Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Bill Hagen | Dragonfly Hot Yoga Madison WI

Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Bill Hagen

How did you get started at Dfly?
I’ve been friends with Dragonfly’s owner/founder, Megan, since the good old 90s. I joined the Sun Prairie studio when the odometer on the water fountain was at “0000012.” My office was nearby.

What is/was your yoga/BarreAmped experience before Dfly?
I’ve done yoga on and off since college when I was in India studying martial arts and dance.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
The benefits of yoga. The location is great because I can do the 5:30 AM classes, shower, and get to my office by 7:00. The community is incredibly supportive. The Sun Prairie facility is wonderful.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
When I joined, I had two toddlers and couldn’t cut the grass without having to stop to catch my breath. I’ve lost 30 pounds since the start of 2019 after re-energizing my practice. The biggest gain has been the extra second or two of space I have before I react to unexpected things my kids do. I’ve suffered from depression since the death of my first son in 2010. When I’m practicing regularly, I have space away from that illness. I’m going through a divorce at the moment. Dragonfly has been my angry place. Practice has been incredibly emotional this year. This is a safe place for my anger to release. My practice is vital for me to get things out, be active, and care for myself so I don’t crash and burn when life gets to be too much. I’m able to relax into stressful moments and not hurt myself as I’ve done since I was a kid by bottling up.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
With custody, I’m limited to only two or three classes I can get to at the moment. The 5:30 AM classes fit my schedule as a working parent. When I can get to the 75-minute vinyasa classes on the weekends, I love them.

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 don’t wear my glasses when I practice, so all I see are blobs of color. I have no idea who these other people are in the classes, so I’m focused on what is happening on my mat. The supportive energy from those friendly blobs of color on their mats is tangible. We’re all in it together. The early morning crew was set for years with the same instructors, then we changed up. That transition was great – I got to hear new voices. I miss Kristin, Nichole V (I’ll still track her down for a challenging class), and Megan. I celebrate having Shannon, Jonathan, and Jorie. This has been a difficult year. I’ve broken down crying during Jonathan’s Thursday morning class a number of times, which is still really weird for me, but I’m giving myself permission to cry during yoga class. I don’t know why his class takes me to a spot where it’s safe to release like that (maybe if he changed his playlist, I’d cry less), but that’s where I am in December 2019.