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The Blue & Gray Press | April 22, 2018

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The Dragonfly flies into downtown Fredericksburg

AMANDA MOTLEY

FAMILY YOGA (3)These days everyone is looking for a new way to exercise. Whether you are looking for a way to get in shape, stay in shape or relax, yoga can be a great way to accomplish any of these things.

However, the hustle and bustle of college life it can be hard to find the time to take one of the time allotted yoga classes. Dragonfly Yoga Studio’s 10-minute walk from campus could be just the answer to these problems.

The studio offers a wide variety of classes including the popular trend “Hot Yoga,” for every experience level, all at a discount for University of Mary Washington students.

Dragonfly Yoga surpassed its projected success already with classes filling quickly every day.

Steve Watkins, Kit McFarland and Stacey McLaughlin founded the studio in October 2013. Watkins is a retired UMW teacher who taught English at the University for 22 years.

The company promotes physical, mental and spiritual health and has a non-profit sector called Dragonfly Yoga Project. The Bullet sat down with owners Watkins and McFarland to discuss the studio, the benefits of yoga and their non-profit organization.

How many different classes do you guys have to offer?

Watkins: We offer a wide variety of classes for all different experience levels and ages. We have a large variety of walk-in classes.

Do you guys have classes for people who have never done yoga before?

Watkins: Yes, we have classes for people with all different experience levels. We have beginner and gentle yoga, intermediate yoga, power yoga, hot yoga, teen and family yoga. If someone comes in and cannot do a particular move, I would provide modifications for them.

What is “Hot Yoga”?

McFarland: Hot yoga is a popular class that is in a separate room than the regular yoga. The ceiling has heat panels that allow the room to heat up to 100 degrees. There are various styles of hot yoga, including 90 minutes with a series of poses, 90 minutes flow traditional yoga, 60 minute flow, traditional yoga and 60 minute beginner. Hot Yoga also has different benefits because it makes you sweat more and in turn, you release toxins

What are some of the benefits of Yoga?

Watkins: The benefits are very manifest. Not only does it give you a great workout, but also it calms the Parasympathetic Nervous System. College students deal with stress, deadlines, different pressures, anxiety and deprivation. Yoga can help with all of these. We help you learn the right breath techniques and to calm your mind. There are also spiritual benefits. You can work on your connection with the universe, within whatever your beliefs.

How is the Dragonfly Yoga project benefiting the community?

Watkins: The program is working to give free classes to children, veterans and military families at least two times a month. This program is completely free to participate in and has been able to operate based on donations from within the community. It brings Yoga and its health benefits to people who cannot afford the classes or people who are military veterans and their families. This can be beneficial to military persons, especially who might be dealing with traumatic life events.

If you could let the UMW community know anything about Dragonfly Yoga, What would it be?

Watkins: I would tell them to take advantage of our student rate, it is only $8. Take advantage of the physical and mental benefits from yoga.

McFarland: Take advantage of the student rate and come in to relieve stress. We want to help bridge the relationship with the UMW community and downtown Fredericksburg.