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If Cindy Mailloux walks through the door of The Hot Yoga Factory, chances are, Dan Melvin is not far behind, and vice versa! Neighbors, friends, and yoga buddies, Cindy and Dan are inspiring, positive front-row regulars at our studio, and we’re so glad you get to know these HYF Hotshots better this month!

Cindy and Dan arrive with smiles on their faces

And, yes, of course Dan and Cindy are buddies for the September 2017 challenge!

Keep reading to find out more about Cindy, Dan, and their practices, and scroll all the way to the bottom to read their answers to some special questions about practicing as a team.


When did you start practicing Bikram yoga?

June 2015.

How did you discover it?

Even bigger smiles because class is about to begin! Go, yoga buddies!

Dan Melvin introduced me to it.

What brought you to the HYF studio?

Dan Melvin suggested I try it.

What do you remember about your first class?

I remember thinking, “How hard could this be?” Boy, was I wrong! As I stumbled through the postures, I kept reminding myself that everybody in that room had a “first class” and not to worry. I was in the back row, so hopefully nobody noticed how unstable and wobbly I was. I was thinking, “How many more postures? It has to be over soon.” I reminded myself constantly to breathe, but that seemed to make me hotter. I was going to “kill” Dan for suggesting I come. I thought he was crazy. I knew he was crazy. How did I let him talk me into this?

What keeps you coming to class?

I didn’t hate it the second time or the third time, and now, over two years later, I love my yoga time more and more. I love the feeling of family our little studio has and how I feel welcome every time I walk through the door. I am super shy, and this family has shown me I don’t have to be. “No judgement, no expectation.” I hear that a lot. And I appreciate that.

How often do you practice?

Depending on the week, with work and the kids’ schedules, I try to practice three to four times a week.

What benefits and changes have you seen from your practice?

Shortly after I started coming to yoga on a regular basis, my coworkers commented on how much more relaxed I seemed. Looking back, I guess they were right. I don’t get as frustrated at work anymore. Yoga Breaths!

How has yoga affected your life outside the hot room?

It has helped me with my kids. I have more patience, more focus. Before, I would only half listen to them, which I knew was so bad, but I couldn’t help myself because there were so many other things going through my head. Now I’m better able to focus on them and our conversations, which is so important.

What has surprised you about your practice?

This is the first form of exercise that I have done on a regular basis for this long. Ever. In my whole life. I truly enjoy it.

What is your most challenging posture?

All of them are challenging. No one posture is easier or harder than another to me. I guess my least favorite is Head to Knee with Final Stretching. This is the most challenging to me because by that part of the class, I have no energy, gas, fuel, whatever you want to call it left. I can’t seem to find any more, and I’m just praying for the end.

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

My favorite posture would have to be Half Moon Pose. I look forward to this posture the most because it feels so good to stretch my arms, shoulders, and neck, especially after working all day or the day before, standing at a computer.

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

I like to hike, be outside, spend time with my family and friends, and crochet.


Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m an adventurist, an adrenaline junky if you will. I love the challenge and rush of pushing my physical and mental limits. Those who know me might say I’m a little crazy, but I’m not stupid. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and trust your mental and physical abilities!

When did you start practicing Bikram yoga?

I took my first class in 2012.

How did you discover Bikram yoga?

A friend of mine suggested I try it to help with chronic pain I had in my right knee.

What brought you to the HYF studio?

After practicing four times a week for two years, I had to stop because my job at the time no longer allowed me enough time to make it to class during the week. A year later I was laid off, and I immediately returned to Bikram yoga at HYF because it was closer for me than Burlington.

What do you remember about your first class?

My very first class was actually two classes back to back! The Burlington studio where I started was having a one-hour instructional class of the 26 postures and proper alignment. I had never done yoga before, so I thought it would be helpful to take this class to learn the postures before taking a regular class.

I then took the regular 90-minute class immediately following the instructional class. Sara Curry taught both classes.

I made it through both classes without any problem, and I was hooked!

What I remember during both classes is how stiff I was and how much range of motion I had lost over the years. After the second class, I remember being very tired, but very loose and not sore at all.

What keeps you coming to class?

Besides my yoga buddy, LOL?

