Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Jeff Miller

How did you get started at Dfly?
My wife Stephanie and I wanted to try hot yoga and a friend of ours recommended Dfly.

What is/was your yoga/BarreAmped experience before Dfly?
I had no yoga experience prior to joining Dfly. My wife had done yoga through our local parks and recreation department.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
It’s hard to pick one thing I like. I love the inner peace I feel when doing slow flow yoga. I also love the workout “high” I get from both YogaUp and PowerUp classes.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
My well-being has changed since I started at Dfly last August. My core is alot stronger. My balance is getting better. My flexibility, although not where it was when I played for the Badgers back in the late 80’s is coming around. I also find I can de-stress myself with simple breathing techniques learned doing yoga.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I have been attending 4 times a week. I do 2 slow flow yoga classes, a YogaUp class and PowerUp class. To be honest I love all 4 classes and instructors. Dani, Colleen, Nicole and Erica are fantastic instructors that bring out the best in 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.
The past 2 years I have worked hard to better my health. I started eating right, lost weight and began exercising regulary. I love to bike, kayak, play pickleball and workout at Dfly. I love being active and working out with my wife and great friend Dixon. I feel like Dfly has helped me to build strength which has translated to better performance in my other workouts. I grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and came to Madison where I played football for the Badgers and graduated in 1991. Met my wife Stephanie (,who swam for UW) married and have 2 children Amber (26) and Emily (24). We live in DeForest (since 1994) where I served as an EMT/firefighter for almost 10 years (5 of those years as EMS Director). Later was elected as a Village Trustee, became Village President and served on our school board. I also served on several Dane County boards and commissions. My service to our community spanned over 20 years. I now enjoy traveling with my wife. Fun fact: I have helped to deliver 3 babies during my tenure with fire/EMS.

Middleton Yogi of the Month: Sarah

How did you get started at Dfly?
I have a demanding job in veterinary medicine. A colleague recommended that I practice yoga in order to protect myself physically and mentally on the job.

What is/was your yoga/barre experience before Dfly?/ What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
I started watching YouTube videos in 2018 to familiarize myself with the poses. A few months later, I signed up for in person classes at DFly.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
I enjoy that the teachers recognize each body is different and having the freedom to adjust poses as necessary.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I rarely experience aches/pains in my body like I used to prior to starting a regular yoga practice.

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 try to attend five to six classes per week. My favorite classes are Slow Flow with Carrie S. and Yin with Cassie E.

Instructor Carrie Skawinski:” It is always a joy to have Sarah in class! She enters the practice space quietly with intention and has a calming energy. Her consistent practice demonstrates grace, focus, strength and compassion. We are fortunate to have Sarah as a member of the Dragonfly community!”

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Patricia Rohrer

I had wanted to try yoga, but didn’t know where to start. A friend and co-worker encouraged me to try the introductory month offer at Dragonfly. What a blessing it’s turned out to be!

I had no previous yoga experience, but I belong to a gym and would work out with cardio and free weights.

I look forward to walking into the hot room, setting aside the days “to do list”, finding an inner connection and challenging myself.

The practice of Yoga makes me feel better, both mentally and physically. I’m proud of carving out time for me. I have noticed the biggest change in how my joints feel. When I leave class I feel mentally calm and physically strong. It was a bit intimidating at first; I wasn’t expecting the strength and flexibility needed. Yet, each instructor meets you where you are, encouraging my individual practice and offers options for poses when “I’m not quite there yet.”

I love my yoga experience at Dragonfly. That first month I tried almost every class offered. I’ve settled into my favorite classes, Yoga up with Shawn and Miranda, Flow, Core Flow, but I recently tried a Barre class, which was new for me. Each class offers a different challenge. I try attending 2 classes a week. I wish it could be more.

This quote sums up Yoga for me – “It’s not about being good at something- It’s about being good to yourself.”

