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I am delighted to introduce you to Felice Kreitman Tinker, the HYF Hotshot for April 2017. When I picture Felice, two images come to mind. The first is her smiling face at the front desk. She always seems so pleased to be at yoga.  The second image I picture is Felice in a strong, steady Standing Head to Knee Pose. (Our posture of the month, see Felice demonstrating here!). Felice has been a steady, enthusiastic part of the HYF community for years, and we’re so glad for the chance to get to know her better.

Take it away, Felice…

“Want to come with me to hot yoga?” I was asked by my good friend Kathleen about 5 years ago.

“How hard could it be,” I thought. I’m from Florida, I like hot, so I went.

I recall standing in the back row getting a little nervous as I watched people enter the room. The entire first class I literally felt like I was driving a car with no GPS trying to find an undisclosed destination 90 minutes away with only voice instructions to guide me. Oh, and the instructions came with no forewarning: elbows up, glutes tight, feet together, right over left, bend your knees, push push push, hips to the back of the room, tuck your chin, feet hip distance apart, and on and on.

I quickly discovered I couldn’t touch my toes or grip my hands together over my head with my elbows straight or balance on one leg or straddle my mat without feeling like I was going to break into two pieces. Humbling. But somehow, by some miracle, I did it. I got to the end of class in a puddle of sweat. I rested in savasana feeling like I had accomplished something pretty fantastic.

I realized I found the destination I had been looking for the last 90 minutes: a feeling of accomplishment, health and well-being. I stood up, looked in the mirror and took stock before leaving the yoga room. I liked the feeling I had, I was going to come back, I was hooked.

5 years later, Bikram yoga is part of my life. I look at my week ahead and compare it to the Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford schedule, and I find the time, I make the time to attend classes.

I am more flexible and stronger then I have been since my days as a gymnast when I was in Jr. High School (a long time ago).  I find inspiration from the amazing instructors and from everyone in the class.  I can tell you that while some classes are more challenging on some days, I have never had a bad class.  Ever. I leave the room feeling better then when I walked in.

Here is a quick story: My father lives in Florida and just turned 90. He lives in an active ‘adult community’ where he takes his yoga class 3 times a week. The other day, during one of our weekly Sunday catch up phone calls I asked him how he was doing.

He said, “Felice I feel great mentally, spiritually and physically…I’m like a stud here.”  I giggled at the comment about being a “stud” and I asked him what he meant by that. He said, “When I walk into the dining room in the evening, everyone looks at my shoes because I wear the laces.” Again I inquired what he meant. And then he told me,  “All the other old f#*^ers wear the loafers, I wear the laces.”  I got it; my father wears laces and is admired for it because at 90, with yoga, he still has the flexibility and dexterity to tie his own shoes.  The others wear loafer style shoes because they do not. I’m going to keep doing yoga because I want to be like my dad when I am 90.  I want to feel good mentally, spiritually and phyisically.  I want to “wear the laces.”  I want to be a “stud.”

Come to yoga, we’ll be studs together. Big smile, big giggle.

Yup. I’m giggling! Thanks, Felice – see you in the hot room!

-Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford

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