Confessions of a Loved & Hated Ashtangi.

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People love and hate me. I am, after much deliberation, okay with that.

I’m a bad Ashtangi.

I wear small shorts and mascara. I’m not a natural blonde. I color my hair and blow dry it, even while in India. I’m also vain and I love beautiful and sometimes expensive things. I’ve been called an Ashtanga cheerleader, a slutty yoga teacher (I’m married), a good businesswoman (as if that’s a derogatory term for a yoga teacher) and a sell-out for fame and fortune. I’ve lost really important friendships and hurt the people I love the most through the delusion of blind ambition. I am far from perfect, most likely more flawed than most.

In the mad rush to success I have produced five Ashtanga Yoga DVDs, written two books, started a line of yoga products, filmed online yoga classes, taught in over 100 different cities all over the world, co-founded a yoga center on Miami Beach (Miami Life Center) and founded Miami Yoga Magazine. I’ve figured out how to use social media and build an online presence, dare I say my own “brand.” I tweet, blog, vlog and film for my YouTube channel.

For all these reasons I am, as Guruji used to say, a “bad lady.”

But I’m also a good Ashtangi. I practice six days a week and follow the guidelines for practice as best I can from my teachers, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and R. Sharath Jois in Mysore. I go back to Mysore to continue my studies and be a student at least once a year. I follow the simple vegetarian diet that my teachers recommend. I do my best to be self-reflective in everything I do, I try (not always successfully) to be a nice person all the time.

I work hard at everything I do, take nothing for granted and am above nothing. I am thankful every day for my students, both the real people in my classes and the real people watching my videos and reading my books at home. I wasn’t strong or patient when I started the practice, and yoga has taught me both strength and patience. You can only push so hard before you break—I’ve learned that all the rest of success in both yoga and life you have to receive through grace and surrender.

So maybe I’m also a little bit good.

Some people would say that what I do is all in the interest of building my own personal yoga empire, in the aggrandizement of my ego. To them I am something akin to the Kim Kardashian of the yoga world.

But to myself, I hope I’m more like Oprah Winfrey. I would love to take the message of yoga to millions of people, because I believe in the power of yoga to transform the world. Someone once asked me,

“If you knew you could reach a billion people with the message of yoga and half would hate you and half would you love you, would you still do it?”

Yes, for sure.

I honestly, perhaps naively, believe that if every person in the world practiced yoga it would be a better place. I would personally like to be a vehicle of inspiration for people to practice yoga, and if having some people hate me is a price I pay for putting my message out there, then I am strong enough to pay that price. At the same time, I admit that I am not as saintly as that sounds. I enjoy seeing myself in videos, on the covers of my books and I like seeing the results of my efforts. I also like that my husband and I can make a good living doing something we love and believe in. While I wouldn’t say that I’m proud of what I’ve done, I do feel a sense of self-confidence that comes from the real world experience of accomplishing some of my dreams.

One of the reasons that some people have taken issue with me is that they feel that the way that I put my teaching out there in the world is against the fundamentals of the Ashtanga Yoga lineage.

First of all, people don’t like the clothes I wear.  I’m not going to apologize for my choice in clothes, whether they are too small, skimpy, bright or whatever. At the risk of sounding callous and elitist, I think the discussion about telling women to cover their bodies lest they offend or stimulate someone’s sexual desire belongs to a by-gone era, not the year 2013.

The men’s traditional yoga gear is a loin cloth that barely covers anything.

I wear short shorts, they cover everything that needs to be covered, and I honestly think people should just get over it. I’ve had numerous conversations where I explain my choice of yoga clothing to people, and I am getting exhausted by it. I’m from Miami—where it’s hot and a lot of people wear shorts and show a lot of skin.

I figured out long ago that if I wore pants I would use friction instead of core strength and that no men were wearing tights to hold themselves up in the challenging arm balances. So I made a conscious choice to wear shorts even though I slipped and fell off my arms for years. Here I go…explaining my choice in clothes again and I’m honestly sick of it! My choice is mine alone—I certainly don’t force anyone else to wear shorts.

If you don’t like shorts, don’t wear them. If you don’t like seeing my wear shorts, don’t watch. My freedom of choice is rooted in the history of women who gave their heart and soul to feminism so that I could vote, wear mini-skirts and tiny shorts, burn my bras, go to college, pursue any career that I am qualified to do, lift up into handstand and marry whomever I want freely. I will not betray the heart and soul of feminism to appease anyone’s else’s discomfort with my skin.

Second, I guess you could say that I have broken the taboo against marketing in the so-called purist world of Ashtanga Yoga.

I am a yoga teacher who is a yoga entrepreneur as well. There are benefits and disadvantages to this, depending on how you look at it. Krishnamacharya said to make yoga propaganda and get the message out there. I’ve really taken that to heart.

My teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, also said, much to the contrary, that we should not make yoga an advertisement, that the teaching itself will bring the students. Guruji would also get really excited when there were hundreds of students in Mysore or on his world tours. Whenever he asked me asked me how many students I taught in my classes he would also be so happy to hear that the numbers were growing. In my experience, Guruji loved the idea of Ashtanga Yoga reaching more and more people all over the world. I’ve taken the mission to bring Ashtanga Yoga to people all over the world to heart.

So where do I fit in to the traditional Ashtanga Yoga lineage? I guess that’s the question I am seeking to offer up for discussion here.

Let me say that I have the utmost respect for teachers who teach an under-the-radar Mysore program early in the morning with little advertising and get their students through the power of their own dedication and word of mouth. You rock! I love each of you for your humility, your quiet strength and the un-sung heroism of your work.

I, however, am not one of you. It’s not my path. It’s not that I want more, I want different. I want to be the ambassador of yoga in the “public” sphere. I want to share the message of yoga, authentic real, lineage based yoga, with as many people as possible. I want to be a bridge between the average person and the authentic experience that I’ve known in India with my teachers and the Ashtanga Yoga method.

I want to inspire people to find their yoga path, the inner devotion and the spiritual lineage.

I do not care if they ultimately choose me as their teacher or not. I would be honored if a person that I inspired practices Ashtanga Yoga with me, goes to Mysore and develops a daily Ashtanga Yoga practice for the rest of their life. But I would also be honored if a person that I inspired develops a daily meditation practice or a daily yoga practice following another lineage.

My work in the “public” sector is perhaps the biggest sticking point between me and the more traditional teachers of Ashtanga Yoga. Guruji taught in relative obscurity for the majority of his life, waiting patiently for the yoga that he believed in to attract students. In some ways he waited his whole life for his dream to come to fruition.

The lesson that I take from this is to never give up on your dreams, to work for them patiently even if the results are not immediately evident. The lesson some of my colleagues take from this is that the correct way to teach is exactly how Guruji did in the old days. With the steady humility of reaching one student at a time, these traditional teachers aim to emulate the exact methodology of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. They ask the question, why is it necessary to spread the message of Ashtanga Yoga Oprah-style? Why not just be humble, and teach whoever shows up?

The only thing that I can really say is that each person must choose their own path and learn the lessons that life presents to them. You cannot choose for another person, nor beat anyone into submission to your views. We are all free to live and let live, to find and discover our destiny and live out our dharma in the world. I remember feeling lost in my early twenties before I really discovered Ashtanga Yoga.

I prayed that I would be guided to find the one thing that God put me on this Earth to do and then I would do it with all my heart. With the message of Ashtanga Yoga, I feel that I have found this mission. My dharma, my path is mine alone and I may need to accept that it is a non-traditional approach to Ashtanga Yoga. While I seek to honor my teachers and the tradition I seek to do it in the spirit of what I believe the tradition to be, rather than the letter or dogma of the tradition. Just like for some people it would not feel right to make YouTube videos, yoga DVDs or offer classes online, it is not right for me to sit silently by while other voices carry the message of yoga to the world.

One point worth making is that the message is going to get out there. There are many other yoga teachers on YouTube, creating DVDs and offering online classes. In fact some of the Ashtanga Yoga teachers who appear on YouTube have not been to Mysore to study with Guruji or Sharath. There are yet still more teachers online who eschew tradition all together and present yoga as a glorified stretching and fitness routine.

I see myself as a link between the pop culture of yoga and the more traditional lineage based spiritual practice.

Many feel that I am harming the tradition by providing the teaching of Ashtanga Yoga to the people via books and electronic media. I agree that it is best to learn directly from a teacher, one on one. Not everyone has the time, financial resources or access to a teacher. I intend my videos and writing to be a source of inspiration for new students, to be a reference manual for existing students and to be a teaching resource for those without a teacher.

Whenever I am learning something new in the yoga practice I use all available resources. I Google, YouTube, read anatomy, study movement mechanics and dissect the psycho-spiritual-emotional components of the posture. Rather than be without information I want more of it. I seek to contribute to the information publicly and readily available in the world of yoga. In the freedom of the information available on the internet I do not believe it is possible or really relevant to hold precious things hostage. Give them freely and they will grow, share your heart and it will expand. In this vein I share my work in the public sphere. I get enough feedback from people all over the world who use my videos as a resource to know that they are doing more good than harm in the world.

I’ve been saddened recently by the realization that some of my colleagues in Mysore prefer not to associated with me.

This came crashing down into my field of awareness because of people’s objections to being part of the video on my YouTube channel about Mysore:

People are upset that I did not ask their permission prior to using the extra footage from the Mysore Magic film shoot.

I should have asked their permission directly and I am sorry that I didn’t! It honestly did not cross my mind, and I can see that it is my own naivete to think that people would not mind. I wish that people would have contacted me directly with their concerns, but I understand it’s harder to confront someone with negative feedback.

For the record, I am open to any negative feedback anyone wishes to share with me.

It would help me grow and I am definitely learning from this experience on many levels. I had no idea that the people that I practice with in Mysore who are friendly with me post-practice hold such strong negative views of my teaching and presence in the world. I have read the negative blogs complaining about my shorts, my Youtube videos, and generally me but I just didn’t think that it was from people I shared practice space with in Mysore.

That limited view is just another reflection of my own naivete. I am currently considering what action to take, e.g., contacting each individual person in the video directly and apologizing/asking permission, whether to take the video down or leave it up and of course speaking with Sharath next week when I am in Mysore. I honestly love the video as a link and inspiration for people who may be inspired by my teaching and presence to find their way to the power and magic of Mysore.

My hope is that we can reach a peaceful resolution where the video is okayed to stay available on YouTube. I hope that I’m not being naive about that, too!

Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga with Kino and Tim at Koh Samui

One of the most controversial things that I want to do in the yoga world is take the message of yoga to a wider audience through television and video. That desire definitely pushes people’s buttons. My YouTube channel has reached more than 6 million views in a little over a year and a half. I hope it’s the start of the actualization of my dream to take yoga to more people through the vehicle of video.

A little over a year ago I was in NYC meeting with some television executives about my ideas for a TV project and I dropped in to practice with Eddie Stern. When we were chatting after practice he asked me what I was doing in New York. I was more than nervous to say that I was shopping around an idea to take the yoga lifestyle to television. But his response was liberating.

He said, “Someone is going to do it, and it’s better that it’s you.” You can be sure of one thing: I will work tirelessly to be sure that it is me, not just for the fame and fortune, but also (perhaps most importantly) to be sure that the lineage of yoga is represented authentically.

 

Kino MacGregor’s next book, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga, is set to come out in the spring of 2013 from Shambhala Publications.

 

Like elephant Ashtanga on Facebook.

Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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Kino MacGregor

Kino MacGregor is an international yoga teacher, author of four books, producer of six Ashtanga Yoga DVDs, writer, vlogger, world traveler, co-founder of Miami Life Center, co-fouder of Yoga Challenge and OmStars. Kino’s dharma is to help people experience the limitless potential of the human spirit through the inner tradition of yoga. She is one of the few people in the world of yoga to embrace both the traditional teaching of India’s historic past and the popular contemporary social media channels. You can find her teaching classes and workshops all over the world and on Kino Yoga Instagram with over one million followers and on Kino Yoga YouTube channel with over 100 million views. With more than 17 years of experience in Ashtanga Yoga, she is one of a select group of people to receive the Certification to teach Ashtanga yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India and practice into the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Practice with Kino online at OmStars.

