Kino MacGregor is undoubtedly a Yoga Diva—a master artist of the yoga asanas.
Shooting her demo “Au Bord de la Seine” in Paris was truly inspiring. I had the chance to admire her perfection in alignment, steadiness and comfort in each pose. As she was flowing, my heart was able to sense the purity and grace of a blossoming lotus flower.
Yoga Sutra 2.46: sthira-sukham asanam: Posture should be steady and easeful.
(Translation by Georg Feuerstein)
Yes asanas, which could be interpreted as “seating or comfortable seat,” is just one of the eight-fold path of Ashtanga Yoga, but for the majority of us, it is the first gross step that takes almost a lifetime to work on. Not a lifetime to be able to get into the most advanced poses, but to develop full self-awareness of our gross physical body.
So as we flow through Asanas, besides feeling full vibrant, alive, flexible, radiant, full of stamina, happy and healthy, we work in the direction of developing full consciousness of our mind possibilities, of our inner growth, eventually liberating ourselves.
How hard it is to have a clear mind when we feel at pain, diseased, weak, tired, lacking energies? All feels blurry, heavy, and with limited possibilities; asanas become a magical toolbox, a truly efficient one to find our way out.
By practicing asanas, we take a “gross-to-subtle” approach of ourselves starting from the base roots and growing up the healthiest and brightest branches of our tree of life.
In the Ashtanga Vinyasa world, be it dynamic or passive, Yin or Yang, be it aligned or unaligned, standing on Samasthiti or on your head in Sirsana or whatever you pick; we have a handful possibilities to find our ease and comfort.
The asanas is not the goal of our yoga, but undoubtedly, it is a good place to start. It becomes a window to a fabulous journey of uncovering ourselves. Through our practice we are able to draw a roadmap to long-lasting bliss, and here is where we find the purest essence of ourselves.
It is up to us to draw the map and decide where, how, and why to go inwardly. It is only each and everyone one of us who can do the gross work, while allowing the “doer” to guide the subtle path.
The asana practice teaches us a deeper body listening, and a full embodiment of our body and mind. We are able to challenge our lazy body, our Tamasic (destructive) and Rajasic (agitated or anxiety) qualities.
At many times, we must push ourselves, but at many others we must hold back.
As we build a constant practice, we become fully aware of our limits, our imbalances and fragile areas, our blockages and tensions, our injuries, our fears and insecurities, especially as the gross body is constantly evolving, changing and growing wiser.
Mastering the ability to detoxify, to purify, to revitalize, to allow the Prana to revolve while maintaining the Shushuma Nadi open and receptive, requires a lifetime committed practice.
When we master the asanas, we become more vigilant with our ego and sense of I AM-ness, and maybe even then we are ready for the spiritual work to delve deeper into the layers of our soul.
As we have a committed asana practice, we become addicted to healthier foods, healthier ambiances, healthier friends, healthier relationships, healthier creativity, healthier lifestyles, simply all the “good” and fun stuff that has been washed away from our realities by gigantic waves of sedentary lifestyles and false pleasures.
Kino indeed has paved an amazing path for many of us. It only takes effort, discipline, and awareness to master the gross level of our Yogic path.
Thank you Kino for the sparks of Yoga Magic.
*Personally my hope is that this video becomes a source of inspiration for all. A source to question ourselves what is our intention of doing the Yoga Asanas:
1. Is it way to feel stronger, flexible and healthier?
2. Am I able to know myself better?
3.Am I able to quite the mind while feeling the subtleness of the body?
4. Are the asanas allowing me to flow more openly through life?
5. Is the practice giving me a toolbox for living life more open-heartedly, compassionately, joyously, lovingly?
6. Can I sense the edge of my limits?
7. Am I identifying with a false sense of dukha (suffering)?
There are infinite reasons one can practice Asanas, but I do feel it is important to be fully grounded in our mats and remind ourselves: What is my Sankalpa (personal intention)?
This will indeed keep our yoga roadmap clear and sharp.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise