Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Stephanie Koteles | Dragonfly Hot Yoga Madison WI

Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Stephanie Koteles

How do you get started at Dragonfly?

I found Dragonfly in 2016, when searching for a mindfulness practice in the Madison area. I was hesitant of the heat, but after reading the helpful tips and learning the owner also HATES being hot, I decided to try it. I did not know what to expect with my first visit to a yoga studio, but felt right at home at Dragonfly.

What is/was your yoga/barre amped experience before Dfly?

I had taken a few yoga classes sporadically, but not for many years. I enjoy group exercise classes, and have tried several types of exercise but in my adulthood had not found my niche for a regular exercise practice.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?

It’s hard to pick just one thing to mention about Dragonfly. I think what makes it special is the sense of community that is present in the space. I look forward to seeing familiar faces, and am especially excited to see someone attend their first class, imagining what could change for them.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?

Through a regular yoga practice, I have found renewed mental and physical strength, ease and balance. The yin classes in particular help with anxiety and stress, and the aches and pains that come with a desk job. I’ve learned to ask for what I need, let failure happen and let a lot of stuff go. I have more energy and most importantly more presence. Yoga allows me to slow down and tune into self-care, and also helps me find my edge and my voice. I had no idea the impact Dragonfly would have when I first stepped through the door, and it became part of my life when I needed it most.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?

I usually attend classes four times a week, a mix of flow and yin. I love coming to the studio after a long day and flowing it out, and yin is always a part of my week. Yin and Meditation is a favorite because it allows me to slow down amidst whatever is going on during the weekend, and I love the added meditation that challenges and grounds me. It was my first class, and is near and dear to me.

Please feel free to share any other thoughts you have about Dfly, hot yoga, or your life as we would love to know more about you.

I cannot say enough to about Dragonfly and how it has impacted my life. Shortly after becoming a member, I was diagnosed with a non-invasive condition diagnosed by mammography. This was a very confusing time, during which I needed help navigating the myriad of decision making required to determine the best course of treatment. Being able to attend classes helped with all of the stuff that comes with diagnosis, and to heal during and after treatment.

Dragonfly unlocked the key to healthy living for me; through yin practice, there was a shift from doing to listening. Focusing on how I feel helps me know what I need so I can respond, resulting in a whole new state of self-awareness and reinforcement of the healthy habits needed to be well.

I so appreciate how often the instructors encourage doing what you need. There is nothing more freeing than trusting that you know what is best and being you as often as possible. I carry that with me each time I leave the studio and the impact has been immeasurable.

Dragonfly is a special place, and I am forever grateful to the wonderful instructors, staff and fellow yogis as we practice together. The sacred space and beautiful practice found here are inspiring and life changing.

Instructor Bekah Gant: “Every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, you can find Stephanie on her mat at Dragonfly. Her quiet, grounding energy anchors the space and invites others to tune in to their own practice as well. Stephanie’s spirit creates a safe place for herself and for others to work inward while working out. Thank you for being a valuable part of Dragonfly, Stephanie!”