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anonymous Nov 20, 2015 3:31pm

I just started following you KINO!!! Love your energy. Please know that had it not been for you, I would have never been introduced to ashtanga yoga. I live in a remote area that offers no such thing. You are inspiring. As for the clothes…..I too love fashion and beauty, and you are beautiful, so show it!!. What I don't understand is yoga in itself is about accepting and finding peace and harmony with in oneself, so the judging in of itself is contrary to the practice. Is it not? Why then are "yogis" judging you? Besides our society is still so judgmental about sexuality. Sexuality is a birth right. People need to get over it and celebrate nakedness, and love the body in the raw form. Most likely there is a lot of jealousy following behind you, as there is with many successful people. Many tend to criticize that they can't do. PEACE, LOVE, and HARMONY.

anonymous Sep 13, 2015 6:41am

While I have never met her personally, Kino is a phenomenal teacher. I feel like I know her from watching her videos. She intellegent, articulate, and encouraging. The way she breaks an asana into parts and focuses on correct alignment is extremely detailed and I have learned more from her videos than almost any yoga class I have been to. I will admit that the first time I saw her, I was struck by her beauty and envious of her “perfectly” toned body…wearing tiny shorts and a tube top. I remember thinking “can’t this woman put on more clothes? “. As I continued to watch her, I realized how intelligent, well-spoken and humble she is. I then thought “she would be taken more seriously if she dressed differently”. The more deeply I have delved into my own practice and have progressed my journey of the 8 limbs, it is blaringly apparent that those are MY ISSUES. Any judgement that passes through my consciousness is rooted deeply into my own experience with the external world, my self, and my own body. More power to Kino, who has made phenomenal yoga instruction available (a lot of it for free!) to the masses. It is a new day and age and I think that Kino has bridged tradition with our modern world extremely gracefully. Everything must evolve lest it become extinct. Here’s to the evolution of the manner in which traditional ashtanga yoga is passed down!

anonymous Aug 10, 2015 11:20am

Kino has mastered the art of integrating such a traditional style of yoga to our current pop culture. I must say that if I am practicing Asthanga Yoga is entirely because of her. I was atracted to her approach, her smarts, her business style and her way to share the message so I gave Asthanga a try. Kino is my only teacher as I practice 100% at home with her online clases because there is not a shala where I live. I plan to attend as many workshops with her as I can to deepen my practice and I read as many yoga books as I can. We can focus al we want on the negative of everything but to me there are very Little things as powerful as a strong, independent, beautiful and Smart woman sharing the message of Yoga.

anonymous Jul 24, 2015 5:30am

Hello Kino. It is because I happened to stumble across one of your YouTube videos that I am now a passionately practicing Yoga. You are a great inspiration. You have done nothing for which you should feel ashamed about or have to apologize for. You DESERVE every bit of the fortune and fame you receive. Anyone who sees what you are doing as negative that is a reflection on them, not on you. Stay true to you!

anonymous Jun 3, 2015 2:40pm

kino beloved: when your Achilles tendons of a girl of 19 years ached and your doctor wanted to operate on you, you imagined that millions would follow and loved you? Only a few years later.? ! Kino , great trip! .

I said love, and that is the emotion I read in hundreds of messages. You have changed the lives of thousands, the sacred fire has become a worldwide fire. And you have done it with your beauty, honesty, strength, elegance. with that smile of complete, perfect woman.

¿Ashtanga cheerleader, a slutty yoga teacher, a good businesswoman, bad girl. ? Jesus Christ! god, how much misery, how much indecency, hatred. kino envy, jealousy.

At my 18 years I found yoga. then it was mystical, dark, superstitious, ancient, hostile. decades later, now, the beauty of your soul, your happy smile, harmony strength, returned my passion for ashtana.

You are a modern woman. . goddesses among us. carrying the sacred fire.

You have shown me the way. Do not give up. Follows. I put myself in front of you and say Namaste.

anonymous Jan 18, 2015 7:44pm

I like Kino's enthusiasm and eagerness to share yoga with everyone, and I like her step-by-step explanatory approach to teaching in her videos. She is admirably acccomplished at her age. She has clearly worked very hard with learning yoga, but unfortunately not everyone wishes to have their personal practice publicized on social media. However, it is not clear whether the group who filmed Mysore Magic obtained the explicit permission of all the participants. If I had plans to visit Mysore, I would prefer to know about the planned filming in advance to allow me to decide whether to attend. If permission was not sought, then the honorable thing to do would be to edit the footage to blur out the faces and bodies of those who have withheld permission.

anonymous Jan 18, 2015 6:01pm

I like Kino's enthusiasm and eagerness to share yoga with everyone, and I like her step-by-step explanatory approach to teaching in her videos. She is admirably acccomplished at her age. She has clearly worked very hard with learning yoga, but unfortunately not everyone wishes to have their personal practice publicized on social media. However, it is not clear whether the group who filmed Mysore Magic obtained the explicit permission of all the participants. If I had plans to visit Mysore, I would prefer to know about the planned filming in advance to allow me to decide whether to attend. If permission was not sought, then the honorable thing to do would be to edit the footage to blur out the faces and bodies of those who have withheld permission.
Sometimes people become very caught up in their own wants, such as wanting to spread the practice of yoga, wanting to promote their image, etc… that they forget other people have different values and boundaries. This of course is the expression of the ego. It is when concerns like this one arises and plants itself right in front of us that we need to look deep inside of ourselves for the answers and also be forgiving of ourselves as being human.

anonymous Oct 25, 2014 3:30pm

First of all, props to Kino for sharing her passion and knowledge of ashtanga yoga. She deserves a lot of credit and respect for what she's doing. I understand there are lots of people who object to her image, but I don't have a problem with that at all. My issue is more of her hypocritical manner when talking about "ahimsa" or the principle of "not harming." She talks about this at length in her book and in interviews. But check out this Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F80lyRHxNDg) where she totally contradicts herself. HelloYoga in Japan did an interview with Kino on September 29, 2011. Around the video's 13:00 to 14:00 minute mark, she says she doesn't consume meat bc she loves animals and abides by ahimsa, therefore she's vegetarian. Then around the 16:42 mark, she talks about how she loves shopping and how many beautiful shoes she's bought on her trip to Japan. I guess she has no problem with how the leftover skin of animals killed for food is used to make beautiful shoes…as long as she doesn't actually consume the meat herself. Rather hypocritical, if you ask me. Or maybe all those shoes she bought are made of pleather. Somehow I doubt it.

anonymous Aug 29, 2014 11:31am

Bear insult, bear injury – highest yoga. – Swami Sivananda

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 8:29pm

The problem is that what Kino practices is not yoga, it´s fitness. Then, spreading the wrong message about what yoga is, to thousands souls it´s maybe not the best idea. There is not love in Kino´s words, there is not love in Kino´s eyes. There is nothing healthy in having the face covered of make up and of course, again, not self love either. I think Kino´s message is harmful for the authentic yoga and the authentic yoguis.

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 6:13am

Gifted, honest and beautiful…you're above all the critics Kino, may you go on with your wonderful flow!!

anonymous Jun 30, 2014 7:56pm

Kino reading this blog was really heartfelt and a bit sad. It's sad that we as people expect other people to fit into a mold of what we like for them instead of what they like or want for themselves. Doing Yoga for me from other people view is a bit tabo I suppose. I am a mixed raced women who live in a small town in Georgia. Where the blacks act really black and the whites or just as Southern. I don't fit in to any mold and the things that interest me. I had a lot of hurt in my life and for years I didn't know myself. Through Yoga I learned about me (who is most important). To mention your hair and eye make. You rock what makes Kino happiest. Heck I have very curly hair with blonde highlights. And if one more white person ask me if my hair is hot Im going to scream or if they can touch it. I don't look like a traditional yoga student but how does one look exactly. Can't answer that its because there is no such thing. Through your videos I have learned a great deal. and I have learned its okay to fail sometimes because I will eventually get it. Thank you for sharing via social media and what ever means. Without you we wouldn't be inspired.

anonymous Jun 25, 2014 12:40am

Hi Kino, I was wondering how you have such a tight lotus pose. can you tell me how my lotus can get tighter each day I practice lotus? thank you

Regards, Matt

anonymous Mar 19, 2014 9:21pm

Namaste to you Kino. You are such an inspiration to me and many others. You do everything with such light and love! Keep inspiring and being yourself, the people who “hate” you or disagree with you are only that way because of some inner problem in their soul. You are the Oprah of Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga <3

Thank you for sharing. Sending light and love to! Xoxo

-Rivka

anonymous Mar 19, 2014 2:25pm

I'm a yoga student – not yet formally devoted to any teacher – but I know yoga well enough to see that it allows me to align with Universal consciouness/God/creative force (whatever you choose to call it), which helps me create and respond to stimulus with mindblowing clarity and ease.THIS is what matters!! Yoga can wake us up!! I respect you for keeping the traditional knowledge alive with such passion.
The judgements about your shorts and looks are ego-driven and the critics need to revisit the definitions for compassion and unconditional love. Please keep spreading your message about the tranformative power of yoga. it's beautiful to watch and has inspired me greatly. Despite what critics say, you're very sincere and your purpose is clear. PLEASE stop reading the bad press, it'll just cause you inner resistence. Follow your instincts to wherever you feel you are called. Thanks for all of your hard work!

anonymous Mar 15, 2014 6:32pm

Kino, it's true that you are a master marketer and perhaps you are that at the cost of being a master teacher. I was at your retreat in Goa in 2014 and was very disheartened to see that you rarely made eye contact with your students in favour to vlog, blog, tweet, vine, whatever. Rarely did you lead a workshop and you were more interested in snapping photos or What A Great Retreat This Is for Instagram than actually BEING PRESENT and teaching the people who'd travelled far and wide to study with you.

Be a marketer, or be a teacher. Clearly trying to do both isn't working.

It's very uncool to be snapping photos during Mysore practice. I did not fly half way around the world and pay thousands of dollars to be part of your Look At Me Campaign. Next time, ask permission.

anonymous Mar 1, 2014 6:04pm

Kino!!! Love the honesty. And I love your shorts. I want some. I was practicing yesterday and had to change out of pants because they were actually more slippery than my arms (I wasn't doing hot yoga, just playing around at home). In my opinion, you are providing a more modern approach, bringing your practice to a much greater audience. I think this is important as reaching people these days is so much easier using modern technology. I think it can only help spread the message and the traditional style of Ashtanga. I love all of your videos, you are so helpful and amazing. I'd love to take one of your classes so I just signed up for some of your online stuff. Will buy the DVDs soon too. You are actually the reason I started practicing much more than I was. Your videos on social media are so inspiring and I've found that learning more advanced technique is hard to do at my local studios and the gym, so I am thankful to have found you (earlier in 2013). Keep it up. I often talk about what a genius you are, being both a fantastic yogi and a super smart business person. XOXO

anonymous Feb 5, 2014 4:21pm

i was wondering why you wear make-up and dye your hair?

part of my practice has been a huge realization that i have been influenced so heavily by a western ideal of beauty that i hate my body and the way i look. i dont wear make up anymore, but some days i really hate my body. i dont know how to feel about make up, and i was wondering if we could talk about it some time. thanks

anonymous Jan 22, 2014 7:05am

Hi Kino:
Being a yoga practitioner and teacher also for 20 years, I can honestly say I've never heard of you until I saw this article.
And I'm sure you've never heard of me.
We all teach and learn in our own circles and do our best to share our love of Yoga with those we are able to touch.
Social media is great but leaves you vulnerable to too many thoughtless comments and attacks.
Unplug and just live your Yoga. Practice and teach for yourself and the love of Yoga and the rest is not that important.
Peace.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 5:16pm

I love you Kino! You are an inspiration to me as a yoga instructor and as a person. I love how you are following your own voice and mission. I feel in my heart that you come from the best possible place. When I am trying something new in yoga I always find that your YouTube videos are the strongest reference for me. I cherish them–and you! Keep up your work on this earth.

anonymous Dec 12, 2013 12:00pm

Well, you just did it!!! I am one of those teachers that practice quietly in the dark. I am from another tradition, but because of how candide and authentic you speak about your practice, I will go and check you out. And maybe Ashtanga, that has never attracted me before, maybe you will be my door to this practice. Maybe not, but you have inspired me to be more commited and have faith. This is a blessing! 😉 thank you!

anonymous Dec 10, 2013 6:41pm

Kino,

The best part is you even help people in a subtle world.

