Join Claudia for a 360 journey on the mat in her weekly Live Mandala Vinyasa classes on Wanderlust TV, airing every Monday at 2.30 PM EST / 11.30 AM PST / 7.30 PM GMT.
Claudia Mirallegro is a beloved health and wellness maven with a passion for helping everyone she encounters — both in her classes and off the mat – realize their full potential. In her life, yoga was the game-changer that helped her articulate and actualize her own, and it is through her yoga classes, workshops, retreats, and online content that she aims to help others find health and happiness. As a former dancer, she grew up with a love for movement, which translates to a practice and teaching style that is both strong and graceful, challenging and fluid. Her favorite moments are in seeing people find and blend their true values into their practice.
How did Yoga enter your life? Was it love at first sight?
I began practicing Yoga about 10 years ago, mainly to keep fit. It wasn’t until moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting that I began to connect with Yoga on a deeper level. Acting will always have a place in my heart, but the ups and downs of the industry can really take a toll. I would feel so lost at times, so insecure and anxious – having a strong yoga discipline helped me see past this. It grants me the freedom of expression and emotion and to me, it’s mediation in motion.
When referring to your classes, you use word “sensuality”. Is this a feeling that you’d like your students to observe or maybe even cultivate during your classes?
I believe sensuality comes from being free and my aim is to inspire students to move in a way that makes them feel just that. That’s the point of my practices and what I try to express through teachings. Sometimes we hold traditional yoga postures. Sometimes we work on primal transitions. Sometimes it’s an ebb and flow between both. Whatever it may be, my hope for you is that you feel liberated from my classes.
What would you say is the most common stereotype about breathwork that unfamiliar people come with?
That the breathwork is only for relaxation. Breathing can be used in many ways and knowledge of how to use it has many applications.
Mandala Vinyasa is a more advanced style of yoga, why does this resonate with you?
With Mandala Vinyasa, we journey breath to movement 360 degrees around the yoga mat. The practice creates space. The words make you connect. The music is the heartbeat. You do the work. The work makes you realize you are more powerful than you think, capable of so much more than you want to understand and it’s not about wanting to be “more”, it’s about discovering a higher expression of yourself. To feel whole. To feel joy. To be inspired by your very own passion. That’s what this practice is about.
You may think my classes are advanced but let me ask you: do you think you are less than anyone else? Because I don’t. I strongly think everyone can do this practice. With time. With love. With understanding. Understanding it’s really not what you do, it’s how you do it. You need to let yourself move and enjoy the ride. Your body is limitless and what we discover is magic. You‘ll see. You’ll physically and mentally be challenged, and you’ll grow and transform through the process of creating it all.
As you’re a teacher, you’re also a student. How does your personal learning journey continues as you step on the mat learning as opposed to teaching??
I’ve completed many, many more hours of advanced training in mandala vinyasa, rocket yoga, tripsicorie, yogic arts, yin yoga and yoga Nidra. Actually, the past 4 years have been dedicated to learning and relearning over and over. It hasn’t been an easy process. But above all, I have witnessed how movement can help to process and heal when there are no words. And, in those deep places, we have the graceful ability to pick ourselves up and get to know ourselves on a new level.
Can you reflect back and notice changes in yourself that this transition has carved out, as a teacher and as a student too?
I always remember what got me hooked on yoga in the first place. It wasn’t about the physical benefits or trying to achieve any certain postures or anything like that, it was the little nuggets of inspiration that my teachers gave to me. I remember thinking that I want to give the same to my students, to make them feel what I felt, to make them feel inspired and to make them feel happy!
What would be the one piece of advice you could give to the Wanderlust TV streamers to deepen the connection with a teacher and themselves during the online practice?
Sometimes the hardest thing with yoga is to be consistent, but it’s also the most important thing. Regardless of how strong you are or what you think you look like – it’s the going that matters. It’s the discipline of getting yourself moving – that defines you. It makes you stronger. It makes you better. Because despite not wanting to show up, sweat & surrender, you did. Like Aristotle so beautifully said, “ excellence isn’t an act, it’s a habit”. Your habits are who you are. So keep pushing forward, practice discipline, make changes slowly, changes that become habits, habits that are easy and manageable. Rinse and repeat habits every day no matter what the obstacle.
Do you have a favorite pose or Asana that you find challenging?
I have been working on handstands for years and I still have a long way to go. I think it’s much much better this way. Because the faster we do things in life the less we understand them. And really, who wanted it all to be easy anyway? If you woke up tomorrow and instantly achieved all your major life goals, you wouldn’t know how to handle any of it. It’d be completely overwhelming because you hadn’t grown and transformed through the process of creating it all.
Nothing great is ever a breeze to achieve. Instagram endlessly makes us believe otherwise. But nothing remarkable happens overnight. Ever. Here I am, tens of thousands of handstands later, and still working hard for it. Well, hard work is humbling and it pays off in every aspect of life. And even when we move on, which we always do, I will appreciate the strength in trying at something, even if the results don’t ever arrive that’s ok because (like I just mentioned), it’s the small habits we do daily. That will change your life.