A good friend and co-worker convinced me to give yoga a try when I was training to run my first marathon as a way to build strength, increase flexibility, and aid in recovery. It took her a lot of convincing because I had a completely ignorant idea of what yoga was and because I was worried that I would look foolish. I was so nervous my first class but I’m extremely grateful to her for convincing me to go and to stick with it.
I very foolishly thought that yoga wasn’t really exercise. To be honest the only yoga I had ever seen was seniors doing yoga at either the YMCA or the community center where I work and as I mentioned earlier I was completely ignorant to what yoga really was and could be.
First, and most importantly, the staff and teachers at Dragonfly have always made me feel welcome and supported. I’ve really appreciated everyone’s kindness and welcoming into the Dfly yoga community. The thing I enjoy the most is simply the opportunity to have an hour of time for just myself. I really appreciate the opportunity to breathe and be present on my mat and to take an hour disconnected from the troubles of the world. We all need spaces to recharge our minds, our hearts, and our souls, and yoga provides that for me.
I have found a greater sense of perspective and gratitude since I began taking classes and I try to take that mantra into the world every day. As a runner, yoga has helped me increase (my still very limited) flexibility and become stronger and better balanced. I’m running faster and staying healthier now than I was when I was in my 20s and I attribute a lot of that to the classes at Dfly. In general I have developed a more organized sense of inner calm and peace through yoga and when things begin to feel hectic or overwhelming in my world I know that an opportunity to reconnect is never too far away.
I am pretty consistent in my routine: Core Flow with either Nichole or Tiffany on Monday, Flow with Shawn on Wednesday, and Core Flow with either Cassie or Sam on Friday, as well as hopefully a weekend class depending on my schedule. Being a single dad can make getting to classes challenging at times and I’m grateful that Dfly has such a wide variety of classes and times available. I still haven’t gathered up the confidence to try a Power Up but maybe this will be the year.
I have been working with kids in out of school time settings in Madison for over 20 years and one thing that is very important when you are building relationships with kids and families who have and are experiencing trauma in their everyday lives is to make sure you have a good plan to help take care of yourself so that you are best prepared to be there to support others. Secondary trauma can lead to a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms if you don’t have a good self-care plan. For me staying healthy involves running, yoga, cooking for others and eating good food. Thankfully Dfly in Middleton is only a short distance from where I work at the Lussier Community Education Center on the west side of Madison so a class is never too far away!
Yoga has helped me gain greater perspective and part of that perspective is recognizing and naming the privilege that I and everyone who is a member at Dfly has to be able to take classes every week. Anything Dragonfly can do to make yoga accessible to anyone and everyone that could benefit from all of its positive aspects would be amazing and I would love to be a part of discussing how that could happen. So many of the things that help keep us whole, healthy, and balanced, are not often available to the communities (especially communities of color) that could benefit from them the most.
Thanks to everyone at Dfly for always making me feel at home and for supporting me in my efforts to find a better me. Namaste.
Instructor Tiffany Geier: “Brian exemplifies strength, dedication and joy on and off the mat. On the mat he is focused, present, and strives to further his practice through patience and perseverance. He always comes to the studio with a smile on his face, and is ready to do the work. I also have the pleasure of knowing and working with Brian off the mat. He is a leader in our community who gives and is of service to so many. Brian is the perfect choice to be our Yogi of the Month!”