This body is not yours nor are you of the body;

The body is composed of fire,water,Air,earth&ether & to these elements it will return & merge. Those who know the support of God are forever from Fear, Worry & Sorrow. So, whatever you do, dedicate it to God, & experience the eternal joy of life. – Bhagavad Gita. Namaste from India

anonymous Dec 3, 2013 1:32am

BRAVO FOR KINO!!! (Even though I am a little jealous of how great you look in your shorts;)
Keep the message going!!!

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 7:13pm

This article makes you respect you more than I did before. You are a true inspiration to our practice! I like nice things and making some money too. So what, you are awesome and loved!

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 11:27am

Kino, you are amazing. Thank you for writing this and thank you for your openness and honesty, and your dedication to Ashtanga! You have changed my practice, my teaching, and are a constant inspiration to me as a lifelong student of yoga. There will always be naysayers, especially the wider your reach, but please continue to do what you do anyway. Among the yoga teachers out there in the public sphere–along all lineages–I feel you are one of the most humble and genuine. Namaste! <3

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 10:18am

Oh Kino, you won't believe but at the moment whatever I am advancing in my yoga practice is just because of you. I started watching your videos on Youtube around in June and have been continuing since then. It is my dream to practice and learn yoga from Maysore but my financial circumstances don't allow me and honestly, your videos have been of great help and now I wish that once I would love to learn yoga from you as my guru. I also find your yoga clothes great and those who have problem with them is their choice. Fro yoga one's clarity matters the most.

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 3:00am

Well, I think you are amazing just the way you are. And no way you could please everybody…but you are doing a nice job 🙂

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 1:19am

You do well in your part and the people like the way you’re. Guruji may bless you lady

anonymous Dec 1, 2013 9:26pm

We love you, Kino. You are a teacher to be loved and shared. Keep up the good work!

anonymous Nov 22, 2013 7:42am

You just rock Kino! I admire your self confidence and the way you are able to bring an old and wise practice to the nowadays world and the nowadays people that is simply different than before! Is just perfect! I can’t way to see the yoga life style on TV! Make a reality! That would be very very nice! So they can see how you are a real yogi in all its word 😉

anonymous Nov 20, 2013 1:41pm

you go girl!

anonymous Nov 20, 2013 1:10pm

Kino, rock on! Not only are you a wealth of inspiration and valued information/teachings….but your spirit shines. Don't let the ego of others dim your light.

anonymous Oct 4, 2013 1:23pm

YOU ROCK!!!!!

anonymous Sep 29, 2013 7:06pm

Kino, you are inspirational! I love your videos. I purchased your book and am reading that along with light on the yoga sutras and yoga mala. I just finished ligjt on life. I’m taking it easy as a hamstring strain heals (I’m 55 but in super shape & was a gymnast when younger!). I ‘d love to take teacher training from you someday. Can’t wait for your next mantra album!!! I love your shorts & I think it’s encouraging to see your muscles and movement rather than pants. Thank you!

anonymous Sep 19, 2013 2:26pm

I am also convinced that Yoga will make the world a better place to live.
And I hope and pray that many many women find the courage to be like you, Kino.
Because if they do this world wiil be a better place too. Skin is divine. It's time for FreedOM.
You are an IN-SPIR(I)aTion!
So- Rock on!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 3:59am

Kino you are awesome and I can't wait to see you in Amsterdam!

anonymous Sep 10, 2013 12:21pm

I love you, your clothes, your sincerity, your passion, your knowledge, and your generosity. I would consider it a privilege to be in a class with you, and have my butt in the air in a video of a yoga class that was going to be shown around the world to inspire others to investigate yoga.

You rock. If those colleagues don't want to play with you, there are millions of others who do. 🙂

anonymous Jun 5, 2013 5:34pm

Hello,
Thank you Kino for a lovely letter. One thing WELL DONE GIRL!!!
I am a new yogi and been practising yoga for an about a year…
Your YouTube movies inspired me and I think movie about Mysore was great.
I am absolutely shocked that anyone said some bad things about you ( I dont know you really… ) but commenting on your shorts or blonde hair its absolutely sick and all those people need to grow up.
For me you are doing great job. I learned a lot from you and THANK you that you are.
Whatever we do we always find people how will like us or not… but our lifes is not really to pleased everyone because that is not possible.
I am just wondering …. why other yogi are so afraid of you… what do they have to hide? Ashtanga yoga is great…. how will I found it if u won’t be on YouTube or Google ?

Thank you for post
Well DONE
and see u soon…
xxx

anonymous May 30, 2013 4:12am

Kino, I am very new to yoga and watched some of your explanatory videos. They are very helpful and I think you do the right thing to present yoga the way you do, I meant the way to present yoga to people. I tried to follow your explanations and it helped to understand better. Thank you very much.

anonymous May 23, 2013 4:45am

Lets just say that after a longgggg practice of Sivananda yoga, i managed a half lotus after watching your You Tube post! Now I gently get into half lotus first thing in the morning for my Pranayam practice.

Keep up the brilliant work…OM TAT SAT!

Neha

anonymous May 14, 2013 8:10am

Watched you both on elephantjournal and web. you are fabulous, CERTAINLY NOT SLUTTY. Jois School is world fame one like the Pune one. __Your body postures are well done, easy to confuse anyone in its simplicity in its complexity. Wonderful, God bless you. __If you find it anyway helpful, kindly visit http://opsudrania.blogspot.com/ for some theoretical details. It is freely available and I did it free for all to benefit in my Indian generosity in the interest of humanity.

anonymous May 3, 2013 5:05am

Reading your post, I really feel what you have been through and I salute you for standing up for your own beliefs and values in this situation. What a difficult thing it is, to stand in your power and for what you believe in, when others are being so judgmental and critical. You are quite right, it is your choice, your body and you have every right to wear whatever you choose to without having to face criticism. Also, people get so stuck in their ideas of right and wrong, that there is no flexibility in their thinking and so they project outside of themselves and are critical towards others who are doing what they unconsciously wish they had the courage to do! Over time, traditions naturally develop and change, and there will be resistance to this, but things cannot stay the same forever. People are cautious of new technology and new ways of doing things. It is important to live the life you love, and to honor your choices and honor other people's, and so yes it may have been a good idea to ask others if they minded being filmed and respect their choices too, but you were naive to this and are willing to look at yourself and apologize. Thank you for your post, it is great to find like minded, inspiring women with pioneering spirits. I am glad that you have chosen to acknowledge and accept that not everyone likes what you are doing, and yet are willing to carry on anyway and live out your dreams! Best of luck, I will look out for your videos on youtube!

anonymous Apr 19, 2013 3:07pm

First off, I'm an Indian and a woman. My grandfather practised twice a day, every day – just to stay alive. So yoga is theoretically in my blood. Any comment as to your clothing choice is insane. No one can do advanced postures wearing a lot of clothing. Secondly, as a teacher, how can your students understand what you are expecting them to do without being able to see your body and mimic the action?
I don't know you but everyone that has met you where I practice has nothing but positive things to say about you. People should pay more attention to their small minds than your small shorts.
Lastly, stop your explanations and apologies. Any effort to react takes away your ability to act and you have far too much to do educating people about their physical practice. Maybe you pissed some people off by doing something they didn't like in hindsight – well unless you intended to hurt or exploit them, welcome to the world of people. There are only two times that you will be criticized (1) when you are doing something wrong (2) when you are doing something right.

anonymous Apr 10, 2013 6:23pm

Simply love you for EVERYTHING that you are 🙂 (I could write a lot more but that pretty much sums it up!!) Shine on!!

anonymous Apr 10, 2013 6:21pm

Kino, I have never met you but I am aware of you as a member of the worldwide ashtanga family. I believe that there is as many types of yoga as there are people in the world, each one of us practices in our own way and some spread the word of yoga differently than others. There is no wrong way to practice yoga as such. Tradition is not rigid, after all everything had to start from somewhere, so what might be called tradition today was possibly controversial when it was first started. When Krishnamacharya first started teaching westerners, he was considered to be breaking with tradition, if he hadn’t, would any of us today know about yoga!! So for what my opinion is worth, keep doing what feels right to you and let others worry about themselves. There is a saying I was raised with that seems to be perfect to finish my comments with, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Namaste Kino.

anonymous Apr 10, 2013 6:12am

you can only be the best you you can be. Keep up the great work. love this blog and youtube channel. peace and love~soul journey

anonymous Apr 8, 2013 4:06pm

I just read this, stumbled upon it trying to find a vid of you practicing padmasana and tolasana (b/c it's KILLING me right now to not be able to do them RIGHT NOW). I find your teaching refreshing, inspirational, fun, vibrant, humble, and stirring all at the same time. I love that you come to your students open and honest and caring and it comes across in your teachings on vid. I'm 45, started yoga a couple years ago, am amazed at the calmness it's given me. I started a regular practice the day after my mom died b/c I didn't know what else to do and couldn't stop my spinning head. I watch your vids, perhaps, a bit obsessively so I can break it all down to build the poses. I look forward to being able to come to a workshop. Mostly, right off, I wanted the solitude yoga practice offers and hoped like hell to find serenity. I was surprised to find both and a sense of community. At least mostly. What I loved after a personal journey of 100 days of yoga, were the shoulders, abs, legs, sense of accomplishment and, yes, even a peacefulness I hadn't had in years. I'm a selfish yogi. I work my ass off at work and during practice, it's MINE. I love the people I practice with and that there isn't embarrassment or judging in my vinyasa studios. Because I watch/practice your videos, I finally decided to throw myself to the world of mysore style and find ashtanga studio to progress further. I don't think i would have without watching your videos and learning the subtlety, fluidity, peacefulness of an authentic practice. Thank you for that, really.

I think the shorts and brightness of the clothes are fabulous. Isn't yoga about having brightness in spirit? Well, then, who's to say we can't have it in our clothes, too? Maybe they're just jealous. It doesn't matter, you do what you do and you do it really well. Much appreciated! Kirstan

anonymous Mar 21, 2013 7:38pm

Does anyone know how many times Kino wrote 'I'?

My calculator burst into flames when trying to add them up.

Talk about self-obsession.

anonymous Mar 14, 2013 8:51am

[…] The article this post addresses by Kino is at http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/02/confessions-of-a-loved-hated-ashtangi-kino-macgregor/ […]

anonymous Mar 13, 2013 3:48pm

I've only just come across this post.
Yoga on TV?
If TV had been around in India at the time of Patanjali, he would have had his own channel and Buddha would have been on channel 0 live from 'the tree' and their teachings would have spread around the world and we may have avoided so much shit. But they didn't have TV then – but we do now – and it's quite unbelievable that yoga is not on it and at least daily.
I agree 100% with all you say – and this anti-money thing or money and yoga not going together is poppycock.
All that money does to a person is exaggerate their true self so a kind and generous person will be even kinder whereas as asshole who gets more money just becomes a bigger asshole.
People want to know about or know more about yoga.
I wrote a post to my blog at http://kevollier.com/ about my attending one of your workshops in London, England and it is the all time number 1 post at my blog and has been for 7 months! – and my blog isn't all about yoga
– so anyway GO Kino! 🙂

anonymous Mar 6, 2013 6:49am

I am with you, Kino. You are an inspiration.

anonymous Feb 23, 2013 11:06am

Kino, I am from California and you are inspirational as fuck. I don't give a shit that you wear shorts. All your videos are awe-inspiring. I've been trying for months just to nail the "down-dog float to press-to-handstand" and I'm almost there. It's all thanks to you. People who hate you can go fuck themselves. I, too, am an entrepreneur and the only thing that drives me is my own ambition to HELP others and TEACH others. You say you aren't proud of your accomplishments, but fuck that, BE PROUD because you are doing amazing girl. Much love. I say rep you and esther ekhart on my website at http://www.antranik.org because your dedication and commitment is very genuine.

anonymous Feb 23, 2013 3:16am

Kino – you're awesome. Dont change, dont apologise. Be happy. You give so much.

