Feeling silly stressed? Need a deep internal clean? The key to giving your insides a good scrub and deep-cleanse isn’t a January juice diet, friends, but pranayama breathing. Grazie mille to all the gurus who joined our Zoom pranayama workshop with J.J. and her breathwork bombshell and magic yogi master, Marco Migliavacca, which focused on a type of breathwork called Katonah. For those who missed it, keep scrolling for a video replay. Pull up a pillow, a block, a book, close your eyes, and breathe.
To find out more about Marco, to book a private Zoom class, or to see his Milan class schedule, find him on Instagram at @allneon, at Hohm Street Yoga Studios, or send him an email at email@example.com.
J.J.: “Pranayama is a practice that has been so groundbreaking for me on a purely experiential level of being in contact with my body. We often do exercise to burn off calories or stress, which is all good. Pranayama goes deeper than that. It’s important that you keep an open mind. It’s pretty basic, but you want to get as into it as you possibly can as you want your breath to be strong. This breath is your life force and it’s what is going to unearth all the mess that is in your body. You might find yourself wanting to cry (I love to cry). I find pranayama breaks down the structure of rigidity I have built inside my body. That’s why I love it so much.
Marco is a magnificent teacher. They always say the right teacher comes to you at the right moment of your life, and that could not have been more true than when I met Marco. Just when I was maturing energetically I met this divine man who was the first yoga teacher I had with an energetic quality. His energy literally penetrates the room, my heart, my cells, and it’s incredible to have a teacher with whom I can go on crazy journeys.”
Marco: “Yoga means union, but at the same time it is an assembly of techniques to help you live better in your body and help you find your joy. When you practise yoga you are functioning better, and when you are functioning better you are grateful, and when you are grateful, you are happy. That’s what yoga is about. Pranayama (breath control) and asana (postures) help you maintain your body, your house, so it is warm, fresh and clean. With pranayama we will clear out the first, second and third floor of your house.”
Marco: “When we work with pranayama’s three floors, we are mainly focusing on our third floor, our head, our eyes. Discomfort is natural and normal. Keep practising, through repetition, you get revelation, and with fear it’s the same. We start the practise on the first floor, kidneys, reproductive system – we are working with fears from our past and obstacles. It’s quite normal that emotion comes to the surface. Practise that you are learning and flushing and letting go – and don’t worry!”
Marco: “It could be your lower spine and the way you are used to sitting during the day. When we move back and forth in the pelvis during the practice we release tension. When you do this work you can feel where you are stuck, and where needs releasing.”
J.J.: “All of these emotions that fly in and out all day that you avoid, they go somewhere. Anything you brush under the carpet is now in your body. Use the time after your pranayama practice for self care, get yourself in the bath, take some meditation, make some warm soup for dinner and soothe your soul.”
Marco: “To learn the technique, you need time, because time is always revealing. This type of yoga comes from a yoga studio in New York, Katonah Yoga, which runs daily classes of pranayama on their website.”