My name is David Magone. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains, just outside of a small town in Montana called Livingston. I’ve been a full time yoga teacher for the last sixteen years, and when not teaching yoga, I spend most of my time cooking, traipsing through the woods, or hanging out on the Maine Coast with my partner Alexandra.
My yogic journey began in 1995 with a monk, a can of coca-cola and a packet of coffee creamer.
At that time, I was traveling as a percussionist on a high-school band tour through parts of China. During the trip, I had the good fortune to be seated next to a young Buddhist monk during a flight from Shanghai to Beijing. About an hour into the flight, the flight attendant brought around beverages and the monk asked for a can of coca cola. I’m not certain why, but when she gave him the can she also handed him a packet of creamer to go along with it.
The monk didn’t understand that the creamer was meant for coffee, so he proceeded to pour it into his soda, and it fizzed everywhere. Rather than being annoyed, he laughed so hard that he almost started to cry! At first, I was surprised by his reaction but then I started to laugh too. Neither one of us spoke the same language so we didn’t talk at all, but I really remember thinking,“Man! I really want to be be like that guy!”
At the time, I had no idea what that monk had done to become so light-hearted, but I assumed that it must have something to do with meditation. And so, when I returned home to Montana a few weeks later, I bought a book on meditation and started practicing on my own. I can’t say that I had any mind-blowing experiences that first time out, but practicing made me feel calm and happy. This small success served to give me the confidence that I was indeed on the right track, so I decided to keep on practicing from that point on in the hopes of deepening my experience.
Motivated by that initial experience with meditation, I eventually decided to pursue the possibility of greater health and happiness by dedicating myself more fully to traditional yoga and meditation practices. I began by studying philosophy at Portland State University and continued on to complete a three year yoga teaching apprenticeship with master yoga teacher Holiday Johnson while studying vinyasa yoga with “Yogi Bill” Counter in Portland Oregon. In 2001, under the kindly mentorship of Holiday, I began to synthesize many of my discoveries in philosophy, yoga and meditation into a unique style of vinyasa yoga called PranaVayu.
In 2003, I relocated to Boston MA and after teaching there for a number of years I began formal meditation studies with the Tibetan meditation master Khenpo Migmar Tseten Rinpoche at the Harvard University Buddhist Chaplaincy. Before coming to the U.S., Khenpo Migmar had served as the main Abbot of the Sakya Monastary in Puruwalla India. Due to his academic achievements, Khenpo Migar was allowed to train directly with His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, one of the greatest meditation masters of the last century and the private Tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama himself.
After studying with Khenpo Migmar for a number of years, I became one of the first non-Tibetan teachers authorized to teach Mangalam Yantra Yoga, a secret Buddhist Yoga practice dating from the 10th century A.D. Today, in addition to teaching PranaVayu Yoga and Mangalam Yantra Yoga, I teach Dharma courses on a variety of sutra topics under Khenpo Migmar’s guidance and continue to attend ongoing classes in Vajrayana Buddhism (Highest Yoga Tantra) at the Sakya Center in Harvard Square.
In 2014, the circle came full round when I was asked to join the Prajna Upadesa Foundation, a small non profit organization responsible for organizing a public teaching for the His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Boston. I happily accepted, and served in a number of roles in the lead up to the event. Our small team put in a lot of hard work and were rewarded with a sold out event with over 2,000 people in attendance. Over the course of the day, monks and nuns from a variety of traditions and lay people from all across the U.S. gathered together to hear His Holiness give commentary on “the Eight Verses of Mind Training”. It was a truly memorable experience, and one that I’ll not forget.
In the hopes of sharing some of what I’ve learned with others, I regularly teach PranaVayu yoga classes and workshops all around the world. I also contribute content to the world’s leading Yoga website Gaia.com (Formerly Gaiam TV) and a number of other mind/body and fitness publications. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I owe it all to that monk and his can of soda! If it hadn’t been for him, I don’t know if I ever would have found my way to yoga. I’ll never have the chance to thank him personally, so instead, I’ve decided to do my best to pay it forward by introducing as many people as possible to the transformational effects of yoga and meditation.
David’s Formal Bio:
Since founding PranaVayu Yoga in 2001, David has received a number of accolades in the press with features in Travel + Leisure’s “25 Top Yoga Studios Around the World”, Vogue Magazine UK, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and many other publications. In addition to teaching PranaVayu classes, workshops and trainings worldwide, David also serves as a Dharma teacher and is one of the first non-Tibetan teachers authorized to teach Mangalam Yantra Yoga, a Buddhist Yoga practice originating in the 10th century A.D. David regularly contributes to the Huffington Post Healthy Living section, and is a featured teacher on Gaia TV and the Comcast Cable TV Network.
Who needs a gym when we have access to this all star fitness workout on demand? Magone’s Studio has been rated as one of the top 25 studios around the world, and it shows in his stellar instruction.