Doing yoga you love with someone you love is a beautiful (and sometimes hilarious) thing.
When the people who love each other are Val Tucker and Tom Enis, it’s not just the two of them who benefit from their partnered-up practice. Super positive, hard-working, and dedicated, they add good energy to the whole studio.
Val and Tom are getting married this month, so it seemed like the perfect moment to get to know them better! Be sure to introduce yourself and congratulate the lucky couple when they’re back from their wedding/honeymoon later this month!
(Val and Tom demonstrate our posture(s) of the month, Head to Knee and Stretching, here.)
What benefits and changes have you seen from your practice?
Val: Practicing this yoga has definitely changed my life. I hear all my friends talk about all the changes in their bodies since they turned a certain age, and I’m still waiting for those changes to happen to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a few more aches and pains and I can’t recover so quickly from those nights I celebrate a little too hard, but in general, I still eat the way I always have and enjoy the activities I always have. Honestly, I am in better shape than I was in my 30s!
Tom: I have never been a “flexible” guy, but very slowly I am noticing changes. I can do things I wasn’t able to do in the beginning.
How has doing this yoga affected your life outside the hot room?
Val: My children are still alive, and they should thank Bikram Yoga for that.
What has surprised you about your practice?
Val: I am so surprised by how quickly 90 minutes passes. In the beginning I would literally count down the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises to get me through the 90 minutes.
How has this yoga improved your life? What does your practice mean to you?
Val: I am better equipped to deal with the pressures of life because of yoga. I work as an ultrasound technologist, and while my job can be very fun and happy, there are as many times that it can be difficult and sad. Just having the ability to breathe and focus, no matter what is going on around you, is priceless
What is your most challenging posture? Why?
Val: Half Moon Pose. It’s all mental. I feel like my hips are crooked, one leg is longer than the other, I have scoliosis, this is never going to happen, why is it so long….
Tom: I actually have two. Eagle Pose and Standing Head to Knee. Eagle Pose is so hard for me because of my lack of shoulder mobility, and Standing Head to Knee because of the combination of balance and flexibility, but I am working on it!
Do you have a favorite posture? What do you like about it?
Val: Right now my favorite is rabbit. My spine feels straighter and longer when I am done.
Tom: Camel. The first 30 classes I would never have thought I could grab my heels, and now I am!
What is one tip you would give to a new student at our studio?
Val: Give it some time. The first time I tried this yoga, I didn’t even use up a 10-visit card. Then two years later, after a car accident, I gave it another try and really gave it a full month.
Tom: Let this yoga take you out of your comfort zone.
Do you do Hot Pilates?
Val: I do Hot Pilates, and really enjoy it because it’s so different and is just an hour long with music, so even though I would never call it easy, it just seems like fun, not work. Especially when I go with Tom. Friday night Hot Pilates and then appetizers and a cocktail. Perfect date night! Not sure if Tom really agrees!
Tom: I do Hot Pilates. I love that it’s only an hour, I sweat like crazy, and I get to have fun with my favorite partner!
What other activities do you enjoy when you’re not in the hot room?
Val: I love hiking, cooking, traveling, and hanging out with my large family.
Tom: I enjoy golf, cooking, going to the beach, and most important, being with family.
Did one of you start coming to class first? How did you convince the other one to try?
Val: I had been doing Bikram for about four years. After dating Tom for over a year, he decided to try it. It did not take a lot of convincing, though. When he was ready, he was ready.
Is your practice different when you are in the room together?
Val: I think I take it a little less seriously with Tom in the room. Sometimes just seeing him out of the corner of my eye makes me laugh. Also, he gives me little signs of encouragement throughout. It’s actually quite sweet.
Tom: I have only been to class with Val, so I don’t know.
Do you find yourself talking about yoga at home? What do you talk about?
Val: Yeah, sometimes when we are having a romantic dinner I will look him in the eyes and say, “Why do you half-ass it during Wind Removing Pose?” and he will laugh, and I’m like, “No, really, you have to interlace your fingers…”
Tom: We do talk about it at home, and every class is a different experience, so we usually rehash the class.
Thanks, Val and Tom! Congratulations, and see you in the hot room!
–Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford