About the Style
PranaVayu Yoga is an American school of vinyasa yoga, founded by David Magone in 2001. The PranaVayu method is designed to make mind body transformation more efficient by applying scientific principles to the practice. To accomplish this, the style blends daily, weekly and yearly practice planning to achieve postural goals, a unique alignment system derived from engineering principles, and and a Buddhist-inspired philosophy of universal interconnectedness to give students the tools to take yoga off the mat and into the world. The practice is built on the founding belief that we can help make the world a happier, healthier and kinder place to live by cultivating the best in ourselves.
My first exposure to Yoga was during a road trip to Oregon in 1995. During the trip, I found a book on yoga and eastern meditation while I was poking around a college bookstore. The book was full of cool tricks, so I picked up a copy and decided to give it a go when I got back home. The first time I practiced, I started with some deep breathing, stretched a bit, and then propped myself up at the end of my bed and imagined the ocean for five minutes. I can’t say that I had any mind-blowing experiences, but at the end of it I was really relaxed, and that was good enough for me. From that day on I started practicing daily and haven’t looked back ever since.
About a year later, I relocated to Oregon and that’s where things really started rolling for me. I was lucky enough to meet Holiday Johnson, a master teacher with nearly three decades of teaching experience. Holiday took me under her wing and I personally apprenticed with her for three years. This was an incredible experience. Holiday personally taught me how to teach and helped me understand how much commitment, time and effort you have to put in if you want to offer yoga classes that really make a difference. I was really fortunate to have such incredible guidance and I made sure to learn everything from her that I could.
I also spent a lot of time with “Yogi” Bill Counter, who is the best vinyasa teacher I’ve ever seen. Bill was the previous owner of Yoga Oasis in Tucson Arizona and specialized in offering the most insane sequencing in the Northwest. Bill never held back. He threw out crazy poses like they were candy, and personally demonstrated most of them. My practice grew by leaps and bounds with Bill and I experienced some of the best meditations of my life in his classes. To this day, I still think about Bill every single time I teach a funky arm balance or a headstand.
After I’d been working with Holiday for about two years, she asked me to take over a series of yoga courses that she had offered at Portland State University for over twenty years. With Holiday’s support, I became a full-fledged faculty member, teaching university accredited courses on yoga to over 250 university students and staff per term.
The students in those classes kept me on my toes! They had tons of questions, and I didn’t always know the answers, so I spent most of my down time researching helpful movement techniques from every source that I could find. This was one of the best learning experiences of my life. Because of these questions, I was inspired to seek out theories that I might not have otherwise encountered. In many ways, my inquisitive students wound up teaching me as much as I taught them!
In 2003, I decided to try my hand at East Coast living, so I packed up my mat and relocated to Boston MA. Since my relocation I’ve spent most of my waking hours developing more efficient ways to practice yoga. To do this, I’ve drawn inspiration from the works of Ideokinesis pioneer Mabel Todd, the Periodization theories of Tudor Bompa, the yogic discipline of Yoga 23 founder Andrey Sidersky, the Systems science theories of J. Forrester, Peter Senge and Linda Booth Sweeney, and the Tibetan approach to meditation under the guidance of the venerable Lama Migmar Tseten.
Given that many of these theories were not originally meant for yoga practitioners, my contribution has been to uniquely adapt these techniques to the yoga practice. I’ve developed postural sequences that make difficult yoga postures easier to accomplish, a full alignment system based on skeletal mechanics and efficient body positioning and a comprehensive approach to meditative practices and body relaxation. The result of all of this is PranaVayu Yoga – a system of practice named after the energetic force that sustains the heart, mind, and senses of a yogi.