Downtown Yogi of the Month: Mariah Hoepner | Dragonfly Hot Yoga Madison WI

Downtown Yogi of the Month: Mariah Hoepner

How did you get started at Dfly?
I got started at Dragonfly almost exactly a year ago. I had just broken my leg and was unable to continue competing in my college sport and wanted a way to continue being active. I hobbled in on crutches for a few months and did everything basically one-legged, which was a great way to jump in and challenge my balance, haha. I was in a pretty low place in life. I was struggling a lot with depression and anxiety and body-image. Yoga has helped me so much with these things, and I feel like I found the place I needed, right when I needed it.

What was your yoga or Barre experience before Dfly?
Before Dragonfly I had done online yoga during the pandemic but had very little experience outside of that.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
There are so many things I enjoy about attending classes at Dragonfly, but I think my favorite thing is the community and people I get to spend time with here. I have built many very meaningful friendships that are very dear to my heart.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
I have experienced SO much change in my well-being since I started taking classes. It is something I look forward to everyday and keeps me going on the really difficult days. It is a place I feel safe and accepted. It’s a place where I don’t have to worry about judgment, which gives me the freedom to choose to also not to judge myself in the ways I normally would. It has helped me tremendously with my relationship with my body. I have always struggled to see my body as something positive, and yoga has helped me appreciate what I am capable of and have time and introspective space to just exist in un-comfortability and breathe through it.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I attend classes six days a week and take one day off for a really solid rest. I have so many favorite classes, but the class that initially drew me in was Colleen Henegan’s Flow classes. It was such a warm and welcoming environment that made me feel safe and gave me a sense of belonging. Also downtown, I really love the challenge of Laura’s Yoga Up class with a super encouraging environment! I also bounce around to the other studios as well, and a few of my other favorite classes are Tiffany’s Core Flow 75 in Fitchburg, and Ian’s Flow and Marc’s Power Flow in Middleton.

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.
Dragonfly has truly been a life changing part of my journey. I truly mean that. I don’t know where I would be right now without the outlet and community I have through this studio. I love that there is a class for every person. Each class offers something unique and different. This is one of the very few places in life I feel truly accepted, belonging, and safe. I am so grateful to be a yogi at Dragonfly <3

Instructor Colleen Henegan: “Mariah began coming to Dragonfly about a year ago and instantly was one of our most dedicated students. I was immediately impressed by how quickly advanced through the asanas and we became friends through conversations before and after class. In addition to having an exceptional grasp of the physical components of yoga, Mariah deeply appreciates its spiritual aspects. She knows what her body needs and what it doesn’t and isn’t afraid to go off the script that teachers offer to honor those needs.She also pushed herself to practice yin and learn the value of stillness! She is a kind person with a big heart and an immensely talented artist. Mariah can always make me laugh and is a loyal friend. She is wise beyond her years, and I am so grateful that she is part of the Dragonfly community!”