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Bill Loehfelm has been a beloved and consistent attendee of the 9:30 am class for years. Warm, friendly, supportive, and a hard worker, it’s wonderful to set up near him, have a nice chat before class, and then absorb his positive energy for the next 90 minutes.

A few months ago, when Bill brought his wife, Karin Orr, to the Hot Yoga Factory with him for the first time, I’m not sure she realized she was royalty by association. “Oh, you’re BILL’s WIFE? We love Bill!”

Bill and Karin are our Hotshot Couple of the month!

Karin rocked that first class, and Bill beamed with pride.

Whether they practice separately or as a couple, Bill and Karin are focused and dedicated yogis who are genuinely interested in not only the practice, but their fellow yogis. What a nice blend!

Bill and Karin were kind enough to write about their experience(s) practicing the 26/2 series at The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford – read on to get to know your fellow yogis a little bit better.

Bill:

I am a 73-year-old man who lives in Harvard, MA, with my wife, Karin, and my 17-year-old son, Kory. Also at home is Karin’s mother, having moved up from Texas last year after the death of her spouse.

I have always enjoyed physical activities, and had tried different styles of yoga through the years, but missed the “work-out” part. So Bikram became kind of a natural fit.

I started in the Nashua studio and went once a week, but never developed the relationships with other students. I lived in Lowell at the time. I remember liking the yoga, but not the trip. Then this studio opened just five minutes away.

Norman, the previous owner, told me early on, “Remember the objective. You are not here to get better at yoga. That may happen, but it’s not your objective. You’re here to treat your body well, avoid injuries, and to feel better each day.”

I try to get to yoga 3-4 times a week. I’m retired, so I have time, and I very much enjoy my beloved 9:30 am community.

My least favorite part of class is the balancing series…I have creaky knees and some neuropathy, so balancing is hard. My most favorite is the spinal series because it strengthens my lower back. I have not had a back problem in the 5+ years I’ve been coming here.

My advice to new students: just breathe. The tendency is to hold your breath when trying really hard to get the pose right. Then, when you’re done, you’ll think that pose was really, really hard. That’s because you held your breath. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Hot yoga has helped me feel/stay healthy. I can move better. I’m more comfortable in my body. Most importantly, it has given me access to a community of wonderful, healthy, nonjudgmental, interesting, intelligent people. As much as anything, that is what gets me into the room.

Karin has only been coming for a few months. She knew how much I valued my practice, and her sister is a long time hot yoga fan. Karin has always been athletic, and she has come to love the workout.

I love looking over during class and seeing her there. We travel to the studio together on Sunday mornings, and it has become a version of “date night.”

Well done, Terri and the crew…you have added a great deal of enjoyment to my life.

Karin:

I’m a nearly 55 year old woman who took my first Bikram class about 13 years ago where, mid-class, I confessed to the instructor from my sweaty, immobile vantage point on the floor that I thought I was going to die. (Her response: “That’s ok honey; we all feel that way. Just rejoin us when you can.”)

I went to my next class with my spouse just a few months ago. I felt ready to give it a try after learning to crew this past summer; I was searching for a new physical challenge.

After a recent fourth hot yoga class, I took my blood pressure (which had been high) and noticed that it was significantly lower. Between this happy medical progress and my appreciation of the challenge that Bikram provides emotionally and physically, I was hooked. In fact I bought two pairs of hot-yoga “undies” around that same time.
Outside the hot room, I am most aware of an overarching confidence in my ability to do hard things.
If I break the class down into tiny pieces of experience, the part that repeats itself most often is an exploration of the edge of ‘I can’t do this’ and then persevering. Turns out there’s a lot to learn in that space.
Right now I make time twice a week for hot yoga, but wish I could go more often. Bill and I attend classes together when possible and practice next to each other, which is fun. He thinks of the hot yoga gang he practices so often with as extended family, and I appreciate being invited into his community.
Thanks, Karin and Bill! See you in the hot room!
–Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford

I am a 73 `y/o man who lives in Harvard with my wife, Karin, and my….pdf

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