Find Some Time with Firefly


Casey Molloy started her yoga journey when she was in high school.

Rosa Morales, Copy Editor

“Yoga is the journey of self, through the self, to the self.”

–       Bhagavad Gita

Often times, when the term yoga is mentioned in conversation, the listener tends to revert to a thought-process that isn’t exactly accurate in regards to what the practice is all about. People tend to associate yoga as a feminine exercise to get in shape, in which flexibility is an absolute must, and only hippies and older women actually take the initiative to take a class. However, these are all common misconceptions about the practice.

Yoga happens to be much more than that and the development of Firefly Yoga within the local Danville community proves just that.

After Tropical Storm Michael hit Danville, Virginia, many small businesses located near the Dan River were flooded, their spaces ruined. One of these spaces happened to be Hot Asana Yoga, a studio that welcomed locals with open arms to “explore individual growth and expansion, forging meaningful connections and relationships along the way,” according to their website which has now been taken down.

Displayed outside of the Firefly Yoga studio on Main St.

During this time, several teachers agreed to do pop-up classes at various local businesses in Danville, waiting to see if the hot vinyasa studio would ever recover from the severe flooding. Though, as time persisted, the chances of the beloved studio reopening seemed slim.

Thus, when Sarah Neighbors, current manager, instructor, and Reiki master at Firefly Yoga and previous manager at Hot Asana Yoga, brought up the question of what they would do if the ruined studio were to never reopen, Lauren Mathena, the current Firefly owner, stated that they would simply take the initiative to open their own.

Soon after this conversation, Mathena and Neighbors quickly acted on their plans to open a yoga studio, holding their first class on Thanksgiving morning last fall, introducing the greater Danville region to what Firefly Yoga is all about.

According to Mathena, “Firefly Yoga was born from a shared vision among our teachers.”

As students walk up the stairs and through the front door at 310 Main Street, they are welcomed by a calming, yet warm atmosphere where they can simply let go the second they remove their shoes and lay out their mat. Instructors and students alike are united by the common goal of wanting to reconnect with themselves.

Jessie Henderson, an instructor at Firefly as well as a counselor at Averett, boasts about the family environment that the studio emits, stating that “every time I walk into our studio, it feels like coming home.” This is largely because the space is so intimate, only allowing for approximately 20 people to participate in a session at a time. Due to this, individuals are somewhat “forced to make connections with the other people in the class.”

Many of the instructors at Firefly encourage individuals to try out yoga to seek out its benefits. Neighbors even contested that one’s flexibility and strength, or lack thereof, should not be the reason why they decide not to seek out the practice. Instead, she hopes that “Firefly can help those people realize that being “flexible” and “strong” is absolutely not a requirement but is something that will naturally happen after dedicating time to practicing yoga.”

Some instructors, such as Casey Molloy, will bring up certain themes during their classes. These may include topics such as practicing patience, confidence, and kindness, or even provide a glimpse of the deeper aspects of yoga, such as the chakras or the eight-limb path of yoga.

Jessie Henderson teaches Buti at Firefly Yoga and is a counselor at Averett University.

Molloy states that during her commute to school, she grants herself the time to reflect and think about various things she might want to touch on in her classes. Sometimes these will be an outcome from simply flipping through her subscription of the Yoga Journal, in which she’ll see something that she personally needs to work on “and maybe someone else might identify with it, as well.”

These conversations allow students to reflect on their own lives and become more in touch with their true selves while also attempting to practice these topics in the midst of their sessions, often leaving these same individuals refreshed and ready to take on their day.

Through the unity of its teachers, clientele, and the support of the Danville community, Firefly has been a huge success thus far. One of Firefly’s core values is inclusivity, in which they hope to bring in a large variety of people who are all united by the core principles of yoga to a space where they can feel safe regardless of who they are outside of the studio.

The people at Firefly stress that yoga is for everybody, regardless of one’s age, gender, race, or beliefs, etc. The benefits to practicing yoga are endless and all one truly needs is a willingness to learn, not only from their teacher, but also from their own mind and body. Alongside this, they encourage prospective students to go ahead and take that first step through the door and try it out. After all, it is difficult to form an opinion on something that you haven’t yet experienced.