Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Carly DeGrood

I hadn’t danced in 10 years. I had hardly participated in regular exercise in 5 years after becoming a mom. I was asked to perform (dance) in front of thousands of people. About 5 weeks before the performance I thought, hey Carly, you might want to stretch and move your body a bit before you get on stage again. I walked into Dragonfly Hot Yoga 2 years ago and now my day doesn’t seem complete without it.

I tried yoga the first time about a year before I got pregnant with my first baby who is now 6 years old. I had full intentions of practicing throughout my pregnancy but unfortunately I was so sick for the first 8 months. My dry heaving and vomiting schedule was not conducive to a yoga class. It wasn’t pretty – there was no pregnancy “glow” for me!
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Middleton Yogi of the Month: Mary Mitchell

My first class at Dragonfly was a free pop-up flow in Middleton with the teachers in training. It was a little over 1.5 years ago, and I was 60lbs overweight with very little yoga experience. It was my first HOT yoga class, and although I ended up spending most of the class in child’s pose, I was hooked right away (I blame all those hands on assists–it was like a mini-massage)! I tried the introductory month and became a member as soon as that ended. As someone who hates being hot/sweaty and is a huge fan of air conditioning, I am still shocked at how much I enjoy a heated class–there is just something about the heated room that I find incredibly comforting & healing; even in the summer months!
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Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Anna Cacciaglia

I have been doing yoga on and off for about five years, ever since a friend talked me into a Bikram class. I went as a favor (she got a free class for bringing a friend), but I ended up loving it. I had never been into sports or athletics of any kind, so I was thrilled to find a physical activity I actually enjoyed. I’ve been doing yoga ever since, switching over to Vinyasa in college. When I moved to Madison two years ago, finding a new yoga studio was high on my to-do list. I took intro classes at a few studios around town and settled on Dragonfly for the welcoming atmosphere, convenient locations, and varied schedule. Now, it’s hard for me imagine my life without yoga.
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Downtown Yogi of the Month: DA Dirks

I started practicing yoga at Sangha Yoga in 2003 when I was in graduate school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My teacher, Karina Ayn Mirsky, helped me understand that yoga is a lifelong practice. I appreciate that now more than ever as I approach 50!

I moved to Madison for a position with UW System Administration in July 2014 and tried a couple of other yoga studios. I was delighted when Dragonfly opened a downtown location that I could walk to from where I lived. Natalie and the staff are always so friendly and welcoming, which I especially appreciate as a natural introvert!
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Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Tonya Rettman

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I started at Dragonfly the day the Sun Prairie studio opened. I was inspired to try yoga from friends who thought I would enjoy it. I loved it from the first class and instantly became a regular yogi. Before coming to Dragonfly Hot Yoga, I had taken a few power stretch classes at the gym I attend, but never a real yoga class. I didn’t even allow myself time to stretch after running or strength training classes and my body paid the price. I was constantly battling running injuries, and really was not listening to my body when I needed to modify activities.

Learning to listen to my body, calm my mind and being ok with not always pushing to the limit have been important lessons I’ve received from regular yoga practice. I love the strength I build without the fear of injury. I have allowed myself to back off of running to let my body heal, which has been difficult for me to do in the past. I also feel I have more patience with myself and with the stress of life in general.
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Middleton Yogi of the Month: Carly Schneider

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I started at Dragonfly in December 2014 after sustaining a running injury. Being a life-long distance runner, it was devastating to put that passion on the back burner for the foreseeable future. At that point I had been debating trying yoga for about a year and the injury was the decision-maker. Yoga, I thought, was going to be something to fill that void until I was healed, but it has evolved into so much more for me.

I had no prior yoga or barre experience before joining Dragonfly. I was hesitant about trying it initially because I didn’t think yoga would be for me. Turns out, yoga is what you make it; therefore it can be for everyone.
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Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Ruby Herrera

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I swim, play sports and work out, but I hadn’t really practiced yoga until about a year ago after reading the book “Raw Food and Hot Yoga.” Nutrition and health are my passion and I was already eating mostly raw, so I thought I would try the hot yoga too. I’m so glad I did. Even though I found many of the poses challenging, and still do, I was quickly addicted. I began attending different classes and liked all of them (well, I don’t actually like barre, but I do it anyway because I like what it does for me). I really love the intense heat. There is such a sense of accomplishment that is extremely liberating when you finish a tough class and you are dripping sweat. Oh I enjoy getting to wear those cute outfits too :). It’s inspiring to see the more accomplished yogis and feel that maybe someday I’ll be doing those moves. My only complaint is that savasana is never long enough!
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Downtown Yogi of the Month: Emma Kahle

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I moved to Madison from Michigan, where I kept a very regular yoga practice. After looking for a new yoga home for about a year in Madison, I finally found Dragonfly after it opened its downtown studio. It has always been full of welcoming staff and teachers, and I instantly felt it would be a supportive and challenging yoga community to join – which is what I was looking for.

Before Dragonfly, I had extensive experience in vinyasa flow classes, but I had never done much work with weight lifting/cardio classes or barre classes. Adding the more strength and endurance-oriented classes have helped to strengthen my vinyasa practice.
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Sun Prairie Yogis of the Month: Rose & Nyomi Defiel

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Nyomi:
In early 2015, I was gearing up to head to NYC temporarily to pursue modeling. Hot yoga was suggested to me to lean and tone up my muscles. I had heard so many good things about Dragonfly I decided to give it a try. I immediately fell in love with everything about yoga & Dfly. Yoga became my stress reliever, it’s relaxing but exhausting, and every single class challenges me. The instructors at Dragonfly are so helpful and genuine; I never feel like a number because they make an effort to get to know everyone. When I moved out to New York it was so different, the instructors didn’t try to even remember your name and it felt like there was so much more judgement from the instructors and other yogis… I really missed the Dragonfly community!

I returned home to Wisconsin early 2016 and was super excited to get back to class. I had told my mom so much about how important yoga is in my life and I convinced her to see for herself! It’s a special thing to be able to do something so beneficial with someone you love. We love attending flow class paired with an occasional yin. I was super excited when my mom shared that she was loving yoga as much as I do. We started going to 4-5 classes a week and were very encouraged when we saw huge improvements in both our bodies and our minds.
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Middleton Yogi of the Month: Allison Grayev

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I started in the Winter of 2015 as some of my friends had been coming and suggested that I might like it. Who knew at that time that I would end up being the one who would still be coming regularly? From my first class, I was welcomed into the studio and my fear of falling while in a pose and knocking over my nearest neighbors quickly began to fade (I had images of dominoes falling in my head).

I had done some prenatal yoga but hadn’t been incorporating into my regular workout schedule and I honestly rarely even stretched after a run or workout. As I have grown older though I have realized how important (and difficult) it is to maintain flexibility.
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