Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Cristalyne Bell | Dragonfly Hot Yoga Madison WI

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Cristalyne Bell


I stumbled across Dragonfly by accident when I moved back to Madison. I was looking for a new yoga studio to help me decompress and reacclimate after a six month stint in Central America. I also needed something to keep me sane and grounded through the winter, and help me heal from an unexpected surgery I had while traveling. I only intended to stay a month because I lived nearby and could bike to the Middleton studio, but I was moving downtown. I had no idea how quickly I would become an addict.

I’ve done yoga on and off for nearly four years. Until I found Dragonfly, the only two studios I’ve ever felt connected to were in Guatemala and Costa Rica. When it comes to a studio, community makes a world of a difference and Dragonfly has that.

I appreciate the subtle changes I’ve noticed in my body, but what keeps me coming back to Dragonfly is difficult to put into words. If it weren’t for Dragonfly it would be really hard for me to suffer through another Wisconsin winter. Starting my day off with yoga makes the bad things bearable and the good things better.

I’ve become more aware of how my actions affect my mind and body. I am mentally and emotionally more stable and less flighty. I am more conscious of what I put into my body and understand that a healthy mind and body needs quality nutrition, rest, and exercise to stay in balance and be productive. Much of this I already knew, but yoga helped me put it into practice.

My attendance varies. I try to start every weekday off with Flow at 5:30a.m. I also try to squeeze in at least one Fit and Power class a week, sometimes two. All the other classes I take here and there are just for fun. I need the routine, but I also like to change things up and experience new styles. I don’t have a favorite class necessarily. Each instructor has given me something different that empowers me in my practice.

I want to single out a few of them that I try to work with on a weekly basis. Just because I am singling them out doesn’t mean that the other instructors haven’t been amazing. There isn’t a class I’ve taken that I haven’t enjoyed in some way. I just have more experience with these yogi/fitness rockstars!

Suki helped me establish a routine. The first time I skipped her 5:30 a.m. class I came home from work to find a postcard from her that inspired me to resume my morning practice. She also aided me in finding better form and building a stronger Chaturanga.

Tiffany taught me to play in my practice. I’ve had yoga instructors remind me to smile because I focus so hard on getting the posture right. Tiffany was the first yoga instructor to teach me arm balances beyond Crow. It really helps keep things interesting, playful and fun. Her upbeat personality helps as well!

Amy (Jessi first) kicked my butt and made me love it. I’ve had classes with her where I work harder than I’ve thought myself capable of. I look forward to potentially training with her in the Spring and completing my first triathlon and/or marathon injury free!

Joe taught me to get out of my head and into my body, and to BREATHE. This is a constant battle for me in my practice. During my very first class with him something just clicked and for the first time in all of my experience with yoga I understood the mental space I needed to be in. Prior to that, yoga had been more of a fitness routine and physical meditation. Now, although it is an excruciatingly slow process, my practice is transforming into a mind-body meditation.

Instructor Suki: “Cristalyne has a powerful yet quiet deep inner strength. Her practice is strong yet light. It’s a joy to see her move with dedication, sincerity, and grace. I am humbled and honored by how our community supports, lifts and nurtures committed yogis like Cristalyne to grow. In return, they share their gifts of being who they truly are. Great!”