Funeral to be held for popular Melton art teacher who became a yoga guru

Sheila Baker, who has passed awaySheila Baker, who has passed away
Sheila Baker, who has passed away
The funeral is to be held of a popular former Melton art teacher who became an internationally-renowned yoga expert.

Sheila Baker lived in the village of Stonesby, near Melton, for the last 55 years and many will remember her for her art lessons at the old Melton College site in King Street.

She became a yoga teacher and for 40 years took groups of students to India to host spiritual sessions on the spectacular foothills of the Himalayas.

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During the Covid lockdown, when it was difficult to continue teaching yoga, she rediscovered her passion for art and, from her studio in Stonesby, created such wonderful evocative artwork that in a recent exhibition every single item being exhibited was snapped up within days.

The late Sheila Baker pictured with family membersThe late Sheila Baker pictured with family members
The late Sheila Baker pictured with family members

Her son Dan, a former ITV Central presenter, said the family was upset to learn late last year that his mum had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, just as she was organising her first post-Covid India trip.

He told the Melton Times: “This was completely out of the blue and such a cruel blow for someone who'd spent her entire life focussing on physical and mental health and well being.

“That she managed to put on an art exhibition just a month ago is testament to her incredible strength and determination.”

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Born in Yorkshire, Sheila enjoyed her career as an art teacher, also lecturing in colour and symbolism at Loughborough University and De Montfort University in Leicester.

When she became a yoga teacher, Sheila also ran retreats at Launde Abbey, on the Leicestershire and Rutland border, and at the Hayward Gallery in Yorkshire.

“Whilst the role of yoga teacher conjures up images of groups of middle-aged people laying on colourful rugs in a village hall, that's not how mum did it,” Dan explained.

“Her yoga trips to India were an incredible, immersive experience which was always immensely popular and over subscribed.”

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Sheila Baker passed away peacefully aged 80 in Lincoln County Hospital on July 25, with her sons, Leigh and Dan, at her bedside. She had five grandchildren.

Her funeral is on Monday August 14, at St Peter's Church, Stonesby, at 10.30am, followed by a garden party to celebrate her life in her back garden in the village.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, are invited for the Bangalore Children’s Fund.

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