How Dragonfly Hot Yoga Began
(Excerpted from Nature’s Pathways June 2012 cover story on Dragonfly Hot Yoga)
It all started in Los Angeles, where Dragonfly Hot Yoga Owner, Megan Ryan Kaiser, settled after earning her BA in theatre performance from UW-Madison and her MFA from the Professional Actor Training Program at Purdue University. In an attempt to better deal with the stresses involved in her new career, she went, well, was dragged to a yoga class with a friend, who had been begging Kaiser to give it a try.
It wasn’t “love at first try,” Kaiser admits. Though she found it a bit boring, she does recall experiencing some benefits. Then, a chance encounter with a gentleman she met while producing a reality show turned her on to hot yoga. He had been through a terrible loss and tragedy, and Kaiser couldn’t help but ask, “How do you cope?” His response: “hot yoga.” He shared that the stress relief, muscle relaxation, reduction of symptoms of illness and overall awareness helped him tremendously.
A move then took her to the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, where there was a hot yoga studio just a couple blocks from her apartment. Her work in L.A. was very emotional and stressful, so, despite thinking it was “weird,” she began attending hot yoga sessions. She remembers leaving the studio feeling “wonderful, intoxicated, amazing.” Soon she was sleeping better, more focused, more confident and less stressed. She was hooked.
About two years later, another move brought her back to Madison. She was disappointed to learn that there was only one hot yoga studio in the area, and it was far from her home. She missed it.
One day, Kaiser ran into an old friend from college. While sharing, she told her friend that she had been toying with the idea of opening a hot yoga studio, but that she had no business background. Her friend then revealed that her brother, Will Harris, was a business adviser. The next day, Harris e-mailed Kaiser and she shared her dream with him. Then, the hard work ensued.
Finally, on June 16, 2011, Kaiser, the married mother of two, and her business partner were able to fulfill her dream by opening Dragonfly Hot Yoga in Fitchburg.
Read more about Dragonfly’s beginnings & philosophy >
What Dragonfly is all about
I haven’t had a steady yoga practice since living in LA, so like a lot of you out there, I’m starting all over again and Dragonfly is designed with everyone in mind. We are breaking down the barriers, stripping away any preconceived notions about yoga, and creating yoga for the people. Dragonfly truly is for every shape, every size and every person. I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated or judged in our studio and I can guarantee neither my instructors nor myself will make you feel this way. I designed our studio to be warm and welcoming and I have specifically chosen instructors that are inviting, outgoing, positive, attentive, available, and kind (but they will push you to achieve your personal goals). Each one of them brings something unique and powerful to the studio and I encourage you to try them all!
About Our Name
People have been intrigued and delighted by dragonflies (including me!) throughout the ages. While researching names for the studio I came across a list of Dragonfly symbolisms. I could not believe how every symbolism deeply connects with yoga and the human spirit and what I want the studio to represent and bring out of everyone who practices here. Here are some of my favorites:
Focus on living ‘IN’ the moment The dragonfly only flies for a few short months. In this small span of time it manages to accomplish a lifetime’s worth. We try to apply this concept during yoga practice, concentrating on the here and now – being aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis. This ability lets you live your life without regrets.
Power and Poise The dragonfly is one of natures most powerful yet graceful creatures. It can move at an amazing 45 miles an hour and move in six directions with 20 times as much power in each of its wing strokes when compared to the other insects. Amazingly the dragonfly does it with an elegance that can be compared to a veteran ballet dancer. Yoga has the ability to give us the same feeling of strength and grace!