We love you.

anonymous Feb 22, 2013 4:03pm

I have been so inspired by Kinos dvds and youtube videos. I find her instructions helpful and hope in her positive attitude. I taught my first vinyasa class today and if I am so fortunate as to pass anything on to others I owe it all to teachers such as Kino. Namaste and thank you for being YOU.

anonymous Feb 20, 2013 6:44am

[…] […]

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 11:12pm

Great that you are having so much positive response and I agree with most of this stuff as well, so won't repeat. Just one thing however, at one point you mention that you don't mind whether people who you attract the attention of come to your yoga classes or anyone elses, which is highly admirable. If that is the case, why not post video clips of other teachers on your wall, blog, site etc. They seem to be only clips of yourself.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 3:56pm

Well …. Lots of advanced teachers don't spread themselves all over the net and have a much more modest way of being. Kino may be lovely but she is also narcissistic and highly ambitious.
Perhaps its the 'I want it all' attitude people don't like? I am really very spiritual but why can't I be a rampant capitalist and self publicist as well?
Sure, you can do yoga in hot pants, that's your choice but when you do you will find your very public clips followed by lots of offers to 'jizz on your feet' etc, which perhaps, just perhaps
, would not have pleased PJ or even some other teachers who do not rabidly promote themselves as a brand.
If as you say these are you being a 'bad lady' then tone it down a bit? So you practice six times a week … Well sorry … So what?
And if people are upset with you then why do this publicly AND repost the video?

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 10:03am

love you and your videos..

And the fact is that you can get sued. And considering that you are a 'brand', and you own a business, it can be for a lot of money.
http://www.webvideozone.com/public/88.cfm http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html

Pulling the video or not for you does not have to be an ethical decision. If you don't it can get really expensive!

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 8:00am

Kino, you are THE Teacher who inspired me to the ashtanga yoga path, I remember I googled yoga, I was trying to find what I needed, and I saw a picture and a video of you teaching ashtanga. I discovered the benefits of ashtanga through you and just in a moment of my life I needed inspiration and power. I was lucky and was able to participate to one of your workshop and just can’t wait for the next time. You travel the world for people, you bring hope and love. Your classes, books, videos, clothes are amazing. People are different, we think different, we live different, so what, as long as we all have the same goal… Shanti…Peace… . LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINOH BHAVANTU…may all beings everywhere be happy and free, and MAY THE THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS OF MY OWN LIFE CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY TO HAPPINESS AND FREEDOM AND INSPIRES US TO PERFORM ACTIONS THAT BENEFIT ALL BEINGS, human and non human alike.You brought this to me and I’ll always THANK YOU for that. You rock Kino. Peace and Love, Joëlle

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 7:25am

No ones cares about your shorts or your mascara. If you can teach a SAFE, spiritually relevant Ashtanga class, then you are truly unique in this world and by all means keep up the good work.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 7:18am

Great that you are having so much positive response and I agree with most of this stuff as well, so won't repeat. Just one thing however, at one point you mention that you don't mind whether people who you attract the attention of come to your yoga classes or anyone elses, which is highly admirable. If that is the case, why not post video clips of other teachers on your wall, blog, site etc. They seem to be only clips of yourself.

anonymous Feb 19, 2013 6:08am

Kino, you are an inspiration to all yogis and women in particular. I agree and trust completely what you say and what you do and I am honoured to be one of your students. You are doing a great job of spreading the Ashtanga yoga practice to the world. There will always be people who critisize things you do but that's their problem, not yours. Its just human nature to judge and this type of criticism is childish.
Press on!!!! I love you and Tim…you are great teachers!!!

anonymous Feb 18, 2013 9:19am

Thank you Kino for your generosity and for all that you do. I live thousands of miles from you, but your teaching has changed my practice.

anonymous Feb 17, 2013 5:46pm

Kino – Honor to you. You passed on a nuance of your practice at a seminar, which I have been able to adopt, and has which has been a steady part of my practice for the last five years. It's been very helpful. So, while exposed to you and your teaching of Ashtanga for just a day, you made a lasting and very positive impression. I personally believe that you demonstrate just the right blend of reverence for Astanga (and for those who came before you), and for the contemporary South Florida world in which we practice Yoga.

I find it healthy to see your response to critism in the public forum and the light of day. Namaste.

anonymous Feb 17, 2013 3:14pm

Kino at first I admit I found your shorts a little too short then I was like gee she is in Miami those Miami people! You are very inspiring-to see a woman doing the arm balances especially is very motivating, and I agree-as women now we should have a choice in how we present ourselves. Our bodies are our own and yet society still has a sense of power and privelege over women's bodies-basically we are a commodity to make money. Yet the body is also beautiful, magic and a blessing, it's all in your intention and yes you can't control how others see you. WE all see through the lens of our own conditioning. Keep teaching and spreading the word, it is best that someone who is truly versed in Ashtanga (who studied with Guru-ji directly,) be the one to take it to the streets! Blessesings, Kala

anonymous Feb 17, 2013 1:38pm

Well Done … Keep on Shining Sister …

anonymous Feb 17, 2013 12:17pm

Who cares about short shorts, nice hair, and makeup? If that is all people can see, that is their issue. Plus it's hot as hell in those rooms, who would want to wear sweatpants?! You know your stuff and you are inspiring people to discover yoga. Whether their motives are to better their lives or to better their abs has nothing to do with you. From what I've heard and witnessed by your YouTube videos (haven't taken a live class yet), you offer something valuable. Teachers with small followings are helped indirectly by those who choose to be in the spotlight because the benefits of yoga are more familiar. In the same way as Dr. Oz recommending a certain herb, local herb stores become saturated with people wanting that herb because they now know the benefits. You and those like you are doing the same thing.

anonymous Feb 15, 2013 7:23am

Kino, follow your heart. Stay true to yourself. Like the popular saying goes, "Haters are gonna hate". You are a phenomenal resource and an excellent representative of everything that Ashtanga is. Keep shining your bright light and don't worry about all this other stuff.

anonymous Feb 14, 2013 4:16pm

It's all just the never ending stream of consciousness,what ever arises is always only temporary!
Just go with the flow Kino, feel the fear and do it anyway with the love you have for Ashtanga, know every little thing will be alright :-).
Hey Tim how you doing my Man!

anonymous Feb 14, 2013 10:31am

As the Ashtanga Elite's power is challenged !!! …………………. Kino marches on !!! You Go Girl !!!

anonymous Feb 14, 2013 8:58am

Thank you so much for your vulnerability and honesty. I truly believe that when we stay true to ourselves, all else falls into place. You have re-iterated that for me.

anonymous Feb 13, 2013 3:56pm

Kino; I just discovered elephant and it led me to look at you work as an Astanga master. I guess as a guy with a dual Indo-Am background, I feel I can weigh in a bit on your experience. First off, I have a typical undisciplined mind of your average single American guy. I've also begun to discover the joy of yoga a as a personal practice. Seeing you practice is shocking in many ways. You're a young and attactive yet you have developed your practice to a level well beyond your years. American men may not see an issue with your appearance (other than that it's a turn on and they want to see more). Traditional Indian men especially from ancient traditions of Hinduism are extremely conservative when it comes to any reforms to what they see as a pure practice (untouched by modernization). You, for them represent the future. The fact that the future comes in a young female form stirs passion in men, making it difficult to accept change. I've heard stories of Yogi's deep in their mediative development get set back by entertaining the slightest sexual thought.

    anonymous Jul 15, 2013 7:52am

    These yogis aren't very advanced then, are they?

anonymous Feb 11, 2013 1:51pm

I agree with Eddie, if it is going to be someone out in that very public domain, then it is far better it is someone Guruji certified, who is part of the lineage. I have a fantastic teacher, also certified, and I can see the integrity in you very clearly. As long as we are asking the question, am I deceiving myself we are always fine; anyway the practice itself will not let us lie. Take heart; it is the practice that matters, and generosity.

anonymous Feb 10, 2013 10:19am

Ah Kino, I'm so sorry any of this needed to be said in the first place. I've never had a problem with your clothing, and I've always been extremely grateful for your super helpful videos. You are most of all a brilliant woman, Kino. You are brilliant. I don't know how you can talk so fast and make sense! 🙂 Your videos are PACKED with super helpful, detailed tips. No other yoga teacher I've ever met or seen online can match your quality of videos. And I don't feel any striving from you, that friction that comes from "wanting more" — I see no conflict in you; you are in perfect resonance with your divine life path. Whatever you've achieved, you've achieved through persistence and through being 100% true to the lineage. Ashtanga everywhere should be so proud to have you — their biggest spokeswoman. What gets triggered in others when they watch you is none of your responsibility. You are true to Asthanga, true to yourself, and true to your students, that's all that matters. I'm definitely in the ADORE KINO camp.

anonymous Feb 10, 2013 9:46am

very inspirational! i have been watching your videos for so long and I have learned so much from you., keep doing what you're doing~~ *and I absolutely love the video as well, I hope that it continues to stay available..

anonymous Feb 9, 2013 2:45pm

were the practice not asana centric, with one's stature in the community based on what poses one can/could do (at least that's my impression), i wonder if the flash and splendor people complain about (or praise, based on the comments here) would take the form it does, if it would be less about bitterness and jealousy (as noted in the comments) rather than the 'pureness' of the practice supposedly being spoiled

anonymous Feb 9, 2013 5:44am

don’t get all the self-deprecation

anonymous Feb 8, 2013 10:30pm

I think you are fantastic.

anonymous Feb 8, 2013 9:51pm

[…] woke up this morning and read a blog posting (you can click here to read it) about a yoga teacher who deals with hate and negativity on a regular basis because of […]

anonymous Feb 8, 2013 7:14am

[…] short (ha!), I am grateful for every yoga ‘celebrity’ who has brought yoga into the public eye. I don’t care about short shorts, dyed hair, makeup, social media. Quit judging and just start practicing. (Full disclosure, […]

anonymous Feb 8, 2013 3:36am

This article is good. Kino has so often irritated me, and I understand why now. I also wear small shorts (and I am a lot older than Kino!!) sometimes practice / teach with mascara. I colour my roots, and I also love beautiful (and sometimes expensive) things. If I was her, would I push myself via social media? Damn right I would! Kino is perfect as she is. Om puurnamadach purnamidampuurnat puurnamudachyate; Puurnasya puurnamaadaaya puurnamevaa-vashishyate Om shanti shanti Shantihi. (That is perfect, this is perfect. From the perfect the perfect arises Taking perfect from the perfect, the perfect alone remains Om peace peace peace.

Oh and by the way my reason for shorts has been the same as Kino. If you wear tights or leggings a lot of the balancing poses can be done more easily without engaging uddiyana bandha. Now why would a good yogi not engage her bandhas??? (even if she wears mascara?!

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 5:53pm

Kino love, I like you even more after this article!! I never knew much about you but always respected you as a pioneer in our industry, as I feel myself in some ways. And here you showed us your heart, your purity and your humanness. Thank you for shining.

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 12:58pm

thank you for sharing your knowledge! inspiring insights
come visit us in Tel- Aviv

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 11:09am

Thank you for the fascinating, honest read and sharing of your story.

However, if you have not received permission from your students, your ethics are out of line if you continue to use this video. I am a professional filmmaker, and this is the knowledge I earned and gained from my teacher.

And further, emotionally speaking re: your participants in the video – you're saying to them 'it's ok' for you to take their power (you decided for them), and that your desires are more important than theirs.
They have told you no, they have not given you permission, and that they are upset ; be kind and remove the video.

You clearly have the ability, energy, resources and appropriate knowledge to film another video.
Your desire to not want to do this speaks much to your inner character.

