Kino MacGregor, Zobha Circle of Grace Member and one of a select group of people to receive the Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in India, shares her personal experiences with yoga and what impact it has on her everyday life. Kino’s story is truly inspirational.
Zobha: What have you learned about yourself by practicing Yoga?
Kino MacGregor: So much of my journey has been about the discovery of strength. I was not naturally strong or able to perform the challenging postures of the Ashtanga Yoga method. But with patience, dedication and grace, I have learned how to be strong both in body, mind and soul. Before I practiced yoga I had a different conception of strength. External force carried the message of a strong person. I learned through sincere self-inquiry that the mask of strength worn on the outside often belies a vulnerability within. When I started practicing yoga I got a glimpse of the nature of true strength, and I was humbled to see how far I had to go in order to realize the strength and steadiness of mind that the spiritual path demands. Rather than being superficial, strength in yoga comes from a intimate place inside. When you touch your spiritual center you find the warmth of an open heart. This compassionate place within allows you to connect more fully to other living beings and actually be a force of healing the world.
Kino MacGregor: When I was 19 I suffered a debilitating injury and turned to yoga for health and healing. I joined a traditional Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga practice group. I loved it because I was for the first time really feeling my body’s innate potential. It was like graduating to a new level of yoga and I loved every moment of it.
I learned that this tradition of yoga was taught by the then-living master, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. On the night that I finished reading his book, Yoga Mala, I dreamt of Jois, though I had not met him at the time. Plagued by doubt, insecurity and anxiety a latent fear and unsettled quality infiltrated my life. In the dream this fear took shape as an angry deity and Jois played the role of a savior by reaching over and placing me safely on a boat bound for India. I woke up with the words “I have to go to India” on my lips.
I arrived at the Ashtanga Yoga Nilayam. I walked the steps up the back alley entrance and found Sri K. Pattabhi Jois teaching a group of yogis. He turned and looked me in the eye while asking if I was there to practice. Before doubt surfaced my heart opened. I was on knees saying “Yes, I’m here to practice. Thank you Guruji.”
I knew I had met my teacher not only because I saw him in a dream but because his very presence opened my heart, eased my pain and brought peace. But also because his teaching was essentially that each student must work the sometimes arduous path of Ashtanga Yoga if any peace is lasting. He never promised to be a magical healer. Instead when questioned he always responded that he was just a simple man, teaching the yoga that his teacher, Sri T. Krishnamacharya taught him.
Zobha: What’s your favorite Zobha piece?
Kino MacGregor: I love the Zobha yoga halters. They have the best fit with fun colors and are super feminine and flirty at the same time.
Kino is a co-founder of Miami Life Center, where she teaches daily classes, workshops and intensives together in addition to maintaining an international traveling and teaching schedule. Kino founded Miami Life Center to build a community around yoga, holistic health and consciousness. For Kino’s schedule click here.
Share with us what is your personal yoga story? How has yoga changed your life and what influence it has on your everyday being?