  1. The therapeutic benefits. My right knee has never felt better, as well as all my joints.
  2. The increased range of motion and balance.
  3. The awareness I have with my whole body. I’m more in tune with how I feel and where I’m feeling it.
  4. The overall health benefits: weight management, removal of toxins from my body, increased energy, strength, stamina. I look and feel healthier.
  5. Increased mental focus and stronger will to accomplish challenging tasks.
  6. All of the above and more allow me to continue doing physical things that I might not otherwise be doing at 53 years old.

How often do you practice?

At least three times a week, but I prefer four. I get the most out of two days in a row, a rest day, and then two days in a row.

I also prefer the morning classes over the evening ones. In the morning I have less flexibility, but I have more energy and focus.

In the evening, it’s just the opposite, and I don’t enjoy the whole 90 minutes as much.

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

I wake up every morning without stiffness aches, or pains.

Recovery from physical activities is quicker, not like when I was 20 or 30, but definitely better than I remember it. I recently went on a 15-mile hike, climbing over 4,000 feet, taking 10 hours to complete in less than favorable weather conditions. I fully recovered in 4-5 days with the help of 3-4 yoga classes, where in the past it would have taken 7-10 days or more.

As far as improving my life…I’m happier, less stressed, more motivated, and more ambitious.

What has surprised you about your practice?

How much many parts of my body are out of alignment.

What is your most challenging posture? Why?

Any balancing posture on one leg. I struggle with my balance. Even when I find it, I have difficulty holding it. It’s not all the time, but most of the time. It’s getting better, but I haven’t figured out what I’m doing right when it’s good or wrong when it’s not good.

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

Any of the postures that challenge both your physical and mental limits: Balancing Stick, Triangle, Locust, and Camel.

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

Find a way to relax/calm your mind. “Your body can do anything, it’s the mind you have to convince?”

When you’re struggling, don’t let your thoughts convince you to give up, unless it’s pain, but real pain, not discomfort. Don’t ignore pain.

When I’m struggling, and it’s often, I focus on the sound of the instructor’s voice and the exact words they’re saying. I sometimes even repeat the words or a word in my head to stay focused.

Find something that works for you, find your “happy place.”

Have you taken Hot Pilates classes? What has your experience been like?

I took it once right after a yoga class. I didn’t have the strength or energy to finish, and I haven’t tried it again yet.

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

  1. Hiking.
  2. Whitewater rafting.
  3. Skydiving.
  4. Cycling.
  5. Skiing and snowboarding.
  6. Riding my motorcycle.
  7. Sprint triathlons.
  8. Obstacle races: Tough Mudder (2x), Spartan (1x), Warrior Dash (1x), Rugged Maniac (1x).
  9. Working on my “bucket list”.
  10. Building things…I remodeled my 110-year-old house from top to bottom.
  11. Getting together with family and friends for holidays, special occasions, and for no reason at all.
  12. Helping family and friends and friends of family and friends in need.

When did you begin practicing together?

May 2015.

What does having a yoga pal mean to you?

Cindy: It means not having to drive myself, since that is our running joke…Dan is my driver, ha ha!

Dan: I’ve always had a gym partner or someone with a common interest to join me for my activities – – for some of the above activities you should have a back-up!

Having a yoga buddy helps keep me motivated when I’m not, and going to class when I don’t feel like it.

It’s nice to have someone to share your progress with, as well as to discuss something you’re struggling with in class. Maybe they’ve experienced what you are experiencing and have overcome it.

Having  yoga pal inspires me to work harder to get to where they are in their practice with the postures I struggle with.

Do you find yourself talking about yoga outside the hot room?

Cindy: We often talk about the class we just took, which postures challenged us, which ones we found easy, how much energy we did or didn’t have, how much better we feel after class.

Dan: Sometimes, if we’re at the same social event and it comes up. People who don’t do yoga always have questions about it and what we get from doing it.

How do you support each other during class?

Cindy: Besides getting each other there, we give each other a “fist bump” after the standing series to say to each other non-verbally, “Great job!”

Dan: We usually know before we get to class how the other person is feeling mentally and/or physically. During class we make subtle gestures like a head nod or a clenched fist to say, “You’ve got this!” We’ll give each other a little nudge of encouragement. (It doesn’t always help, LOL!)

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Dan: Before settling on HYF, we tried two other studios, one of which was closer to where we live. We liked HYF best because of the family-like atmosphere between the teachers and students. The teachers and students are all friendly, supportive, and fun!

We love our yoga and our yoga family at HYF!

Awww! We love you guys too! See you in the hot room! 

–Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford





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