August 20, 2015

Living the Yogi’s Life with Kino: A Week of Love.

Photo: Kerri Verna https://instagram.com/beachyogagirl/

Daily assignments for living the yogi’s life with Kino MacGregor.

To check A Week of Self Reflection, click here

To check A Week of Acknowledgements, click here.

To check A Week of Internal Peace, click here.

To check A Week of Contentment, click here.

To check A Week of Healing, click here.

To check A Week of Gentle Action, click here.

To check A Week of Self care, click here.

To check A Week of Surrender, click here.

To check A Week of Loving Kindness, click here

To check A Week of Focus, click here.

1. Communication.

I had an ex-boyfriend who never liked to say “I love you” because he thought it meant less the more you say it. While I understood his point, I’m exactly the opposite. You never know when the moment may be your last together, so share your love. Scream it out from the rooftops and let it be known.

Today’s yogi assignment is communication. Don’t let the sun go down today without saying those three magic words to at least one person. I love you. If negativity is blocking your expression of love, the best way to get over your anger is to talk about it, open an earnest dialogue and clear the air. Holding it all inside may eat you up from the inside out. Appreciate every moment of kindness, generosity and love. Speak with a compassionate, truthful heart. Be brave enough to share you thoughts. Be brave enough to be exactly who you are. Communicate, share, express. Find your voice.

2. Insecurity.

I woke up this morning feeling tired, stiff, weak, sore, fat and old. I barely wanted to practice. But I got on my mat. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly imperfect. In fact, our fallibility is maybe the only thing we can count on. We all have bad days where our doubt gets the better hand. Insecurity—it sucks. It comes at you like an undertow. The antidote to insecurity is love. Love yourself and all your faults and weakness and tiredness. Love your whole world, it’s all you’ve got. You’re good enough as you are, you’re all you’ve got.

Today’s yogi assignment is insecurity. Be brave and share some aspect of yourself that is hard for you to accept. It only has power over you when it’s the dirty secret in the room that no one wants to talk about.

3. Pause.

What is it about text messages and the internet that make it seem okay to send nastiness through the cyber waves? It’s so easy to type words and phrases you would never say in person and hit send before thinking twice. I’m live on Periscope and people ask to see my boobs and say all other sorts of strange and mildly perverted stuff but how many of those people would say those things to me in person? Would they look me dead in the eye and ask to see my boobs and tell me what they want to do to my body parts? I seriously doubt it. Then, as I was about to send a nasty text of my own to someone who broke an agreement, I felt how easy it is to get caught up in the space of texting, messaging and the online world. I remembered my own teaching, my own path and take time to reflect before responding.

Today’s yogi assignment is pause. If you get drawn into drama, pause long enough to take ten deep breaths before entering the battle. See if a few seeds of understanding make their way to your heart. Pause long enough to remember why you’re engaging and to remember that you are not your emotions, that you are more powerful than any feeling that might be arising. Pause long enough to remember that all that matters if the love you share. Only love is real, everything else fades away. Imagine if we spent a whole day sharing only love. No drama, no negatively, no meanness, no belittling comments. Just peace, love, healing, tolerance and compassion. The world would be a better place.

4. Refuge.

In our own way, in our own time, we are all searching for home. We all long for that feeling of belonging, a sense of lasting peace. We are beings of light and love. We are all scarred, wounded, hurting, suffering, and fighting our own epic emotional battles. Our only shelter is in the wings of grace. There is no permanent happiness in the material world. There is no firm ground to stand on amidst the shifting sands of time. Everything is temporary, every moment is fleeting.

Today’s yogi assignment is refuge. Called Saranam in Sanskrit, the only real place to seek refuge is in the center of your heart, through complete surrender. Finding a connection beyond the material world to the truth of who you are is the journey back home to the true self. Seeking refuge in the material world will leave you empty, exhausted, beaten down. Seeking refuge in God is a relief, like a good night’s sleep after a long travel.

When you have no strength, nothing left to lose, when you are lost, weary, broken-hearted and finally ready to ask for help, God will reach in and lift you up, heal you, restore you, make you whole again. Your heart will overflow with love. Your soul will sing with joy. You will be in the world but no longer of it. You will be free. And you will finally be home.

5. Sustenance.

Health is an expression of the vibrancy of your spirit, just as much as it is of diet and exercise. True sustenance cannot be found in the material world so turn towards the spirit for guidance in moments of difficulty. Define yourself not by what you have done, but by who you are in the depths of your soul.

Today’s yogi assignment is sustenance. Life is an epic journey filled with beautiful soaring peaks and arduous passages through darkness and difficulty. There is no way to make the fleeting moments of happiness permanent. There is no escape from suffering in this world and every obstacle is a lesson in perseverance. Drop down to a level where you can feel, hear and experience the grandness of the spiritual world. Where do you turn to nourish the soul along the journey of life? Where do you turn for spiritual sustenance?

6. Love.

Love is action. Love is strength. Love is never giving up. Love survives even in a hopeless place. Love outlasts all things. Love is humble, kind and forgiving. Love is all there is.

Today’s yogi assignment is love. Be love, share love, feel love. Sounds easy? Now try to go one whole day with only love in your heart and you’ll see that it’s not a simple task. If you notice yourself taking any action that isn’t grounded in love, drop it, just don’t do it. If you feel yourself getting pulled into a heated exchange, walk away. If you notice yourself complaining in your head or harboring negativity towards yourself or other, drop that thought right away. Replace vengeance with forgiveness, aggression with peace, argument with listening, contempt with respect. Be a force of healing in then world. Be strong. Be love.

7. Jealousy.

When I first started practicing all the yoga postures seemed so difficult. I struggled with everything. I thought that one day, when I finally got the next pose, I would be whole. People that were far away from where I was were easy to celebrate because they were in another league. But the practitioners who were around the same level I was on but just a little bit further along, they drove me nuts. Instead of cultivating a community oriented attitude I was consumed with jealousy and competition. Even though I mostly kept it to myself, it still ate away at my heart. I lost the chance to make lasting friendships. I thought that their success somehow took mine away.

Jealousy comes from a place where we feel that we aren’t enough. I never believed I was good enough, strong enough, pretty enough. I searched for something to fill up the void within. But when you look for your true self in the material world, whether in objects or accomplishments, you always sell yourself short.

Today’s yogi assignment is jealousy. Called Matsarya in Sanskrit, jealousy is one of the six enemies, the Arishadvargas. If you see someone that has exactly what you want and are afraid you’ll never get, it’s hard not to think antagonistic thoughts towards them, let alone celebrate their success. It can feel like there is a limited amount of the magic substance of success in the world and that once someone else has it, you’ll never get. But you can either have a feeling of having enough right now, exactly as you are or no matter how much you have it will never be enough. There is no material object, no worldly accomplishment that completes you. Harboring negative thoughts towards someone else’s success only harms you.

Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Kerri Verna/Instagram

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