September 17, 2015

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

Author's own

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.

To check A Week of Love, click here.

To check A Week of Calm, click here.

To check A Week of Direction, click here.

To check A Week of Calm, click here.


1. Beauty.

I was never a dancer or a gymnast, never naturally peaceful or confident. I generally felt pretty socially awkward, and introverted which is why I preferred reading alone rather than talking to other people. I never felt beautiful or elegant but then one day, after many years of practice, I looked in the mirror and I saw beauty. Who was this girl in the mirror? It’s like all this beauty, elegance and power were right there waiting for me to discover it. It was like I could finally see what other people saw when they gave me a compliment. I didn’t need to be anyone else, look any different or change anything. I just needed to drop down deep enough to see my true self.

Who are you really? Who are you at your deepest self? Today’s yogi assignment is beauty. Look at yourself in the mirror and see your beauty. See it, own it, share it. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are exactly who you need to be.

2. Habit.

Green is the new black. Green is sexy, fresh, sleek. Or at least it is for me. Health is a habit. You are, or at least you can be, in control of every choice you make. By taking a stand for your health in small everyday choices—like choosing a green juice instead of a cigarette—you affirm your self-worth.

I spoke, or I should say ranted, about this on Periscope yesterday and I kinda of made a fuss. People said I was being judgmental and lacked compassion. They might be right. Standing in a sea of someone else’s smoke fumes definitely pushes my buttons. But really, I believe that you are worthy of more than a cigarette puff. Your greatness is immeasurable and your body is a temple for the highest ground of the soul.  You are bigger and stronger than any unhealthy habit in your life. You are worthy of the best. All you have to do is realize it.

Today’s yogi assignment is habit. Is there a habit that you’d like to break or replace with one that supports your well-being? If you smoke, wouldn’t you like deep down inside to trade in your pack of cigarettes for a green juice? Smoking is a habit. Practicing yoga or drinking a green juice everyday is another habit. Seeing the blessing in every situation is a habit. Which do you choose?

3. Sanctuary.

Look inside your heart and listen with patience and attentiveness. Enter your inner sanctuary and become still. Give up your ego in reverence of this deep truth. See yourself glowing from within. This is who you really are, all the pettiness, nervous energy, sadness, anger and fear is all just an illusion.

Today’s yogi assignment is sanctuary. Take time today to find your inner sanctuary deep in the garden of your heart. Close your eyes and feel your way through the mental and emotional obstacles. Walk the long road back home.

4. Be strong.

Commit to taking slow small steps along the path of your dreams. Let no task be beneath you, let no obstacle deter you. Exhaust all possibilities and never give up. Don’t get distracted by what other people are doing or saying and don’t try to take anyone down. Be humble, be kind. Never sell yourself or dreams short. Be strong enough to believe in yourself against all odds.

Today’s yogi assignment is be strong. Strength in yoga is often called Sthira in Sanskrit, meaning not only physical prowess but also steadfast determination. Stay on the course through exhaustion, doubt and innumerable setbacks. Every struggle is a spiritual battle. Your life is blessed. Your heart is full of love. Your soul is glowing, you are restored to your highest potential. Each breath is a chance to shine brighter than a thousand suns.

5. Energy.

After too little sleep and teaching all day yesterday I had a choice—I could either rest or go into the city. Guess which one I choose? After walking around beautiful Vienna and popping into a few handstands for a live broadcast on Periscope I was full of energy. People ask me all the time how I have so much energy. Honestly, I think it’s because I’d rather be doing something than nothing. Doing nothing can pull me into depression unless I do something to lift my spirits. Handstands and arm balances are empowering, uplifting, energizing and healing for me. Getting upside down can change my whole mood. And there is nothing like a full focused 90 minute Ashtanga practice that makes my spirit glow with vitality. I also love walks on the beach, stopping to smell the flowers or gaze up at the sky, reading inspirational books, meditation, sight-seeing everywhere and when all else fails a little vegan ice cream and shopping aren’t bad either. 

Today’s yogi assignment is Prana, energy. Do something today that brings you energy. Don’t let anyone set the rules for what that should be. Find your secret well-spring of personal power and tap into it. Nourish yourself. Find your Prana and let it flow.

6. Teacher-student lineage.

Teaching yoga is a responsibility to pass on the spiritual essence of the practice and light the sacred fire of yoga in the students’ hearts. When you teach you hold the torch of this ancient tradition like a treasured family heirloom. I have cried, screamed, panicked, laughed and loved during the practice. And though that time my patient teachers were always there for me, guiding each step along the path. They never wavered.

Over the last two days I’ve been touched by courageous students practicing in the Mysore Style method. We laughed, cried and even screamed together and so many students did backbends, twists and other poses for the first time! While the pose itself doesn’t matter, conquering the fear involved in facing real or perceived limitations does matter. By moving beyond fears into new possibilities, you train your nervous system to be strong in the face of adversity.

Today’s yogi assignment is Parampara, indicating a teacher-student lineage where knowledge is passed down through successive generations in an uninterrupted order. If you attend an Ashtanga Yoga class and continue the practice you have received the divine spark of this method. I am teacher of Ashtanga Yoga because I am a student. I will return to Mysore this December to study with my teacher R. Sharath Jois at the Institute named after his grandfather, my teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Students trust me with the sacred intimate space of the practice the same way that I trust my teachers. Teaching yoga is an honor.

7. Giving.

The world needs you. Every day is a battle of time, energy and awareness. There are charitable causes, moral dilemmas and heartbreaking struggles going on in the world. You have the power the make a real a difference. If something tugs at your heart strings and won’t leave you alone it’s be used you have been chosen to do something about it!

Today’s yogi assignment is giving. Donate your time, energy, resources to a cause that moves you. I dreamed of helping a young aspiring Ashtangi make the journey to India and today I am happy to announce that thanks to your help the dream has come true. What will your contribution to the world be?


Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Author’s own

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