Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: J. Ritchie

How did you get started at Dfly?
Over time you hear about the benefits of yoga and wonder how to get started. Jumping into any yoga studio can be an anxious experience, especially since my age is a little older than 99% of the yogis. Fellow YotM Tara had recently begun at DragonFly and recommended trying Dragonfly Hot Yoga despite my anxiety. Tara encouraged me to stick with it and DragonFly teachers have been exceptionally welcoming and supportive.

What was your yoga and barre experience before Dfly?
I had tried a few classes elsewhere but never took it any further, just did not feel comfortable.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
Camaraderie and learning with the teachers and yogis. Yoga by yourself is not the same as learning and developing in a supportive class environment. While I believe I might be a primary source for teacher-to-yogi comments about improving form and trying alternative options, I continue to learn in each and every class.

Dragonfly clearly demonstrates that learning from each other expands our horizons and improves our futures. I rely and thrive on the energy, recharging, and health provided with the teachers, staff, yogis, environment and convenient class experience. And the Yoga Up and Power Up classes further develop physical strength and endurance.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Yoga is my primary indoor physical and mental activity. I have become very dependent, relying on DragonFly for my mental and physical health and will adjust my schedule to accommodate class timing.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I feel incomplete and deficient if I do not participate in 5 or more classes a week. Difficult to pick a favorite because all classes provide growth and I work my schedule around attending as many classes as possible.

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.
Even with the COVID interruption, nearly six years have passed and now almost 800 classes later, I am wondering what the future holds. I will always treasure the wonderful Dfly experience and the friendships made and know it will be impossible to duplicate anywhere else.

Middleton Yogi of the Month: Kyle Wilson

I began taking classes in January 2017. I was working out at the gym a lot and I wanted a complement to that routine. I thought yoga was a good choice because it would help me improve my balance, static strength, and flexibility.

My first experience with yoga was a class in college. I didn’t take it seriously then and I wish I would have kept with it.

I enjoy the feeling of relaxation after class even though I had just finished a hard workout. I also find relief from anxiety/stress at class and enjoy the mental aspect.

I suffered a minor knee injury before joining Dragonfly. Since I began practicing yoga regularly I have improved my balance on that leg and no longer experience any pain. My posture has significantly improved as well.

I try to attend at least 3 times a week. I enjoy all the Flow classes. I get an effective workout in Flow classes, but I am not pushed too hard and I feel refreshed after class.

I work as a Computer Engineer in West Middleton. I like the Middleton location because of its proximity to work but also because of all the classes offered there and the instructors that teach them.

Instructor Suki Warda: “Kyle epitomizes the balance of effort and ease. “STHIRA SUKHAM ASANAM”.
He brings to practice sincerity, strength, and kindness. The room gets energized through his focus, intentional listening and easygoing attitude. For being as strong and agile as he is, Kyle remains grounded and lighthearted. He is a joy to be around.”

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Michelle Peters

How did you get started at Dfly?
I have lived with back and neck pain for years from daily computer work and poor posture. Then about a year ago I had to have a heart valve repaired and the sternotomy left me with more upper body muscle tightness and pain so I decided to try massage therapy for some relief. My massage therapist recommended hot yoga as she thought it would help as well. I tried to resist her suggestion, but after she strongly recommended it a second time, I decided to give it a try.

What was your yoga/barre experience before Dfly? What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
I had absolutely no experience with yoga prior to this. In fact, this is the first time in over 30 years I’ve actually attended group exercise classes as in general it is not something I am comfortable with. I’ve always been one to exercise on my own at home. The heat! Don’t get me wrong, everyone here is very welcoming and friendly and the teachers are great, but I am pretty sure without the heat it wouldn’t be the same for me. The heat really allows me to relax and move a little easier.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Overall, I have less upper body pain from stretching my muscles regularly and building my strength and flexibility. Having the opportunity with some of the classes to find mindfulness and let go of the daily stress and anxiety that life brings has helped me a lot.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I usually attend seven classes a week and wish there was time for more. I take a variety of classes including yoga-up, power-up, barre, flow, slow flow, and yin. It would be difficult to pick one favorite class as I enjoy them all and feel all the instructors here at Dragonfly are great. I love the variety of classes offered as it allows me to have a well-balanced exercise routine. However, I guess my favorite would be Shawn’s Yin class as it brings my body and mind the total relaxation it needs.

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’m still getting used to the empty nest syndrome and realizing one positive of it is that I finally have the time for myself that I didn’t have while the kids were young and at home. Although starting classes at Dragonfly definitely took me out of my comfort zone and most classes I still keep to myself, I’m thankful to have found this community and the great physical and mental benefits it has brought me.

Instructor Belle Karls: “Michelle is incredibly committed to her fitness and yoga journey here at Dragonfly. She has tried nearly every class we offer – sometimes even going to multiple classes in the same day! It’s been a joy to see her in my barre class each week and I hope to see her in many more to come.”