BYC February 2017 Hotshots: Madhvi Ravi and Ravi Kagalavadi

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BYC February 2017 Hotshots: Madhvi Ravi and Ravi Kagalavadi

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The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford community is filled with welcoming, dedicated yogis. We all share the same practice, but everyone’s path is a little different, and we have so much to learn from one another. Every month we choose a new HYF student to interview and honor with the title of HYF Hotshot. We hope you enjoy these “behind the scenes” glimpses into the yoga practices of your fellow students!!

In honor of the February Valentine’s Day holiday, we have chosen a BYC Hotshot couple for February:  Ravi Kagalavadi and Madhvi Ravi. (Click here to see Ravi and Madhvi demonstrating Wind Removing Pose, our February 2017 Posture of the Month!)

90 minutes in the hot room is not most people’s idea of “date night.” But when Ravi and Madhvi come to The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford together they seem just as happy to be here as they would be at a 5-star restaurant. They are both hard-working and dedicated yogis in the hot room, absorbing corrections with a relaxed and easy seriousness, and I always look forward to our upbeat post-practice chats in the lobby. Get to know Madhvi and Ravi a little better here, and be sure to introduce yourself the next time you practice with them!

Madhvi Ravi

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been in the US for the past 20 years and work in the software industry. I have a wonderful and very supportive husband, Ravi, whom I’ve known for about 23 years. We have two lovely teenage girls, Trisha and Anika, who keep us very busy.

When did you start practicing Bikram yoga?

I have been practicing at HYF since about 2012. I took a break for about a year. I started practice again, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to cope with it. Coming back was the best decision ever. It was hard at first, but now if I don’t practice for a week, I feel I am missing something and can’t wait to get back to it.

How did you discover Bikram Yoga?

We heard about it in the community and decided to give it a try.

What brought you to the Hot Yoga Factory?

Having a sedentary job and working on a computer all day has led to lower back issues and tight shoulders. I wanted to see whether doing hot yoga would alleviate some of these issues.

What do you remember about your first Bikram yoga class?

The first class is a very vivid memory for me. It was a full class and I ended up practicing very close to the instructor, Larry, on that day. As the class wore on, Larry wouldn’t stop talking. Between the heat and the nonstop instructions, I felt like walking away from the class. But Larry asked me to just sit or lie down and stay in the room if possible. I thought I would never come back. But Ravi and I decided to go back again and really developed a liking for the class.

What keeps you coming to class?

I’ve noticed that I fall sick  lot less with regular practice. Also, by keeping to a practice schedule, I try to stay hydrated all the time. The instructors are very motivating and inspirational. It’s a nice community of folks, and I enjoy my practice here.

How often do you practice?

I try to practice yoga at least two to three times a week and do one hot pilates class a week.

What benefits and changes have you seen from your practice?

I’ve noticed steady improvements in flexibility. Also, my backaches go away if I am consistent with practice. I notice more mobility than what I was capable of six months ago.

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

I have a lot more energy and a positive outlook when I am done with class.

What has surprised you about your practice?

I come to class sometimes wondering whether I can survive it. I always leave feeling cheerful and energetic. I’m also very surprised at how tight my body is. I don’t feel the tightness as I go about my day, but I feel it during class. The heat is a great way to relax the muscles and stretch beyond what I’m usually used to.

How has this yoga improved your life? What does your practice mean to you?

Yoga has helped me understand that no matter how busy life can be, I need to make the time and take care of myself. I have more energy and it puts me in a good spirit. My 90 minutes of practice requires me to focus on what the instructor is saying and at the same time relax to get into the posture.

What is your most challenging posture?

The most challenging posture for me is Standing Head to Knee. It requires you to bend forward and also lock your standing knee, which I am a bit skeptical of doing.

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

I like Standing Bow Pulling pose. I feel I have a good grasp of it, and there is still a lot I can do to improve it.

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

The class is challenging, but the benefits you get from class make it all worth it. Don’t be too critical of yourself. Do the best you can and allow your body to heal and enjoy what the class has to offer you.

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

I like to travel to different places, spend time with the family and friends, and I enjoy watching football. I also like cooking and exploring new recipes when I have the time.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I enjoy coming to class. It’s a great way to start the day. I’m looking forward to the day I can do the Standing Head to Knee pose correctly.

Ravi Kagalavadi

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I work in the software industry. I’ve been married to Madhvi for 23 years, and we’re blessed with two teenage girls. Since the kids are older now, I have a lot more time to practice yoga with Madhvi.

When did you start practicing Bikram yoga?

I started practicing four years ago, but became more regular in the last two years. It is one of my best decisions.

How did you discover Bikram yoga?

I was introduced through colleagues at work.

What keeps you coming to class?

It is a great community of students and awesome teachers who bring a lot of energy to the class and inspire you to do your best. It makes it easy to push your boundaries in the practice. Yoga is a life long journey; it is not about perfections, but it is about making progress during each practice.

How often do you practice?

We practice two to three times a week. I love the Hot Pilates class. I have back pain, and it improves the core. I also have more energy in the yoga class.

What benefits and changes have you seen from your practice?

I have a lot more energy when I practice. It also improves concentration and focus for my work. My overall health has improved after practicing yoga.

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

It provides patience and calming of the mind when dealing with complex situations. The breathing exercise is something you can practice any time of the day.

What has surprised you about your practice?

Some of the poses that I thought I could never do are becoming  lot easier with more practice, like Triangle Pose. Your body changes every day, and you need to accept it and take things one day at a time.

How has this yoga improved your life? What does your practice mean to you?

Practicing has improved my quality of life, my overall health, and my relationships with the family and my colleagues. Practice is about doing your best every time you walk into the studio. Consistency – going a few times a week – has helped.

This studio is a wonderful community. The teachers have great attitudes, and inspire everyone to bring their best to their practices.

What is your most challenging posture? Why?

Fixed Firm Pose is challenging; I need to overcome the bending backwards part. One of these days I’ll give it a try.

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

Triangle Pose. It is a posture that pushes your body to the extreme, and I look forward to getting better at each practice.

What is one tip you would give to a new student?

Don’t give up. The first few classes will be hard. Mental toughness plays a critical role, and once you conquer your mind, you will be thankful for the decision you made to come back and practice more frequently.

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

We love global travel and explore new places every year.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I’m glad to see the studio doing well in the community. I enjoy the additional classes, such as the Hot Pilates classes and the recent Master Class. I want to thank the wonderful teachers who teach with so much passion and love, which makes it a wonderful place to practice.

Questions for both Madhvi and Ravi:

Which of you started coming to class first? How did you convince the other one to try?

Madhvi: We both attended the first class together. I didn’t want to come back, but Ravi convinced me about how great he always felt after class, so I decided to go back and try it again.

Is your practice different when you are in the hot room together?

Madhvi: I enjoy practicing with Ravi. He looks so focused. It motivates me to do my best. Sometimes I have to resist the urge to tell him, “Relax, it’s only yoga!”

Do you find yourself talking about yoga at home?

Madhvi: We’ve always come home after practice and said, “I’m glad we went to class today.” If one of us was unable to attend, we figure out a way to make it work and attend another class.

Ravi: Absolutely, we do talk about yoga, the teachers, the postures we can get better at, and the community.

Thanks, Madhvi and Ravi! See you in the hot room!

— Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford

 

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2018-03-26T20:18:11+00:00