Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Marci Birkes-Geffert

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I moved to Madison a year ago and started looking for a yoga studio convenient to work or home. At first I was dismayed to find only hot yoga available (it was summer!) because I was sure I would not like it. I’m a northern girl and love the cool weather! The first class I went to was on a Saturday morning in June. I was leisurely drinking my coffee and saw on the internet that Dfly had a class starting in 30 minutes. So I grabbed my stuff and decided to give it a try. I was surprised that the heat did not make me feel sluggish or groggy like I expected. Afterwards I remember feeling so amazing! I was hooked!

Prior to Dfly I had tried to develop a regular practice for years, but never stayed with it. I had started and stopped many times but never really found a studio community that felt right. I did not consider myself a yogi and did not really know much about yoga. I attended a few other studios in town and I did not really feel like I ‘fit in’. I wanted to try again though because I had some flexibility issues that I thought yoga might help with.

I really love the community at Dfly. From the beginning I remember little phrases instructors would say during class that really established a ‘vibe’ at Dfly that embraces acceptance and non-judgement. The instructors are great in cueing different levels so that it makes you feel like whatever level you choose is exactly where you are supposed to be. There is no focus on ‘elite’ yogis who have achieved difficult poses which would undermine the achievements of others. Everyone is celebrated at Dfly.

I was a runner for years prior to starting at Dfly and was constantly dealing with tight hamstrings and legs, which also resulted in low back issues. I was initially drawn to yoga as a way to gain flexibility. Since joining Dfly I have seen a huge improvement in flexibility, but also have realized that yoga has so much more to offer! I am just beginning to discover yoga as ‘moving meditation’. The awareness and inward focus it brings helps me to be more mindful of my physical self throughout the day. I usually attend 3 times a week and I am working on being more disciplined with a home practice as well. I certainly notice little aches and pains when my busy schedule causes me to miss a class or two. I love the basic Flow and Slow Flow classes. They are a great way to start out my day. Recently I also tried a Core Flow class which I loved!

Last Fall I found a personal trainer and started strength training. Yoga is a regular part of my weekly exercise routine and I alternate early mornings at the gym with early mornings at Dfly. I also started biking this spring and am discovering some great post-ride poses to alleviate the stress on my neck and shoulders. Balance poses are my favorite, particularly Tree and Dancer. Arm balances are my current challenge and I’m getting really close to mastering Crow! I am in my late 40s and am happy to have found a way to remain active and encourage strength in my body that I can continue long after my more active hobbies cease. After decades of trying to develop a regular practice, I finally feel comfortable calling myself a yogi!

Instructor Nichole Vega: “Marci is a very dedicated yogi. She regularly attends the 5:30 am classes. Marci always comes to class with a smile and ready to share her energy with the class.”


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