Middleton Yogi of the Month: Amy Pophal

My first experience with Yoga was a huge disaster. Prior to my classes at Dragonfly, I had never attended a Hot yoga class before and my very well meaning neighbor talked me into going with her to a Flow class at a different studio. It was 100+ degrees in the yoga room and I lasted all of five minutes before I surrendered to the heat and laid on my mat for the remainder of the class. I literally thought I was going to melt before the class was over. After that experience I was really put off by Hot Yoga and was in no hurry to return.

In 2012, I was experiencing uncomfortable muscle tightness in my shoulders, back and hips and decided to try Yin (in the mild room) to see if that would help decrease my discomfort and pain. I took one class and was hooked. I started by adding more Yin to my schedule and eventually decided that Yin in the Hot Room would be beneficial. After that I branched out and tried Cardio Barre, Flow and Slow Flow. Eventually, life took over and I didn’t take time for myself and my overall health suffered including a weight gain of forty pounds.

After the pandemic and retirement, I decided to focus on my health. I lost sixty pounds and then came back to Dragonfly to build muscle and set up an exercise plan to keep myself healthy and in shape. I attend a variety of classes each week. I love Mary Leigh, Lindsey and LeAnn’s Cardio Barre/Barre Classes because the classes are always different and keep me on my toes as well as give me a great workout. I work on my core by attending Chanelle’s Core Flow class at least once a week. I schedule Yin into my schedule as much as possible. Fran’s Aroma Yin is a Sunday afternoon staple for me and I enjoy Mari’s Yin on Monday nights.

When I complete a class at Dragonfly I feel so many emotions. Pride in myself for taking control of my health and having the chance to participate in so many types of exercise that I never thought I would ever be able to do again. A huge sense of accomplishment for setting a goal and taking steps to make gains in that goal. I also feel a sense of emotional and physical strength for taking time for myself and my health which makes me a better person in all areas of my life. I look forward to all my classes at Dragonfly and am excited to see how they change my life in the future.

Instructor Lindsey Loeffler: “Amy is such a positive presence in class. She is now a regular and a staple in all of our barre classes! I have loved watching her grow in her strength and confidence over the past few months. Not only is she a rockstar at the barre, but she is always building everyone up and helps to keep the class going. I’m so thankful that’s she’s a barrefly!”

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Blair Brophy

How did you get started at Dfly?
I started buying class passes and would occasionally attend with my little workout buddies to vary our workouts. Flow was such a wonderful, different way to build strength that complemented our cardio and strength routines! And once we tried Yoga Up? We were totally hooked.

What was your yoga or barre experience before Dfly?
I was familiar with yoga and had taken occasional classes throughout the years, but I loved Dragonfly’s focus on breath, movement and self-acceptance. Oh, and the heat. I love how the heat can help this creaky body get movin’ without as much risk of injury!

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
I’m the type of person who needs my daily workouts as self-care — sure, the physical benefits are great, but it’s my mental health that really needs these sweat sessions. If I can break from my busy day and give myself 60 minutes to forget about my stress, lists, schedules and to-do’s, I’ll be a much happier person. (And it’s usually pretty easy, because the only thing I can concentrate on during class is… oxygen! Ha!)

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Yes, 100%. During the pandemic, I had gotten in the habit of working out at home. Although that was a great time-saver, I had definitely gotten into a workout rut. Getting out of the house, trying new things in class — now I have a little ‘me time’ to look forward to each day.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
My goal is to attend 4-5 classes each week. Anything with an ‘up’ — Yoga Up, Power Up, Circuit Up… sign ME up! I can’t get enough.

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 a wife, mom, and dog mom. Spending time with my family is the way I refuel. Come say hi if you see me on my mat!

Instructor Carly Schneider: “Blair is so deserving of YOM. She is a dedicated yogi, making time in a busy schedule to roll out her mat whenever she can, leaving everything on that mat every time. It’s a pleasure both having her in class and practicing alongside in those Circuit Ups. Congratulations Blair!”

Downtown Yogi of the Month: Darian Carter

How did you get started at Dfly?
I got started at Dragonfly over the summer when I had an internship in Madison and was looking for a new place to work out while I didn’t have access to campus amenities.

What was your yoga or barre experience before Dfly?
I had tried a few barre classes before Dfly and had a membership to a hot yoga studio back at home, but only went twice a week.

What do you enjoy most about attending Dfly classes?
I love the feeling of relaxation I get from every class at the end, they always manage to put me in a good mood and clear my mind in times of stress.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
I have started to feel much more relaxed and in tune with my emotions since Dragonfly classes give me more time to think and reflect. I have also felt a lot stronger and more active since I’m on a more consistent schedule with classes.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I try to attend classes 4-5 times a week and mix up which classes I attend. I like going to two workout-type classes and at least two classes that are more calming.

I love all of the classes I attend but my favorite workout class is probably Laura’s yoga up, and my favorite relaxing class is either a core flow or regular flow!

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 love to come to yoga with my friends because I feel like it’s a great workout and a very non-judgmental environment. Dragonfly’s staff is always so friendly and eager to help their yogis, which makes it easier for me to convince my friends to join me!

I am from Park City, Utah, and am an avid skier and have grown up ski racing. I feel like yoga has helped keep me in shape and protect me from potential injuries during the ski season.