Instructor Meranda Masse: “Patricia brings so much happy energy into her classes! Before and after class I always see her chatting wither other dflyers, taking the opportunity to catch up and ask about how they’re doing. During class she pushes through, and never lets what we’re doing for the day defeat her! I’m so happy that Patricia is our yogi of the month 😀”

Downtown Yogi of the Month: Sarah McCaffrey

I started at Dragonfly after having debated signing up for many months following my move to Madison. A lot of people in my life noticed I had been stressed and suggested I try getting back into yoga. I decided to try an intro month with Dragonfly; I was hooked and have been coming ever since.

Prior to Dragonfly I had taken both barre and yoga classes (though never hot) in my hometown in New Jersey. However, that all went on a pause once COVID hit. I did try home practice for awhile, but it didn’t feel the same as coming in person.

The thing I enjoy most about Dragonfly classes other than the classes themselves are the wonderful people. Everyone is so nice, helpful, and welcoming. Going anywhere new and trying new things can be intimidating, but never once have I felt out of place at Dragonfly.

My mental health and quality of life have improved tenfold since starting. It makes my body, mind, and soul feel fantastic and that helps me better in all the other areas of my life.

I attend class 3 times a week (though I would like to go more). I don’t think I have a favorite, but I do enjoy the variety in the types of classes that I take and that each instructor teaches in their own unique way.

I’m a speech pathologist, and I often give a lot of myself to help my patients and their families, so yoga is a great recharge for my batteries. In addition to yoga I love running and attempting to try all of the restaurants in the downtown area. I love coming to Dragonfly and I feel it truly helps me in all areas of my life. Yoga and Dragonfly remind me time and time again to honor myself and take care of myself, and for that I am so very thankful!

Middleton Yogi of the Month: Heather Schwenn

I had wanted to start going to Dragonfly for years, but my schedule was so chaotic, I wouldn’t have been able to start a regular practice. When my schedule finally stabilized, I joined.

When I lived in California, I did a similar barre class called the Dailey Method for a couple of years and also did Bikram yoga. My practice fizzled when I moved back to Wisconsin.

I enjoy the variety of classes offered. I also like how different instructors approach the same class with their own unique style. My strength, balance and flexibility have definitely improved since I started back in February. I attend at least three classes every week. My favorite classes are Lindsey’s Cardio Barre and Brenda’s Flow 75.

Taking classes at Dragonfly is probably my favorite activity I do every week. I have a pretty stressful job working as a psychologist in a prison, so practicing self-care is important and Dragonfly helps me to do that.

Instructor Lindsay Loeffler: “Heather is a powerhouse! She started as a beginner barrefly and has quickly become a staple in our cardio barre classes. She has worked to build strength and is constantly improving. She’s even grabbing those heavier weights! She inspires and pushes those around her. I love having her in class every week!”

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Lindsay Fisher

How did you get started at Dfly?
I got started in October of last year as COVID restrictions began to ease. I had been feeling pretty down – low energy, stressed, isolated – for several months prior to joining. My husband recommended getting a membership as a way to do something good for both my mind and body, and as a way to ensure I was leaving the house at least a few days a week.

What was your yoga/barreamped experience before Dfly?/ What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
I had done a few hot yoga classes in Chicago while staying there for work and absolutely loved it! I had never tried barre before. Feeling like I am doing something good for myself. I don’t think I have ever put this much effort into something solely related to my own self-improvement.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Absolutely. I notice very tangible differences in my stress/anxiety level before class vs during and after class. Things I’m worried about tend to melt away after the first few minutes of entering the studio and I have a sense of calm for the rest of the evening. I can also see how much physical progress I am making from month to month. I feel much stronger and more stable both in class and when doing other physical tasks outside of class.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I try to attend at least 3 times a week, but my goal is to average 4 classes per week. How to pick a favorite?? On the mild side, I absolutely LOVE barre with Belle and Audrey. On the hot side, any class with Jill or Cassie is an absolute delight.