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 10:59am

OMG! Keno!!! Having just awakenr to the world of yoga three years ago, I ONLY WISH that I had heard of it sooner! I suffered from so many health issues; and, no physician in my geographical region ever considered recommending yoga to me. Being a healthcare professional, I feel so silly now not delving deeper much sooner. Yoga provides so much to the mind, body, and spirit that I am now on rooftops yelling to anyone who will listen. Our country is plagued with disease and sickness in one form or another. Anyone who has devoted themselves to health and well being in the manner that you have; and, who is ALSO willing to share it so freely with others is more than "OKAY" in my book! Thank you for all that you do to promote the lifestyle. You continue to be an inspiration to me and COUNTLESS OTHERS! We are taught that we reap what we sow; and no doubt, you have worked hard for your success …. nothing to apologize for … EVER! I wish you continued love and passion for all that you do! Namaste'

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 8:06am

I love you and find you to be a complete inspiration and beauty!

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 6:33am

Just keep shining your light Kino! Truly enjoyed reading this article….
Love Esther

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 5:59am

All these fawning comments are a bit silly, as well as the long winded piece which comes across as being written to generate them. A bit cloying, no? Like we need more yoga world noise (of the ashtanga variety) distracting from the core of the thing we say we do: practice yoga. Yeah, Kino, the Mysore "Mean Girls" (male and female) should generally be ignored. They can be real pieces of work. Been there, done that on both the dishing out (regretfully) and receiving end on myriad topics. At the end of the day, I could care less if you practiced in a leopard skin thong in clown makeup. Everybody just go do your yoga and keep your eyes on your own mat (and let's revisit this topic in a decade or two to see how silly it all really was.)

    anonymous Feb 14, 2013 10:10am

    Really? Then by your logic, why would you even bother to comment? Go practice and keep quiet since that is what you are telling us. And don't revisit in 10 years because you'll be too busy for this silliness. Thnks!

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 4:54am

Even though your friends and colleagues told you they were upset that you made this video without their permission, you went ahead and posted it here again anyways. What I see here is self-absorption at the expense of others.

    anonymous Feb 14, 2013 10:07am

    If that is all you got from this entire article, you need to do a bit of soul searching and re-reading. Why wouldn't she post it, she already posted it on all her channels and sites? It is entirely relevant to this article.

anonymous Feb 7, 2013 2:31am

Hi Kino, I have to admit to being someone who once judged you – but practicing behind you and Tim in Mysore all those mornings taught me to respect you and your practice – and helped me to recognise when I'm judging people and try to stop it!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 10:44pm

you go sistah!

First of all, people don’t like the clothes I wear. I’m not going to apologize for my choice in clothes, whether they are too small, skimpy, bright or whatever. At the risk of sounding callous and elitist, I think the discussion about telling women to cover their bodies lest they offend or stimulate someone’s sexual desire belongs to a by-gone era, not the year 20

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 9:38pm

Kino,

Loved working with you in ATX. For the record, I don’t have a problem with you commercializing ashtanga. I think the DVD could have ASHTANGA in larger lettering than your name…but who am I to judge.

And so you know, I don’t think anyone has a problem with the way you look in short shorts. You’re a beautiful woman. I think people come in the yoga studio to escape sexuality–honestly. The human reproductive organs, when sweaty from yoga, can be…something not so keen to view. All kidding aside, I think the shala is one if the few places we’re not inundated with sex. It’s certainly your right to wear what you please. The real question is: should you? And that’s something you’ll have to determine for yourself.

Also, I have a lot if respect for you for doing those arm balances with shorts. I do them in shorts every day, and slipped off for a long time.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 9:03pm

There is a great written piece by Mother Teresa called “anyway” And it basically says people will talk about you do what you do anyway.

If you end up in the public eye people are going to have an opinion, people will try to bring you down, but do it anyway.

There is nothing wrong with being too BIG to live small.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 8:40pm

Amazing article. Thank you so much for your humility, strength and honesty. I am so grateful for this article, Amazing. Namaste.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 7:23pm

Bravo.

To add: The 50% who respond with hate, experience that negativity for (hopefully) only a few moments out of their life. The 50% who "love" Kino, gain something from her work that transcends the emotional realm – the gift of inspiration and guidance that returns dividends.

So it's not an even split. The benefits to the group of "lovers" appreciate her growth and work far beyond what impact any negative emotions have.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:31pm

Yes, this criticism come from people who are insecure and want to say that they’re good, know more.. blah blah even maybe they are. People naturally find something to say whether its true or bad, something to make it wrong when its not.. Simply because everyone has it own opinion, and Yes we can’t please everybody and justify to everyone as well…

Important is that you focus more on the positive side and continue inspiring people for what you do, you’re such an inspiration for me first and I’m sure more than thousand(s) others..

There’s nothing wrong by your choices of clothes, as a teacher is good to show how your body moves on all position and us student could easily see ourselves and understand to better apply in our own practice.. If all teacher could be like that it could be better, but they simply not.. lot’s of morals, custom or even audience issue or consideration.. so be it…

I like your way of teaching though I only know and see you online by watching your videos and seeing your awesome pictures.. You inspired me to practice Ashtanga.

I agree to KEPuckett
“What resonates most in this article is the assertion that we each have our own path and our own dharma. It is the human condition to project and judge. At the end of the day, at the end of your life, what matters most is that you can say you were true to your path, you applied yourself wholly and fully to the work you are here to do. Anyone can take issue with your path, your style, your person, but only you have the capacity to discern if the criticism holds value in application or if the value resides in a lesson about humanity, humility, and ego. Fortunately for you, Kino, you have a strong, rooted practice that helps you to be both discerning and open. Thank you for sharing it so earnestly and honestly.”

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 5:56pm

This criticism clearly comes from the insecurities of others. Anyone who has spent any time with Kino, knows what an amazingly knowledgable and humble teacher she is. She is nothing but an inspiration!!!! We love Kino – short shorts and all!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 4:40pm

What resonates most in this article is the assertion that we each have our own path and our own dharma. It is the human condition to project and judge. At the end of the day, at the end of your life, what matters most is that you can say you were true to your path, you applied yourself wholly and fully to the work you are here to do. Anyone can take issue with your path, your style, your person, but only you have the capacity to discern if the criticism holds value in application or if the value resides in a lesson about humanity, humility, and ego. Fortunately for you, Kino, you have a strong, rooted practice that helps you to be both discerning and open. Thank you for sharing it so earnestly and honestly.

Regarding 'Mysore Magic' complaints: It may not have been an issue of disliking your methods as much as an issue of respect and privacy that caused some of your mat neighbors concern. It is usually the on set producer or production assistant who is responsible for gathering signed video release forms on film sets. From the credits on 'Mysore Magic' it is clear this was an intimate crew. However, whether it is a full blown network production, an indie YouTube clip, or a snapshot for your personal viewing, the way to honor and respect those you are filming is to ask first.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 3:41pm

Love your videos, love your writing, love your honesty. Also, love your little boy shorts and blonde hair. The world needs teachers across a wide spectrum of styles and temperaments.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 3:39pm

I am new to yoga – barely a year – and watching this and hearing your words is inspiring…permission actually to hear, it's a practice and it takes time. It's a growth of physical, mental and spiritual awareness. Definitely touching into my own repetitive voices during a practice, especially during meditation. Thank you!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 3:29pm

[…] yogi named Kino McGregor – maybe you’ve heard of her. (you can read all about it here) I’ll be honest – I judged her a little bit too — why? was I jealous? (probably […]

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 2:40pm

Very awesome. I agree with you that we should wear (or not wear!) what we want. Puritanical clothing standards are silly and obstructive.

Love your spirit. Keep rocking it! Thank you for the inspiration.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 2:22pm

what Kino is saying is:
"why are you so interested in what I do? do your thing and quit judging me".
damn right. one may not like her, it is up to that one. but she is essentially right.
or, like dear old Sri KPJ used to say: "Do YOUR practice, and all is coming"
(and not do MY practice and all is coming). have respect, give thanks, be loyal, practice, learn, advance, go your own way.
kaivalya, pramana, abhyasa, vairagya.
very clear.YOGA, isn't it???

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 2:09pm

I've been following you for about a year, Kino. Your Primary Series DVD is fantastic, as are ALL of your youtube videos. They are fantastic resources for anyone who practices and/or teaches. I'm so sad to hear that people are criticizing your choice of clothes, or the fact that you color your hair. Don't we have more important things to focus our attention on? Thank you also for your dedication to Ahimsa by choosing and speaking out about vegetarianism. I wish more yogi's would make that connection.
You are an inspiration to me and many others – keep doing what you're doing.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:52pm

Kino, I am not proud of it, but I certainly have been guilty of envying your beauty – WHILE at the same time bookmarking a truckload of your youtube videos. I use them regularly and look forward to meeting you soon. Come back to Atlanta. I look forward to learning from you.

If there's any way to re-edit the Mysore video, it might be worth your time to show respect for the feelings of those who feel wronged. That said, there may simply be other feelings there – of envy or of a mistaken sense of greater authenticity – that are impossible to placate.

I fully agree with Eddie Stern – if yoga is to have a wildly popular public persona, let it be you. Thanks for all your proxy help with my wobbly pincha.

Susan Tanner

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:40pm

Great response Kino, We are all human, we are all different, we all have something to offer. I'm glad to read your comeback to what happened. Go girl.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:30pm

Dear Kino,
I am not Ashtanga practitioner but yes, I am yoga practitioner and teacher, and your honesty and clarity is just inspiring. You don't have to explain anything, neither apologise, your intention is clear and you bring yoga to many. What about those yogis turning back to you? Where is the yoga practice in this? Or…are we yoga practitioners only on the mat and we forget it as soon as we leave it? It says a lot about others, not about you. But eventually they will come to it too, as we are all in different stages on the path. Sending LOVE to your way and everybody else 🙂

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:19pm

As I understand, there is a code that Ashtanga yoga be done indoors and not for public viewing. Maybe that is what the clamor is all about. Privacy is a touchy matter. As Kino said herself, the practice is very private, but seriously, there wasn't in my humble opinion anyone singled out… Shakti was revealed, if you haven't seen it before go into a Mysore room. I say this all the time, quoted from my teacher, "I practice my yoga, you practice yours". Kino you are an inspiration not just to me but to others… And by the way, I am now inspired to get back to practice and make it to Mysore. Kudos on a great job, sistah!!!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:07pm

[…] […]

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 12:23pm

Do your thing, girly! I love your videos. You are an inspiration! <3

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 12:03pm

Anytime you film someone and put that out into public, you should have their permission. You should edit your video to remove those who don't want to be seen. It is the respectful thing to do. Your desire to keep the present video online is based in ego desire and it steals other people's energy for your own gain at their expense. Your video is beautiful but you should take it down until it does not exploit the privacy of others while in practice. For a lot of us practice is a place to withdraw from the world and be private. To have my sanctuary pop up online unexpectedly would be a shock and I would feel totally let down. You have many great videos out there, and no doubt will put out many more in the future. There is no need to keep this one up and continue upsetting those affected by exposure in it.

    anonymous Feb 11, 2013 2:56am

    I agree w you Tanya. I am a Bikram teacher and the issue of clothing- obviously we at Bikram wear short shorts- its necessary it's practical- its' hot! So the clothing aspect is a non- issue. However, I lived and worked in the Middle East and for my own reasons I highly prefer to NOT be photographed in my yoga clothes/in practise. For some cultures such minimalist clothing denotes a negative character.
    However the idea of being filmed and uploaded to a public space really upsets me. So I understand why there is negative comments re this by your fellow yogi's. As you said your from Miami and hey in the west clothing does not equate directly to morality/character etc. So In my humble opinion you must take it down and edit it. It is not okay to film without consent. It's highly probable that you simply over looked this- because it is a foreign view to your basic character. I have not seen your video's- in fact the class looked interesting and yes you come across very well. Its' your innate talent. But people's practise, and yes we follow different teachings is very personal and you must get approval. To show link here before it's edited- is not right. Thats all- the other issues are non issues and of course business – success in outside world does not hinder internal progress. But edit it!

    anonymous Feb 14, 2013 9:59am

    Uhm, my understanding is that they were all OK with being in the video (as part of the movie or whatever it was) but not OK with Kino using footage for her youtube channel. So really, we're talking about people having a personal issue with Kino. This smacks of jealousy , envy, and worse, being TWO FACED!! They need to get over themselves. As a yoga teacher for the last 10 years, one of the negative aspects I've learned from practitioners/teachers behavior is the elitist self righteous attitude they espouse as if it is part of the practice. If people are upset, they should cry their tears until they have no more tears, be mad as long as it takes until they realize they're only hurting themselves and THEN get over it.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 12:01pm

Kino, all I have to say is that your teachings have given me a tremendous amount of insight into my yoga practice. You communicate things in a way that are easy for me to understand, and you sometimes say things that change my practice in a profound way.(I often repeat to myself something you said in one your videos or website: "Don't worry about the external form of the posture. Be patient. Let the work happen deep within").

