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Every beginner has their own way of plunging into a hot yoga practice. Some people wade in, a class or two a week; others are at the studio every day of their 30 day introductory month. A new student might quietly watch, listen, and learn; another might ask lots of questions before and after class. It’s all good.

Sometimes a new yogi begins practicing, and they are so focused and calm and determined in the room that I forget they are a beginner. Douglas Oliveira falls into this category. When I read in his responses below that he’d only been practicing for six months, I was surprised. Since day one, he has practiced with a relaxed, friendly confidence that makes it a pleasure to be in class with him, as a fellow yogi (or Pilates classmate!) or a teacher. Please read on to learn more about Doug, and be sure to introduce yourself the next time you see him!

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I started practicing in February 2018

What brought you to the HYF studio?

I turned 27 years old the day I took my first class. I wanted to try something new and different on my birthday.

What do you remember about your first class?

Terri! She was teaching the class that day. She was so kind and welcoming and made my birthday a little better.

How often do you practice?

Not as often as I would like to. I’m a flight attendant, so I’m usually only home 2-3 days a week. I try to take a class every day I am off from work.

What physical benefits and changes have you seen from your practice?

I am a lot more flexible, leaner, and don’t have any more little aches and pains.

How has doing this yoga affected your life outside the hot room?

The day I took my first class I was also celebrating 60 days sober. I’ve been in recovery for 7 months now, and the hot room has complemented my recovery extremely well. When I leave the room, I get this natural high that I was never able to get from drugs or alcohol.

What keeps you coming to class?

I keep chasing that amazing feeling I get every time I leave the room.

What has surprised you about your practice?

I’ve been surprised by how great Savasana is. I’ve started to use that time to pray or meditate. I also really enjoy knowing that the earth literally has my back during those moments of rest.

What is your most challenging posture? Why?

Standing Separate Leg Stretching or Standing Head to Knee. I really struggle with these two, but I love the feeling of accomplishment every time I am able to go a little deeper.

Do you have a favorite posture? What do you like about it?

Standing Bow. I like the sense of freedom I get from doing it, and it looks cool.

What is one tip you would give to a new student at The Hot Yoga Factory?

Be patient. I would share this quote from AA: “Keep coming back. It works if you work it, so work it because you’re worth it.”

Have you taken Hot Pilates classes? If yes, what has your experience been like?

Yes .I hate working out, but the energy in the room makes it fun.

What other activities do you enjoy when you’re not in the hot room?

I love to travel the world. I’ve been to every continent (except Antarctica) and 41 US states so far!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yes. I know traveling is stressful, but be kind to your flight attendants! 🙂

Thanks, Doug! See you in the hot room!

–Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford

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