Maria Kaufmann: Yogi of the Month!

Maria & Family

You’ll often find Marita (as she’s known to her friends) in the hottest corner of the studio, right in a ray of sun wearing long sleeves and long pants.

“I love the heat. (The studio) is my own tropical paradise.”

Born and raised in Panama, Marita moved to Madison when she was 15 to flee political troubles under Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega and take up residency in the U.S. with her siblings. She and her husband, also from Panama, live with their children: Pierce, 9 and Marishka, 7 right down the street from Dragonfly Hot Yoga.

Marita loves to dance and sees a lot of similarities in yoga such as gracefulness. “Yoga inspires me to do more, to improve myself whether it be in stretches or breathing.”

As a nurse, Marita sees the medical benefits of yoga. She suffers from congenital torticollis, a condition which affects the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck, and has tried everything she could think of to manage the pain, from botox to acupuncture. “Yoga is the only thing that has worked.” Although it hasn’t cured her condition, Marita says that a regular yoga practice has helped her with pain management.

Marita also says yoga has helped her be a better mother. “Now I have my own thing, “ she says. She has become more patient, a better listener, has more energy and an overall “better vibe.” She also feels that she is setting a good example for her daughter to “be her own person”.

Marita has dropped 16 pounds since she began her practice in November and has improved the quality of time with her husband. “I feel an overall confidence and attractiveness. I’m much happier now that I’m doing exercise again.”

“To do exercise you have to find your passion. And I’ve found my passion here.”


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