You make ashtanga much more accessible to me 🙂 Thank you!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 12:01pm

Man. What a dilemma. And it's hardly about yoga. Yoga would be the ticket here actually. This is about your image and the perceived taint on it. Which is the root of all the suffering here. You and the folks in the video. The fear of dismantling or have taken away what you put all your energy into, including your reputation, must really pull on something deep to elicit this request- which overall is asking for permission and maybe forgiveness. You can certainly have those from me. Not that it makes any difference or was even needed. Yoga can't be taught. Nobody teaches yoga. They only support the method. Yoga begins with application of the method. The inner application specifically. What you do is getting it out there and giving people a chance to have it for themselves. Yoga is always about "aloneness" even from the first stages, and we use the method to groom ourselves for this understanding.

You seem like a sweetheart for sure. I've watched your videos and think they are well done and that can't be easy. Its admirable what you have tried to accomplish. Plus all the dedication to getting it going. Which includes the practice of the krama. You seem to make a good connection with lots of people Bravo. People can love you. When a few don't it hurts. I doubt they hate you, but if they do its about them. Still hurts. But really, it's empty. Only this now is something that holds the essential meaning we give it. Past and future are empty as is our essential nature. Yay for that. Then this too shall pass.

I've been on this path as long as you- longer since I'm older a bit, and I have found the yoga scene in Mysore to be the best and the worst of what's going on in the yoga world. Worse but still stable now that Guruji has passed. The drive to be considered close to the source and an authority on that source are paramount to actual yoga practice in Mysore for some people and its been going on for years. People want it because they get to have power and notoriety. Ashtanga yoga in a large way, has been infiltrated by athletes who excel at the krama then claim to speak with authority for traditional yoga and the lineage, without ever once expressing an understanding of what Patanjali taught or even being able to convey the basic script structure laid out in the yoga sutra. The body and the Krama have become performance pieces that engender overblown ego clinging among the mass of students there. When I hear "what pose are you on" I can't help but think this person still doesn't get yoga. After i choke down a little bile i think of saying, "What pose does it look like I'm on?" I don't though.

I recently was invited to speak about Patanjali Yoga Sutra to a group of new teachers who had completed a yoga teacher training. I was surprised to hear that only 1 out of 20 had heard about Patanjali. The one had heard about him from me. One of the questions that was very central to this groups association was how to have a confident voice when teaching. I was totally inspired to tell them that knowledge and application of the logic presented by Patanjali would remove all doubts and the asana krama could then be what it was simply intended to be- therapy.

People need this therapy to understand yoga sutra. Yoga is all about observing transition and reducing our karmic expression of needless waste of energy. They need to know this most of all because the body won't last, our image of ourselves will fail us. So we need to locate what aspect of our selves that won't fail. It's there in Patanjali.

Last thing. In the time I'veI taught ashtanga yoga method it has been increasingly difficult to get a sweat out of people. Guruji's method is working through all these off shoot yoga styles and people are getting fit. I think his adage 99/1 is hitting an evolutionary tier. It's time for a lot of folks to focus on the 1. As a teacher it's getting to be high time to offer access to Patanjali (not just ashtanga precepts) lest folks are relegated to thinking the need blow their mind and body every class. What postpones this event, teaching Patanjali, is a lack of study in the sadhak. lack of study is exemplified by there being no results that correlate with the results Patanjali says we should be getting. And this will be a big deal big deal because this lack puts into question what we were really doing when we thought ourselves "the teacher".

Good luck and thanks for the video you sent me a few years back. Remember, it's all impermanent. This struggle eventually will end and we will be forgotten. But also liberated. Get ready. One lifetime might not be enough.

I wish you well. You are kind of famous. Sorry it hurts.

Casey in Portland Oregon.

    anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:41pm

    This is a beautiful reply/response. Thoughtful, lovely and full of solid wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 11:53am

Hi Kino, I have practiced with you several times. You have always struck me as the real deal, with a little bit of pizzazz and marketing skill on the side. I agree with Eddie Stern's comment, it will happen anyway, so I'm pleased it's you.

I like the odd fancy purse or pair of shoe. I actually feel less shallow being then when then when I strove to be a perfect yogi in all things, with correct diet, correct organic cotton accessories, correct fancy vegan foodstuffs, you name it. It was very ego driven. This was the same period where I was obsessed with one day mastering third and judged everyone's commitment to practice by what pose they were one. The more authentically ashtangi I perceived myself to be, the better I felt about myself. I only learned how wrong I was when I became disabled and could no longer move my body. Then I finally learned to practice yoga and realized I had been an idiot.

There are a lot people like the former me kicking around the ashtanga world and we're judgmental. It seems in this case to be tinged with misogyny, plus a bit of jealousy. After all, not only were you certified by Guruji, you also look good in your shorts. No need to apologize for it. Most of us have very specific reasons for our yoga clothing choices and they are no one's concerns but ours.

Recording without consent was a mistake, but I think your response of responding to public vitriol with a public response is a good one. Let those who wish to publicly malign you do it behind their real names.

My disability is better now and I can do more asana than I could before, but I have not returned to the ashtanga world. I find it hard to face the judgment of the people like the former me because I practice primary and likely will only be able to practice primary for the rest of my life, and with difficulty. I'm not talking about people like you, Kino, but those like your catty detractors. Yoga know-it-alls, if you will. I'll take a yogi in a pair of heels with a sense of open acceptance over that any day.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 11:33am

I spent many years studying martial arts, and saw the same type of sniping. In fact, it was worse (I actually witnessed challenges to fight "to the death" being thrown around). The haters are part of a public life, and can really be over the top, so all you can do is make the best of it.

They don't like your clothes? Well, I find that they help me to see what you are doing and make minute adjustments. They don't like your videos, Tweets and blogs? Well, I don't happen to have an Ashtanga teacher handy, so I really appreciate them. Your YouTube channel is bookmarked on my PC.

Finally, when I first saw your videos, I immediately had two impressions. First, that you truly love teaching yoga. Second, that the you have the same precision in your movement and detail in your instructions as people whom I consider to be truly great martial arts teachers. These two impressions are what draws me to your videos.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 11:30am

Thank you for being so inspired to women for don't let their dreams come true went things get hard. I personally don't identified at all with Ashtanga practice, precisely because it seems so aggressive. But I definitely can admire the work you have done (as yogui, bussineswomen and teacher ) I can see how much you can spire other women to not be afraid to be strong and feminine at the same time; to be yogui and not to lose their personality; to be perfect and humble at the same time.
Thank you for being YOU !!!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 10:26am

You go Kino!

I have found many of your videos to be extremely insightful and they make some of the more confusing poses seem easier to understand. I also love that Mysore film because I have not been to Mysore yet, so it helps to give me a sense of what it is like there; and because I have just come back from my first trip to India, it makes me feel happy to see some of the country and life again, it helps me stay connected to that feeling of being in India.

The social media world is a tricky place: it helps us stay connected to the people we don't get to see often (like family, in my case) and be exposed to things that we normally wouldn't see outside our daily lives, but it can be such a drain on the mind and energy. So I do hope that you give yourself time away from it all; to be "unplugged" and not have your attention pulled in so many directions and hearing the voices of so many different people. I just know how valuable that time is for me, and I'm not on all these things nearly as much as you are, so I hope you give yourself some time like that.

I have also been fortunate enough to practice with you in person via a weekend workshop and I can say that you are an even better teacher in person. You always honored where this yoga tradition comes from and you clearly had a lot of knowledge about the practice, which can only be gained from years of a dedicated personal practice. It was very easy for me to trust my practice to your teaching during the weekend that I practiced with you.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your courage and your spirit. You've got my support 🙂

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 10:10am

I love this article which I find to be about so much more than the title suggests. As a new yoga teacher I sometimes struggle with a huge wish to shout to the world about yoga and all it can give you and a need to show the yoga community I am humble. Your words reassure me that if we are authentic, true to ourselves and our dharma then this is the best we can do – and as we know being all of that does not make everyone love us – and that is in fact not what we are asking from it. Your words smacked of authenticity so I know you will continue to be successful – hell I might even be persuaded to try ashtanga one day. Keep the faith my dear. D

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 10:09am

The first Ashtanga video i ever did was one of yours on My Yoga On line. i quickly began practicing the primary series and now attend monthly guided practices but have yet to make it to Mysore. I am also anxious to share Ashtanga with my community. (where there are no Ashtanga teachers practicing) I have begun to host an informal group practice at my studio and hope this grow into something more. Thank you for this article. It encourages me to stick with my intentions in spite of the obstacles in the way& judgement from other people. (I have only been practicing Ashtanga since June of this year) Here is to spreading the love of Ashtanga all over the world….namaste.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 10:02am

Proud to be the publisher of this strong woman.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 9:53am

You go, Kino! Your passion for the practice is awesome and I love your videos. If there will be a show about yoga, I'd like to work for you and help you produce the best yoga show ever. Keep growing!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 9:45am

I would have been thrilled to practice with
you and been in your video! You are an inspiration to many!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 9:11am

Kino,

I look forward to your videos!!! There are always going to be "haters" I believe it just shows insecurities in themselves and jealousy. You are a strong and beautiful woman!! Please keep doing what you are doing because you INSPIRE so many of us with your words and videos! I hope to meet you in person some day!! Thank you…thank you for all that you do for the yoga community!! I would love to have you come do a workshop some day at my studio in Washington state! 🙂 Desiree Ouellette Yoga

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 8:54am

To those in the yoga community making you feel that you should not be promoting your work and passion, they need to take an internal look at their own jealousy, judgments and motivations. You are a business-minded yogi and that is never something to apologize for. Let the haters hate and keep it moving!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 8:40am

Kino, you rule.
Don't worry about what people think about your shorts, you helped the practice of so many people, that is all it matters.
Your courage and determination are really admirable.
Thanksnfor all the videos which keep helping me and indirectly my students, even if I do not practice ashtanga vinyasa.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 8:28am

Your story hits and emotional chord with me as I also recently learned I was not perceived the way I thought I was projecting myself. It hurt. In fact it hurt a lot. In a sense there is a feeling of betrayal but what I have come to realize is it hurt so much because the story was all about me. As soon as I stopped thinking from my point of view and tried to see myself as the “others” apparently did I understood. We are all blobs of ego wanting this or that for ourselves and from others, somewhere along the trail the balance between giving and receiving was upset. To be clear I am not a “hater” I am a big fan and have always found in your work shops that you lead by example. But what I am trying to say is the universe gave you an alternate view of yourself, take it for what it is an awareness that wasn’t there before. But now you know, have compassion for the “haters” they are just blobs of ego… have compassion for yourself, because you too are just a blob of ego. Personally knowledge unshared is wasted, thanks for putting out what you know whether you are in shorts or a burqua makes no difference to me. I’ll take honest knowledge in whatever clothes it wears.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 8:01am

wow, love your honesty. I also love your blogs and utube teachings, they are very inspiring and very valued for a British teacher who can't get to India and lives in an area of England that is short of senior teachers, so thank-you, keep up the good work.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 7:33am

Kino,

You walk your talk. You are doing and have done the hard work that has gotten you to where you are. I admire and appreciate all you do because I am benefiting from all you share so GENEROUSLY!! That is how I see it. I do not have a teacher where I live and so I have appreciated your tips for my practice and you have inspired me.