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 truly cannot overstate how much of a difference my membership at Dragonfly has made in my life. I have never been what I would consider an athletic person. Never played any sports growing up or participated in physical activities (at least if I could avoid it). I was pretty infamous for beginning exercise programs and quitting within a month. I just thought I hated exercise. Your staff at Dragonfly welcomed me in and began teaching me how very wrong I was about that. I have a newfound sense of confidence in my body that I have never had before, and I have Dragonfly to thank for that.

Instructor Jill Merfeld: “Lindsay always shows up for class exuding gratitude, which is immediately contagious. I’m so grateful to have her in class. She has a smile on her face and keeps that smile even when I throw a challenging pose her way. Excited and honored to be part of her yoga journey!”

Downtown Yogi of the Month: Katie Murphy

I got started at Dfly through partnering with the downtown location for a charity flow class to raise money for a local Make-A-Wish this past spring!

My yoga experience before Dfly was YouTube videos in my living room, so I knew some basic techniques but was super excited to really give hot yoga classes a try.

I enjoy the atmosphere of each yoga class the most. As someone who did not have lots of experience prior to my first class, coming in can be super intimidating but I feel so comfortable walking into the studio every day because of the respectful and safe environment.

I have noticed a decrease in my stress levels and tension in my body after every class. My body feels more awake and energized, I leave the studio with a weight removed from my shoulders ready to take on the day!

I attend class 3-4 times a week. I mostly take morning flow classes and they are my favorite way to start the day!

As a college student, taking yoga classes at the downtown location have been a great way for me to get my body moving, and to dedicate some time to my physical and mental health.

Sun Prairie Yogi of the Month: Erin Leckwee Lita

Hi! I’m Erin Leckwee Lita. I am from Lodi and currently working for Tellurian in Madison. I originally started at Dragonfly in 2016 and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately a change of jobs made it too difficult for me to continue attending. In late 2021 I began working in Madison again and I was looking for a way to get myself back into shape and de-stress. Dragonfly immediately came to mind. I started attending classes again in March and fell back in love with all things hot yoga. My husband, Cris, attends classes with me now, as he has really come to love the experience as well.

Prior to Dragonfly I had never really had much formal experience with yoga, I had been focused mainly on running and power lifting. I really enjoyed how non-judgmental and welcoming the instructors and other class members were, it made learning so much more enjoyable.

I really enjoy challenging my body and having those moments when I realize I can do something that I wasn’t able to do a couple of weeks ago. I like that the instructors offer different variations of poses as well. I cannot say that I have ever left a class feeling down or negative, the classes always have great vibes.

Since I have been attending classes I have noticed changes physically as well as mentally. My body has better muscle tone (thank you Yoga Up!) and I feel less of those creaks and sore spots. I have learned from the instructors to give my body grace if I’m not feeling the best physically, which is something I had always tried to “power through”. I also feel much more relaxed mentally. I have a very stressful job and it is helpful to be able to set everything aside and check out for a little while.

I generally attend classes 3-4 times per week, although I recently completed my first 30 day challenge successfully. I am looking forward to taking on the summer challenge next. I enjoy all of the classes, but my absolute favorite has to be Yoga Up. The energy and the music (love, love the throwbacks!) are great, and when I’m finished I am so energized and happy.

Middleton Yogi of the Month: Tom Vomastic

I registered for the Dragonfly free month trial that was offered in a mail advertisement in December 2021 and started the trial in January 2022 after Winter break. I had no Yoga or Barre experience.

The friends that I have made are my favorite part about attending Dragonfly classes, especially considering the changes to social experiences during the Covid pandemic.

The motivation received from the Dragonfly instructors, staff, and fellow yogis, and the physical and mental gains received from attending classes have significantly increased my well-being and can be applied to my outside sport and life pursuits.

I attend classes usually 1 and up to 3 times each day and my favorite class is Samantha Brenner’s Core Flow 60 on Wednesdays at 9am at the Middleton studio.

