapphire and Steel,” chortled Helen, “When TV shows were TV shows!” Everything is connected. All the systems in our bodies need to be healthy for us to be truly well. You need to look at it all. If you want to be truly well in mind and body, you have to realise that everything is connected. Everything informs everything. >>>

>>> I can teach you how to move and breathe and be mindful but you need Helen to help you with your emotional intelligence, your habits and your relationships, both with yourself and others. She is an expert in that internal journey. Together, we are greater than the sum of our individual parts. Just like Sapphire and Steel… OYOS – A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO WELL-BEING – connect, learn, apply, maintain.

oyos11

If I had not gone to Jo’s yoga class, I cannot say for sure that I would be starting my own company now. I do not know if I would have had the courage, the belief, or the vision. I have always felt I had something more in me, I just did not really know what it was.Now I do, I am so confident that what Jo and I bring together is life changing. I know this because it has been life changing for both of us.I am a thinker, I love to think, but I need to move. With Jo’s support, love, and encouragement I have found a movement practice that compliments my thinking, meditation techniques that are becoming habits and I am kinder to myself. >>>

>>> Jo and I have built so much trust, empathy and understanding between us that I cannot imagine a better business partner.We have big dreams about what we want OYOS to become and how we want to help people. All we have to do is start and we want you to be part of it. We want to meet you, for you to have an ‘A-ha’ moment with us, for you to see the amazing potential you undoubtedly have.