People project their own discomforts and fears onto those who are further along the path. I am sure it is hurtful at times but you are strong and I hope you do not take it personally very often. It is about them, not you.

I actually bought one of your short shorts when I was in Miami in December and use them for my home practice…….and I am 60:) I love them and would never had dreamed it had not been inspired by you. Why NOT celebrate my beautiful body at EVERY age!!

You rock. I totally believe that this IS your dharma. That you are bringing so much more yoga to the world. Don’t falter for even a moment…………I know that you will not.

May you feel the love of all that support you and may you gain strength from all that are not able to see your gifts.

Many dis Oprah as well but she has brought SO much healing to our planet……….You just keep following your heart, Kino.

Much love, Melanie from MN.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:52am

I love you! I do laugh at your short shorts and little tops—the way my friends all laugh at the way I wear bedroom slipper boots to the studio and act as though they were intended to by worn just everywhere. From your videos, I've learned to jump through, finally eased into lotus, and rocked tittibhasana–among many other neat asana gains. I've also learned to embrace all the limbs of yoga, and it's changed my life. YOU have changed my life. As have many other instructors that will never build, or seek to build, a 'yoga empire'. So there you have it. Empirical evidence that there is room for, and a need for, both in this world. Thank you for your journey.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:52am

A simple and inescapable teaching about the reality of life is that wherever there is praise, there will be blame — the 'pairs of opposites' always travel together, even in the 'yoga world.' The practice of yoga is not a place where we are exempted from them; if anything, they are more intense and subtle, and practice — with its tapasya — is learning to bear them with equanimity. This doesn't excuse the critics; the yoga philosophers are simply pointing out that in this world, praise comes with a price.

The more that ambition is moved forward by praise and promotion, the sharper the criticism and the greater the price. This is not a criticism of you for having ambition or pursuing it. Ambition is rajas, and even the 'purists' who criticize you are still moved by rajas. It is a force of nature, which leads to actions that are neither purely 'good' nor purely 'bad,' but mixed — in their motivations, ethical justification, and results. The philosophies that point this out are not putting you down, any more than they would criticize gravity. They are simply pointing out that in pursuing a path as a teacher that accepts (and even for the sake of promotion, courts) praise, you signed up for the inevitable blame as well. Part of the process of yoga is the process of enduring both.

As a yogi, you of course know this; but it's worth pointing this out so that we don't all get too spun up over praise and blame. Which in today's yoga world seems to happen a lot.

    anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:30pm

    Thank you Doug. This is so well said. This goes for all of us, in whatever we do in our lives. Whether small or big successes. I appreciate this. Is this Doug Swenson by any chance??? Peace D.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:34am

The most important thing when we do anything in life is to have integrity, and I believe you have it. You are who you are, and you shouldnt have to change that just because you are a yoga teacher! If people have a problem with you, then they are not connecting to being "spiritual" beings….i.e. acceptance, non-judgement, universal love for all…??? etc etc….
As for those that have an issue with being filmed at mysore, fair enough, that is their choice and right. however, i do raise the question, what are they afraid of?…
Anyway, I often use your vids on youtube for help with detail of postures as they greatly compliment my own practice and the classes that I attend. And i personally don´t think that the rigidity and "closed-ness" of Ashtanga yoga is necessary – by all means, follow the lineage of the practice and keep its integrity, but there are some ashtangis out there who can be a little lacking in flexibility (pardon the pun!) which doesn´t necessarily suit all individuals and their life. I believe that spirituality and yoga are unique paths for every individual, and they will take a different shape accordingly. 🙂

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:32am

Don't listen to the "haters". What you are doing is of enormous benefit to those who are ready to look past the outward appearance of your presentation of the practice and see the heroic spirit with which you present it. Isn't that the whole point of yoga after all: too look past the appearance of things and see its essence? It takes tremendous strength and grace to put yourself in the lime-light sending a message of peace and love. Anyone caught up in fear, ego, hatred, competition thinking, greed, and envy will only react to the FORM of your presentation because they are still trapped in forms (including mental ones such as dogmas and belief systems in general) and have not yet touched the formless. They somehow think that they are less because you have become great. As Tony Horton says, "do your best and forget the rest". Much love, Kino.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:32am

THANK YOU, Kino, for being an important and consistent inspiration to the different aspects of my yoga practice! Much love, Sarah.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:28am

Kino we LOVE YOU. You're awesome and inspire us daily on this incredible Ashtanga journey. Your dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism is something all should aim for. You're also gorgeous as well and I understand some people might have a problem with that, but hey, that's their problem. Keep rocking and take it easy !

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:19am

Honestly? This is all less about Kino's abilities as a teacher (wonderful, compassionate, knowledgeable, dedicated etc) and more to her newly found (in the last few years) status as a media personality. The internet has changed everything, including yoga. When I started practising Astanga about 14 years ago, there was only the trusty VHS of David Swenson to keep us company – as media and channels of media have proliferated, along with yoga' popularity so have the likes of "Media Kino" (who is a separate entity from "Teacher Kino")… I also feel slightly uncomfortable with the ' I want to spread the yoga message to as many people as possible " message. To me this sounds like spreading the Religion, and I have issue with that.. (separate post!) . Yoga in the West (lineages/authenticity etc debatable since recent research dates modern postural yoga as only being codified in 19C India/Europe) has had a steady increase since the 1950's when 'celebrity' endorsement from the likes of Yehudi Menuhin and Indra Devi helped to promote yoga as a fitness pastime…so go figure… Kino maybe just one of the long line of 'yoga promoters' on their world tours, promoting DVDs, clothes and yoga centres….Not good not bad, but just what it is…. (to evoke a yoga cliche)

I don't agree with her detractors who slam her for wearing short make up etc.. cos that is really nothing to do with her teaching, "My freedom of choice is rooted in the history of women who gave their heart and soul to feminism so that I could vote, wear mini-skirts and tiny shorts, burn my bras, go to college, pursue any career that I am qualified to do, lift up into handstand and marry whomever I want freely". Um the history of women who gave their heart and soul etc were more concerned with equal pay for equal work, the right to vote and own property.. shorts and handstands were pretty low down on their list, but nice seque!

Once you are 'out there' you are fair game and, as all Reality Show contestants experience (or most of them) the build em up knock em down syndrome… People in the blogosphere are cruel, witness in the UK the recent slamming of Academic Mary Beard, whose 'untamed' appearance (no make up, grey hair, tombstone teeth) brought her equally harsh comments. Women in the media you just can't win! Kino, you are good at what you do, keep doing what you do, but realise you are caught between a rock and a hard place, wanting to claim 'authenticity' and 'good yogi' status, whilst your public persona invites comment and controversy..

    anonymous Feb 6, 2013 8:11am

    Yup, praise and blame come with the package. If you sign on for one, you've signed on for the other. That goes for the general popularization of yoga as well: for every Yeudi Menuhin, there is a William Broad.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 5:32am

Brava!!!! If I had legs like yours I would TOTALLY rock those shorts!!!
As you said….people need to get over it!!
Life's too short. people…..there are more important things to complain about than Kino MacGregor's yoga attire.

I am so looking forward to your Moksha workshop this summer in Chicago!
Namaste

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 5:12am

Kino, I am a big supporter, and admire your generosity in sharing what you have learned with the world. Keep doing what you are doing…I really believe your actions have brought many more people to Ashtanga than if you had not followed the path you are on. Certainly, I can't see how your very educational, helpful and sincerely offered videos could drive anyone away from the Ashtanga Path! Guruji would be proud, I believe.

I find it interesting that the video offerings of David Garrigues, the other great internet ambassador of Ashtanga, don't result in the same accusations of self-aggrandizement and overt "promotion" of the Ashtanga path. (Or perhaps they do and we just don't hear from those haters as much?!) Still – I do feel there's a bit of misogyny involved with the criticism that is directed at you, and some jealousy, too.

I've tried to practice in short shorts on super hot summer days in my studio. It's absolutely soooo much harder to practice the arm balances in them vs. leggings (although garbapidasana is much easier!) Keep rocking them, good lady and continue to inspire us to work harder and better at asana practice! As soon as the weather gets warmer, I think I'll start wearing short shorts in solidarity with you!

Finally, I know I may offend folks with what I say, but, your Mysore video was much, much better than "Mysore Magic" video. I think most people would agree with this after watching both films. "Mysore Magic" felt so…elitist and self-referential that I DIDN'T want to go there after watching it. But, your video version made me feel there was some merit in making the effort (an effort I have not felt inclined to make, frankly, since I started the practice in 1997 and especially since Guruji died and the place became more Westernized.)

One question – if the same videographers filmed both your film and the "Mysore Magic" film, why didn't they ask – or know to ask – the individuals who appeared in both videos for their permission? Don't the videographers have some responsibility here as well? Or, perhaps, like you, they assumed that there would be no problem with using the footage?

    anonymous Feb 7, 2013 1:57pm

    I completely agree with you about the video's. Mysore Magic left a bad taste in my mouth.

    anonymous Feb 8, 2013 4:01am

    My understanding is that Mysore Magic was the official project for commercial release, so hopefully it got all the signoffs, while Kino's was a side project using some extra footage from them so probably the onus was on her to collect release agreements?
    I enjoyed both videos, I don't think it's about pitching one against the other.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 5:04am

Kino you straddle across the divide of traditional teaching and modern media. I agree with ES, if someone is going to do it, it should be you. For what it's worth your 9 minute You Tube video about Mysore sums up the essence and answers the question I asked you about 4 years ago "Why go to Mysore". I'm so glad you told me to go, I'm so glad I finally went and that morning Sharath called "one more" after assisting my backbends and I came up from Paschimottanasana to find you singing "good morning, good morning" on the end of my mat was a day I won't forget. Hope to practice with you somewhere this year or Mysore next year.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 5:02am

I LOVED reading this!

It’s not easy being disliked, but it’s a fact of life if you are following “your path” that people will want you to everything for them, and nothing for your self. be who you are, follow it out, forget about the critics. The disbelievers, especially prudish, puritanical American hypocrites, will always be there. Let them go off and worry about the things that don’t matter. Your Yoga practice, the impact you have made on Yoga, will ultimately speak for itself.

Stay strong.

Don’t take no shit off from anyone.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 4:55am

Kino, you are a true inspiration to me. I cannot afford any teachers and don't have the money to do it, so I definitely need someone like you to help me, which you do through your youtube channel for example. When I decided to start yoga a year ago, I was pushed by frustration of the disabilites of my own body to stretch properly and feel less painful (I am a dancer, so pain is patr of my everday life). I tried so many ways and there was always something missing, so I was told by someone that yoga helped them develop their flexibility and I started searching on youtube. I found your videos, explainin everything so well, that I got inspired to try. There were all the obstacles and desparation sometimes, but because you had already mentioned what sensation the body goes through during the different stages of the prctice, I was prepared. Plus all the exercise videos you post help me develop that extra skill to handle the postures. You are amazing and your role of mediator between the closed yoga community in Mysore and the vast public all over the world is I believe your calling. So, keep following your dreams and I will be following your advice and teaching, and I hope to meet you personally one day!!! God bless you!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 4:53am

If you had done just one small step in spiritual yoga you will know that you are not the doer of anything. So spirituality is not in a long and pride-driven curriculum. For how yoga is seen today by the people at large..you are doing great! Congratulations!

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 4:12am

I watched the video and found it beautiful and inspiring. What struck me about your article is that you stated a lot of the yogis in Mysore took offense to you. It struck me that perhaps they were in their own struggles with themselves and you became an easy target to put all their projections on. Your practice looked so effortless yet there was a fire. Something, we all strive for as yogis. I will bet you the yogis who are comfortable with their tapas and the churning that is created in their practice were not the haters. I once read something. I think on eljournal, that the tallest flower gets chopped down first. Jai.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 4:09am

I appreciate all that you bring to yoga. Be true to yourself and the rest will work itself out. Your youtube channel is both a source of knowledge and inspiration to many and it is my hope that you continue to offer this to your online students.