I am pleased that I started yoga, especially with Dragonfly, despite my initial apprehension. Hot Yoga has become a beautiful and significant part of my life that I plan to continue. I grew up in Milwaukee, WI, graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD with a B.S. in American Politics and Law and a commission as an Ensign in the US Navy granted in person by the US President, served as an officer in the US Navy, and worked for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. I have a M.A. in US National Security Policy from Georgetown University and a MBA in International Business from the University of Iowa’s international program in Italy. I enjoy participating in athletic events such as Ironman triathlons, the Birkebeiner cross country ski marathon, mountain bike racing, and various running events. Currently my goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I love to travel and have lived in and visited many countries.

Instructor Brenda Autz: “Tom’s practice includes an impressive variety of classes and teachers. He’s an intentional yogi who embraces present moment opportunities through stillness in yin, and strength in vinyasa and Dragonfly’s HIT classes. Tom’s mat can often be found in the back of the studio, where he humbly cultivates challenging balance postures. It has been a joy to witness the evolution of Tom’s practice. Early in his Dragonfly membership, Tom shared that practicing yoga noticeably impacted his athleticism. Tom’s experience is a testament to the positive effects of a dedicated yoga practice, and we are fortunate that he is part of the community at Dragonfly.”

Downtown Yogi of the Month: Laura Bulai

How did you get started at Dfly?
I was introduced to hot yoga about 6 years ago. I did not know much about yoga at that time, but heat and movement seemed like a natural approach to treating a chronic myofascial pain syndrome affecting me for long time.

What was your yoga/BarreAmped experience before Dfly?
My first yoga class was right here at Dragonfly, and Dfly has remained my favorite oasis of yoga practice, heat, music, and detachment. For a while I enhanced with additional Fire/Bikram classes since high heat and the physically challenging postures are tremendous in making the muscle more pliant and helping with the pain. In time I started exploring the super-diverse, smart, and expertly taught Vinyasa classes at Dfly, and never looked back. DFly has the best instructors and variety of classes, the best sun-lit facilities and music, the most welcoming mission to tend to all ages, all shapes and sizes, to those new to yoga or experienced.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
I like coming back to the mat and being surprised with each and single session, whether is the set of postures chosen by the instructor, the music, the inspiration I find in others, or the renewed strength I find in myself.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Yoga with DFly has been essential in my well-being since the day I started: increased mind and body strength, balance, resilience, and flexibility, management of the chronic myofascial pain, osteoporosis prevention – which is very important for women, and an essential companion throughout the pandemic (whether in person or on Demand) I am grateful to be part of the community and I am thankful for all the attention and care we receive from the instructors and staff. I admire every one of them, especially since most have other careers, studies, and families, and they still give us 100% of their energy and passion no matter if is morning or night, weekends or holidays, and I could not be more grateful.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
For the best part of first 5 years I attended about twice a week. Now, the average is 3 times a week and as often as I can! Even twice a day, if my schedule allows it. Favorite classes? The Fusion class with Kelly Perna, the core classes with Tiffanie, Cassie, and Laura, and the powerfully choreographed flow classes with John Harmon have built and fueled my practice throughout these past 6 years. I could not be more fortunate and honored for being able to learn and train with them. From time to time I try a new instructor and class here at DFly, and I have always been delighted and pleasantly surprised when I tried something new. Also, I recently discovered Yoga Up with Laura, a long-feared class for me which I avoided for ages. For the last few months, Laura’s passion, energy, amazing routine, and emboldening music has been calling me back on my mat for Yoga Up, any time I get a chance! I also see that we have a new class Fascia Yoga, and I cannot wait to try it! As I am learning to appreciate the restorative yoga postures more and I pay more attention to the transition postures and details, I feel there is tremendous room for growth, to keep me engaged and challenged for long time to come.

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 my time on the mat when I allow myself to be swept by music and the flow of the practice, and I love it even more when my partner can join me for a an occasional session. The way he takes in the entire practice and the flow inspires me and keeps me grounded. I really hope our children will also join us some days. In general, I love seeing families and couples practicing together. Thank you DFly and Happy June!