Middleton Yogi of the Month: Casey Collins

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In late 2008, after many chronic health issues, I was diagnosed with late-stage chronic neurological Lyme Disease, a tick-borne illness that causes severe fatigue, joint inflammation, mood issues and a myriad of other symptoms. The illness caused me to lose my career, my health, financial stability, and the “normalcy of life” that I – and many of us – take for granted. At some points during the illness, basic activities like walking were difficult, and the pain was quite intolerable.

Fortunately for me, after 2.5 years of aggressive antibiotic therapy, I began on a path to recovery. As would be expected, my system was completely toxic from both disease and the medications over the prior seven years. While not a Dfly member at the time, after the incredibly debilitating illness, I began taking hot yoga classes as a means of improving my mentation, managing stress, rebuilding my body and detoxifying my body. While it was very difficult at first, I started to make good progress in my practice. Two years later I feel that I am in a much better place physically.

While no single thing was responsible for my progress alone, I do attribute a significant amount of my near-complete recovery to the practice of hot yoga and I’ll continue to make it an important part of my life. My experience prior to Dfly was positive, however, there wasn’t nearly the sense of community. I previously belonged to another yoga studio in Madison for a six month period. The practice was solid and I enjoyed it, however, I didn’t agree with the approach of many of the instructors on staff and how they would treat some of the struggling/newer students (e.g. myself).

What I really appreciate about the instructors at Dfly is they accept folks for where they are at in their practice. The variety of classes offered at Dfly allows folks to really explore their bodies and expand their practices over time in a meaningful way. I really appreciate the approach of the instructors who recognize it’s important to allow the students to progress in a manner that’s comfortable to them, rather than comparing themselves to the others in the room.

I attend three to four classes per week. There are many outstanding classes, but Carrie Johnson’s Thursday evening Flow & Yin treats me well after the work week. I really enjoy being part of the Dragonfly community and hope to get to know more of my fellow yogis. I’d say to any member out there that you have an opportunity to make a profound impact on someone’s life for the better, so definitely try to share the practice of yoga to those who might benefit.

Instructor Carrie Johnson: “This past year has been a journey for Casey with highs and lows in life. But there is one thing that always stays afloat is his dedication to practicing yoga. He has allowed himself to live in the moment and always have such a joyful spirit within. Thank you Casey for allowing myself and other teachers have the honor of your presence in class.”


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