Note from Will, part owner of Dragonfly

Dragonfly Hot Yoga started with two dreams and an email. One dream quickly went by the wayside, while the other, a hot yoga studio on the West side of Madison, lived on and has become a beautiful place for the community to practice yoga.

Until June of this year I hadn’t met most of our clients and probably only half of our instructors as my wife and I live in Schenectady, NY, which is as bad as it sounds. I am originally from Mineral Point, WI, and the idea of spending a few months in Madison, a little closer to friends and family was an attractive opportunity for me.

I have never had what you would call a “regular” yoga practice. In the summer I go hiking and play tennis, in the winter I’m more likely to be found racing downhill on skis than on a yoga mat. But I have had times in my life when I practiced yoga. I took an intensive yoga course while traveling through India in 2009, and when my wife and I were living in Holland we took yoga classes in order to meet other
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I Am Dragonfly: My Experience of Yoga & Arthritis

For years I was intrigued by yoga but I was intimidated by the idea of “yogi’s.” In my head a “yogi” was a toned, ripped body that could contort themselves, for hours on end, into positions that only the demonically possessed could do. I had attempted classes at various places but the intimidation was ever present. The concept of yoga made sense to me and I really wanted to be that healthy ripped body but I hadn’t found a teacher that could help me get over the intimidation. I really wanted to love yoga but it wasn’t happening…yet.

I continued my yoga journey with a trial membership at Dragonfly Hot Yoga. Dragonfly appealed to me for two reasons: First, I love warm temperatures and let’s face it – in Wisconsin heat is a brief experience (before this summer anyway). Second, I have ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritis that affects the spine. I was diagnosed at 23 years old (I’m now 36). In the last 13 years I had tried everything holistic to cope with this problem. I tried Pilates, walking, changed my diet, went gluten-free, and lost weight. While these are all good things they didn’t alleviate the pain or stop the progression. During this time, doctors wanted to prescribe different medications but I refused because of side effects. The only thing I would take was ibuprofen to help when the pain was excruciating. However after 13 years of that choice all I got was an allergy to NSAIDS and a lovely skin rash that pops-up at random (yes those warnings on the bottle are true). So in 2009 I agreed to begin Humira injections which did help with the pain but it hadn’t improved my range of motion.
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