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The Bikram Yoga 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 BYC student to interview and honor with the title of BYC Hotshot. We hope you enjoy these “behind the scenes” glimpses into the yoga practices of your fellow students!!

This month’s BYC Hotshot is Marie Dean. (Click here to see Marie demonstrating Hands to Feet Pose/Pada Hastasana, our Posture of the Month!)

If you’ve ever come to class at 9:30 am, you’ve probably practiced with Marie. (In 2014 she attended 365 classes in 365 days!) Marie is one of the kindest, warmest, most generous people you could hope to chat with in the lobby, but from the first Pranayama breath in the hot room, she is all business. She’s a fantastic example of the benefits of a consistent, determined, and optimistic practice.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am 46 years old, and live in Westford. I am married with a 14-year-old daughter.
When did you start practicing?
I started practicing in June of 2011.
What do you remember about your first class?marie-som
I took my first class on vacation with my husband. We like to try something new when we go on vacation. I remember giggling a lot! Now I know better.
What keeps you coming to class?
I started practicing about 3 times a week after vacation. I started to notice that I had a much better day if I practiced. Pretty soon I started coming almost every day. Seeing my yoga friends also gets me here.
What therapeutic benefits and changes have you noticed as a result of your practice?
The therapeutic benefits that I notice most are in my brain or my mood. I suffer with some anxiety and the yoga really helps. That said, my body has also never felt better.
Has anything surprised you about your practice?
I am always surprised that you never know what your practice will be like that day. You just have to take it as it comes. One posture, one breath at a time.
How has this yoga affected your life outside the hot room?
My life outside the hot room has never been better. I am a much better wife and mother. I have more patience and so much gratitude for the life my husband and I have made together.
What is your most challenging posture?
My most challenging posture has always been Standing Head to Knee. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Some days I feel so strong and in control and other days I just feel like I can’t do it. I know it’s mostly in my brain but it still happens.
Do you have a favorite posture? What do you like about it?
My favorite posture is always changing. Right now I think it is Triangle. I feel I have made a lot of progress in it. It feels good!
What is one tip you would give to a new student at Bikram Yoga Chelmsford?
One tip I would give to a new student at BYC is don’t overthink it. It can be overwhelming in there. Don’t worry about what you’re wearing or if people are looking at you or if you have to lay down. Do your thing.  We are all just trying to get through the best we can.
What other activities do you enjoy when you’re not practicing?
Other than yoga I spend most of my time with my family. I enjoy watching my daughter play sports and paddleboarding with my husband.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I am so grateful for the teachers and the friends I have here at BYC. They give me a place to come to where I feel accepted. I don’t want to imagine my life without them.
–Ellen Olson-Brown, Bikram Yoga Chelmsford
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