IN CONVERSATION WITH: CLAUDIA MIRALLEGRO
12th Apr 2023
Claudia is an international yoga and meditation teacher and creator of Move with Mirallegro, a digital studio that helps uplift, inspire and empower through movement and mindfulness. As a recent guest at Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Anti-Inflammatory Haus in London, Claudia took attendees through a one-hour taster class sharing some of the breathing techniques and yoga sequences for relaxation and rejuvenation. Here, we delve a little deeper into Claudia’s journey and she shares her own secrets for optimal wellness.
What inspired you to start your yoga journey?
My journey into movement started as a tool to cope with body image issues, social anxiety, and other life triggers. The physicality of yoga drew me in first, but before long I was fascinated with the more subtle effects of the practice and the connection between mind, body, and spirit. The first part of my adult life was spent living In Los Angeles, where I serendipitously decided to sign up to a yoga teacher training in 2016. Since then, the past seven years have been dedicated to learning and relearning over and over. It hasn't been an easy process. I've fallen apart, hit rock bottom, and then built myself back together, in a more powerful way than ever. I witnessed how movement can help to process and heal when there are no words and how, in those deep places, we have the graceful ability to pick ourselves up and get to know ourselves on a whole new level.
Why do you think yoga resonated with you so much?
Mindful movement changed every aspect of my life. I used to believe you had to torture yourself during your workouts to experience results, which mentally impacted the rest of my lifestyle. I knew there had to be another way. When I found yoga, I soon realised it's not about how my body looks, it's what my body can do - and that switch in priority is absolutely life changing.
What made you want to share your learnings and build a career?
When you move your body, it feels good, you feel physically better because of the release of endorphins, but you’ll start to realise that movement is a way of examining the mind too. The more I committed to daily practice, the more my relationship to self started to strengthen. I knew I had to share this practice with as many people as I could. It's not just about building the body you desire; it’s about building a better and stronger relationship with yourself.
How important is meditation to your own day-to-day?
As hard as it is to get in some days, when you meditate, the day will move through you differently. The more consistent you become with your practice, the stronger you become internally and externally. There is a greater sense of ease that washes over you when life brings on its challenges. It's a never-ending journey one must continue to keep coming back to to experience that lasting transformation. I am most definitely living and breathing proof of that.
If someone is new to meditation, where should they start?
No matter where you are on your journey, everyone is welcome - all you need is the willingness to show up and do the work. It's believed that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I created a 21-day meditation challenge to help you find that consistency with yourself. Let these sessions be lessons in holding you accountable to making small steps in order to experience big lasting shifts in your life.
What benefits will people see with regular practice?
We don't meditate to get better at meditation, we meditate to get better at life. Life can be a complex, difficult endeavour and we're all making our way through the mud, despite external appearances. When we hold space for ourselves, we make space for ourselves, and we can start to shift. We can create new narratives, new self-beliefs, and new identities that not only shape who we are and how we feel but enable us to create the life we dream of.
What's your favorite way of taking an anti-inflammatory moment?
My go-to self-regulating tool to soothe my system is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I find myself doing EFT often throughout my day and it immediately shifts my mental state. It's a pocket of peace that you can pretty much do anytime, anywhere. You essentially tap on your meridian points to bring your energy flow into a state of balance. I normally do a few rounds, whilst applying affirmations and positive statements and it completely resets me.
What does your morning and evening routine look like?
Meditation, movement, clean food, and great products are essential for healthy skin. Day to day, I try not to overload my skin barrier. I will always use Dr. Barbara Sturm's CLEANSER, HYALURONIC SERUM, EYE CREAM and SUPER ANTI-AGING FACE CREAM. On the days that I have something special to prepare for, my routine is more full-on. I will start with the FACIAL SCRUB, ENZYME CLEANSER, and BALANCING TONER, followed by an LED light mask. Then I use facial massage techniques to apply my HYALURONIC SERUM, THE BETTER B NIACINAMIDE SERUM, SUPER ANTI-AGING SERUM, and GLOW DROPS and follow that with an eye cream and moisturizer. My skin has honestly never been better.
If you're feeling low, how do you lift yourself up?
Our bodies keep score of so many stresses, whether we're aware of them or not. When I feel myself in a loop of unproductive thoughts, I use these four movements, designed to reset your mood.
1. Stand tall as you plug the soles of your feet into the earth beneath you. Start to sweep the surface of your body with the palms of your hands, moving in any direction that you instinctively feel pulled towards. Slowly return to an upright position and seal it off with wrapping your arms around yourself. The feeling of gentle, physical touch, even from the self, can soothe the nervous system.
2. Stand tall with your feet a little wider than your hips and your knees softly bent. Relax your shoulder blades down your back and begin to gently turn your torso from right to left. Your arms will naturally start to move with momentum - stay soft and relaxed. Allow this cradle motion to slow your breath down, spin if you desire, then slowly return to a neutral position and stand in stillness to notice the subtle aftermath.
3. With your feet initially plugged into the ground, begin to shake the legs, then arms, torso, and head. From here you are welcome to pick it up into a hop or jump and move around your space. This can be as vigorous or as soft as you deem necessary. Just remember to stay connected to your breath and ensure you have a clear space to move about.
4. Finally, use a high intensity burst of cardio, in the form of your classic jumping Jack, to elevate your heart rate, charge your breath and to bring your attention to something other than your thoughts. Turn your mind to the sensations that this move provides instead.
The undercurrent of all these movements is to be connected and in charge of your breath. Allow them to create a portal for you to deepen your connection with your body to stir things up and flush out whatever is not serving you.
What's a mantra or motto that you live by?
Every day I ask myself this question, “how bad do I want to feel good today?” and I lead from there. It's really that simple.