Middleton Yogi of the Month: Amber Hansman

How did you get started at Dfly?
I had mentioned a couple of times that I was interested in trying yoga so last Mother’s Day my kids got me a one month membership at Dfly! I was hooked pretty much immediately and tried out a bunch of different classes during that first month. As soon as my trial membership expired I immediately signed up for another 6 months, which I just renewed last month.

What was your yoga or barre experience before Dfly? What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
None—I was a newbie!
I enjoy the physical challenge, but I also really love the sense of community. I tend to take the same classes every week and have gotten to know several of my fellow yogis as well as the instructors and staff. The studio is such a warm (no pun intended!) and welcoming environment, and everyone is so friendly and encouraging. Just walking in the door makes me happy!

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes? How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I can honestly say that I have. Physically I am the strongest I have ever been. Mentally I feel more grounded and focused. I attend 5-6 classes every week. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite! I can say that Suki’s Saturday morning 60 minute Flow followed by Carrie’s 60 minute Yin is a wonderful combination—both are physically challenging and mentally grounding in their own ways. I also really look forward to Brenda’s 75 minute Flow class on Sunday mornings. She challenges us but also really encourages us to listen to our bodies and make the practice our own. I’ve also attended several workshops which were all great!

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 feel so lucky to have found Dfly. I truly feel like part of a friendly, supportive community. I am looking forward to continuing to learn from the awesome Dfly instructors and my fellow yogis!

Instructor Suki Warda: “It is wonderful having Amber as a Dragonfly member! From her very first class I noticed she radiated joy and kindness. Amber is sincere and has an openness to learn. This dedication reflects in her consistent practice. It is with gratitude an honor to have Amber as part of our Dragonfly community!”

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Jennifer Roosien

How did you get started at Dfly?/ What was your yoga or barre experience before Dfly?
I am originally from Grand Rapids, MI and moved to Madison in the Fall of 2018. When I first moved here, I searched out and attended most (if not all) of the yoga studios Madison had to offer. It wasn’t until I realized the community and the diversity in classes that Dragonfly had to offer when I made the decision to make Dragonfly my yoga home. I attended my first hot yoga class back in 2012 when a coworker invited me to attend with her. I immediately fell in love with how it made me feel, both physically and mentally. I’ve been doing hot yoga ever since.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
Dragonfly has provided a home away from home when it comes to my yoga practice. I love the constant encouragement and welcoming attitude from the instructors and staff. I love having conversations about yoga as well as life outside of the studio. Some of the staff at Dragonfly have become instrumental in my life (whether they know it or not). I also love the community. I have met some amazing people who practice right beside me. It’s an atmosphere you can’t get by just going to the gym.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Initially I fell in love with the physical aspect of yoga; but step-by-step I became more aware of my body, and later my mind. I realized over time how much it was not only helping my physical health, but, more importantly, my mental wellbeing. Yoga has allowed me to find an “inner me” that I never knew existed. I was able to start to connect myself, my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts, my energy, and gradually, I learned how to achieve my inner peace (especially while on my mat).

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I was attending classes about 3-4 times a week. However, after the summer challenge this past Summer, I realized how important yoga is in my life and I now practice 6-7 times a week. My favorite class? That’s a tough question. I love the challenge of the Power/Yoga Up classes but also enjoy the slower pace of a slow flow. I love them all!

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 am an analytical scientist by trade and have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for most of myadult life. Not until a couple years ago, and my most recent yoga retreat to Costa Rica, did I realize I wanted to incorporate yoga and all that it has taught me about life into my everyday life. I have wanted to expand my knowledge and practice by doing a 200-hr teacher training, but life just hasn’t allowed me to…..YET. It is still a very big goal of mine! I want to share what yoga (and dragonfly) has provided me with; the tools to get through life no matter what difficulty I may be faced with. Breath by breath, asana by asana, my outlook on life has changed.

Instructor Kyle Anderson: “Jen is such an awesome human. She is genuine, charming, funny, and a great member of the community— even with those who take her spot. 😉 Prior to becoming a teacher I practiced alongside Jen, and have always looked up to her dedication and strong, graceful practice. I feel fortunate and inspired by Jen’s continued presence in the classes I instruct. You rock Roosien!”

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!”

Middleton Yogi of the Month: Rhonda Gessler

How did you get started at Dfly?
I drove by the Junction Rd. studio and decided to stop in and check it out.

What is/was your yoga/barreamped experience before Dfly?
Yoga DVDs but no Barre experience.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
Love the instructors and front desk staff. Everyone is welcoming. Instructors make everyone feel welcome and offer modifications for different levels.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
I’m more flexible, and always appreciate going to class and shutting down for 45-60 minutes.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
4-5 times/week; love flow, yin, and barre classes.

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.
Love Dragonfly’s focus on small local businesses and creating workshops that incorporate other businesses.

Instructor Brenda Autz: “Rhonda is so deserving of this recognition! She participates in a wide variety of classes including Cardio Barre, Core/Power Flows, Yin and Slow Flow. There are days when she takes a combination of classes to balance out her practice. Rhonda is a strong yogi who exudes a calm and kind demeanor. It’s always a joy to see Rhonda at the studio. We are fortunate she is a part of our Dragonfly community.”

Fitchburg Yogi of the Month: Cari Baeten

How did you get started at Dfly?
I wish I would have joined sooner! I had thought about trying out Dragonfly for years. I finally did the intro month and met a friend there for my first class. I’ve been hooked since!

What was your yoga/barre experience before Dfly?
I had done a little yoga and tried a couple barre classes, but nothing I loved nearly as much!

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
As someone who’s always cold, I love the heat element! I feel like all of the classes are so wonderful, there aren’t any bad instructors! Also, the cool essential oil infused towels at the end are SUCH a delight.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Absolutely! Yoga especially makes me feel so much more centered and balanced. I think it’s so important to take that uninterrupted time for yourself for your health, and just a break from all the noise. As a stay at home mom of 5, my whole family benefits from my Dragonfly workouts.

How often do you attend classes?
I try to make it every day, maybe 6 days, sometimes twice for a barre and yoga.

Favorite class?
That’s a tough question! I feel like it goes in waves, depends on what I need, I just crave yoga often times, flow or core flow. I also really love barre and yoga up.

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 really love coming to Dragonfly! Some workouts can be a drag. I used to think I needed to do all this cardio or heavy weights to feel like I got a great workout in, and often times I’d dread going. I feel like going to Dragonfly is such a treat for me and my body! I look forward to going and feel great every time I leave!

Instructor Chanelle Oeding: “Cari is a power-house in class! I have enjoyed watching Cari challenge herself and build strength in core flow; usually taking her practice up a notch by adding more core moves and extra chaturanga pushups! Outside of Cari’s commitment to her flow practice, you can find her attending Yoga Up and Cardio Barre. It’s a true pleasure to keep seeing her in my classes week after week as well as practicing along side her in Audrey and Shawns’ classes!”

Downtown Yogi of the Month: Chris Raemisch

How did you get started at Dfly?
I did the intro month and fell in love with the studio and people.

What was your yoga/barre experience before Dfly?
I used to go to a studio in my hometown during high school, but it never challenged me like Dragonfly does.

What do you enjoy most from attending Dfly classes?
I love the community and challenging aspects of the classes that allow me to grow my practice.

Have you experienced any changes in your total well-being since taking classes?
Yes! These classes help with my stress levels immensely, especially through the difficulty of college.

How often do you attend classes? Favorite class?
I typically go 6 times a week and I try to take back-to-back classes if I can. My favorite class is definitely Brooklyn’s Power Up!

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.

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.