I wonder how many have spoken out about the billionaire backing of Jois Yoga?!? Never the less, yoga in pursuit of money is one thing, accumulating wealth both spiritual and material as a result of one's practice is another IMHO.

I wish you continued success in your journey.

Bob

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 3:41am

You know sweet Kino it is not about your shorts, make-up, hair, use of a blow dryer in India (although I wonder why bother which is a pain in the ass in India and I'm as vain as they come)…..it is about your inner quest. It doesn't matter if 500 million people tell you they love you if deep down you don't have that solid inner core. At the same time it doesn't matter if 500 million people tell you they also hate you.

Having experienced fame and fortune in my life (at the age of 17-18 and being a national title holder of Miss Teen Canada), I can tell you that what you are experiencing is the simple price for where you want to be. I also know that surprisingly enough it is often the insiders that are the most double-faced. I had students in my own school whom I taught say things behind my back, talk about my fees, criticize my school and made cynical comments such as, "oh, right, every yoga teacher wants to write a book." Many of these people also took issue when other yoga teachers in the community were receiving some prominent attention. It was always with the air of, "like who do these people they they are."

I used to wonder what Yoga was truly teaching them. I used to feel that I had failed as well as a teacher since even just before a meditation class these were the on-going discussions.

So, in short when at the front of the class you will be the object of both praise and blame. The real secret lies is not believing your 'celebrity persona' is the 'real' you or real yoga. I hope you can get that straightened out because even when it is your life it is not your whole life. I had a hard time understanding this division until one time in Mysore my own teacher clearly said, "Teaching is only one aspect of life." I had made the mistake of making it my whole life as I was so caught up with teaching, passion for practice, travel, writing, etc….and giving my mini-lectures to students.

Again, if within the inner core of what you are is not stable….any wind that rises will blow you off center. It is not easy. It has more to do with being tough and in a good way….not bitter and jealous as many people become…but knowing what you know! I hate justifying myself and had to do it for years to my family who did not understand my choices. In the end, there is no cause for more debate…and you can probably catch yourself whenever you get on that train again.

Well, we are all people…flawed and imbalanced and most often talking from our own center despite projecting it elsewhere.

It hurts, but it is more than just being OK with it all. It's really about not losing your inner quest.
This alone will be your greatest and truest feat and quest in the midst of whatever the future holds.
As Sharath once said, "as a Yogi nothing should bother you."

May God bless you. Much love.

anonymous Feb 6, 2013 1:41am

Those negative comments always come from deep dark jealosy. (Pardon my english). Others success and happiness pisses some people off. It's really sad that those exactly same people call themselves ashtangi etc…. I'm really dissapointed. It's their own god damn fault if they find mini shorts too sexy or sexual whatever, people make stereotypes and think they can see what's inside just by looking at the cover. It's like saying if you are black you can't be true yogi, if you wear mini shorts you can't be true yogi. Both sound so stupid. You know why? Because yoga is not about the outside, it's about inside and you know that. Why those good pals become mean and strange when someone reaches their dream? I still don't understand. You made me believe that I can someday become ashtangi, and now I'm going to be teacher soon, thank you <3

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 11:33pm

You are an inspiration to me since I met you in 2010 – and I am happy to visit Miami Life Center December this year. Please continue doing what you are doing. I love your blog, your tweets, your youtube-videos. They are a source of inspiration and motivation.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 11:26pm

That is a wonderful piece of writing, Kino.

Its a shame but the fact is that the higher you climb, the more publicity and followers you attract, the more you are going to attract critics, two-faced backstabbers and jealous brickbats. I'm afraid you have to accept them.

You have expressed yourself with honestly, intelligence and charm, and apologised for a naive mistake which you clearly will not repeat. You do as much or more than many other great teachers to reach out and encourage, and to change people's lives for the better. You are the good guys.

I loved practising with you this year at Purple Valley. I appreciated that you and Tim were so non-judgemental of my limited practice, which these days lacks ambition to chase new asanas and seeks only to maintain my level of physical and emotional health. I know that that is OK for me right now, but some teachers want to see me striving harder. Maybe in the future I will again become ambitious and go back to doing all the asanas I have ever learned, but right now less is more.
It was great for me that you recognised this and did not criticise or push me. This in itself encouraged me to go deeper in the short practice that I do.

As you know I get to practice with many great and famous teachers. You two are in the exclusive handful of really the best.

Much love, light and hugs, and don't let the turkeys get you down. xxx

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 11:00pm

If You want Yoga become people breakfast why you guys make it such as luxury and expensive.
For one class how much?
who really can go for it?

    anonymous Feb 10, 2013 11:21am

    You don't need to take a class to do yoga, you can do it at home, watch some videos/books. I agree, yoga seems like a luxury item these days but there's always ways to go around.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 10:54pm

Kino,
You are humble and brave. Smart and loving. Keep up your vision and don’t stop till you make it.
I appreciate you expressing the ‘hurt’ from the unsupportive mysorians…lol YOU HAVE MILLIONS who want your teaching. Wear what you want, your not tacky, your comfortable and it shows.

You ARE supported. I love you and wish you lived closer…looking forward to seeing you in S.F.

I’ll bring the freshly cracked walnuts for you.
DeNa

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 10:00pm

Hi kino
I’m one of the earlier viewers of your YouTube videos when you began only with a few videos. I’ve been a huge supporter of your method of spreading the tradition because like you said, i think it’s the spirit of the tradition that needs to be upheld and passed not the method by which its passed. I’m certain if social media was in existence during gururji’s period, he would not have objected to it. So count me in as the one of millins of your supporters be because finding access to teacher is difficult for many reasons. My own personal practice would not have advanced without teachers such as yourself spreading lessons and techniques via nontraditional means. As far as I’m concerned, you will always be gone with the wind fabulous to me;). Keep up the good work!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:52pm

Kino – You are such an inspiration! Being on the other side of the U.S. (Arizona), I can't take classes with you and am grateful for your YouTube channel. I've been able to go deeper into my practice because of your teachings. There will always be those who envy you for your success. That's their problem. Just keep doing what you do. We love you for it!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:46pm

I'm sad to find out that some people give you such a hard time. I found Ashtanga Yoga through you and your Youtube Channel. It was you the person who inspired me to follow this path and for that I'll be forever grateful. Thank you Kino for making Ashtanga Yoga part of my life.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:43pm

I took a workshop with you in Charlottesville, VA years ago. Kino, you (and Tim) were amazing. I STILL talk about that weekend all these years later and I have taken many workshops over the years with several star Ashtangis. Keep up the good work! You are amazing and an inspiration.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:43pm

I loved this article. Love your being so open. Inspiring! I was in a workshop recently where we were asked what inspires us or things we are currently doing that help us with our practice. I raised my hand and answered that I read books that inspire. She asked me for example and what was I reading at that time and it was your book which was “Sacred Fire”. This was not an Ashtanga workshop and was asked what I liked about my choice that was reading. I replied that I liked how you shared your own struggles in such a way that could relate. I attended your workshop in Atlanta for my first Ashtanga workshop ever this past December and you are so strong and can be tough:) I think reading your book of your journey as well as this article has just made me like you even more because I see more sides of you and I like the layers:)

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:23pm

I loved your Mysore video and I love that your spreading yoga and its message. I started yoga with mediation and there are many meditators who would criticize the hatha yoga movement for whatever reason but I see it as a good thing. All the limbs of yoga are connected through their effect on the human nervous system and exposure to any yoga increases or receptiveness to the other limbs and practices. Whether its taught from you in little shorts 😉 or from a zazen cushion human nervous systems are opening to more compassion and love in this world and you are a part of that. If the practices are done correctly then good things are happening no matter the method of delivery. YOU GO GIRL!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:15pm

I came to Purple Valley 2 years ago to practice with you and Tim. I was an ashtangi novice – it was quite an experience. You helped inspire me and both you and Tim told me that I needed to find a teacher. I came home to Australia and found my teacher. There have been and are some great challenges on the journey but I now practice 6 days a week. Still a novice yogi and happy to be one. I thank you for the world that you introduced me to. Kaz

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 9:14pm

If you try to please everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one. Just please yourself!
You are a great inspiration. Can't wait to meet you in Thailand in April!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 8:55pm

Kino you are amazing and the reason I LOVE Ashtanga….you have been practicing very hard for a very long time and deserve everything you have achieved! You stay true to the lineage (while others spin-off and make up their interpretation of yoga).
You ARE Ashtanga and am proud to call you my GURU!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 8:21pm

[…] […]

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 8:18pm

All of us experience times when we are distracted or frustrated by someone else (in admiration, in envy, in lust, in anger…) At those times, as emotions start to bubble up, we need to remember to focus on ourselves and what is happening on our mat – not the guy next to us, the woman at the front of the room… what they are wearing, how they practice, how they "compare"… investing anything into those thoughts is simply a distraction that keeps us from becoming who we need to be. It's a shame that the Mysore "regulars" haven't figured this one out by now, they are really missing out on an important lesson.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 8:12pm

Someone once said, and I forget who now (paraphrasing here): 'as soon as anyone sticks their head out of the crowd, someone's bound to throw a tomato at it!'. I mean, we all want to be liked, even loved, pretty basic desire, nothing wrong with that. Yoga has changed so much since it came over here to the West, it's become monetized and marketed and branded…and this is seemingly antithetical to it's original intention. That said, that one moment, or prolonged moment, or brienf moment, of peace and joy that comes from a practice is so worth doing that getting people into is such a good service.

It's nice that are able to share your practice and make a living, as we all must. The tomatos will keep flying at you, I do not doubt, but it seems like you have what it takes to turn them into a pretty mean spaghetti sauce (what with those 8 limbs and all….)

The funny (and sad) thing is, this stuff's been happening for ages, the Buddha had detractors, Jesus had detractors, Mother Teresa had detractors, Gandhi and Einstein and Madela all had detractors, even my local Yoga studio has detractors….. What of it? I do feel that the popular meme going around summarizes it accurately enough: 'Haters gonna hate'.
Keep up the good work, it's better than MMA and reality TV. I lke that you can point out your vulnerabilities and celebrate your accomplishments, your challenges and works in progress. Looks like you have a deal of support out there….good luck!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 7:53pm

I've read through your whole post and it comforted me beyond belief. I practiced yoga for awhile, no specific practice. I one day came across your youtube challenge and was astonished at how articulate you were, and how you extensively described many postures I have tried before. I started doing ashtanga classes locally in my area, and I can't help but feel out of place sometimes when I am practicing. I myself feel that you inspired me greatly but mostly because I feel I relate to many of the things others choose to criticize you on. I prefer to practice in shorts or what some might consider to revealing, since that is how I am comfortable practicing without long layers of clothing, I have always been this way. I can't help but notice the looks I get as if I am some materialistic naive young girl without any regard to the practice. You writing this post brings me back to comfort to accept what makes me most comfortable when practicing and sometimes it is about finding your own path.
Your words are not only comforting to myself, but inspirational and I truly respect everything you chose to share with world. I hope to one day to be able to practice with you.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 7:53pm

I love that in the midst of this modern world you stick to the tradition and are spreading it through the modern means, I wish I was as clever and admire you and look forward to seeing you in Chicago again in June. Stay strong and know that you are loved my dear!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 7:39pm

Go for it Kino! Long live women of free spirit and free will. A lot of women suffer from imprisonment without ever having been to prison. You have lovely features, gorgeous skin and toned body, and yes, it's what we do in America: if you like your hair blond, get it blond. Hey, Marylin Montoe is smiling from above. And a hundren or more Hollywood celebrities and regular women all ove the world — the ones that can choose freely what color hair to wear — will back you up anytime. Yes, without any doubt, it's a lot easier to perform different balancing postures when your arms are in contact with your own skin. :)))
Totally agree. Namaste. Thank you for bringing your love and light into this world. Keep shining. Love your videos. You are my teacher. Elaina Watson, Deerfield Beach, FL

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 7:14pm

[…] […]

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 7:10pm

I love your videos and I learn a lot from them. I'm not part of the inner circle of Ashtanga. I'm just a student still trying to commit to a consistent practice. I look at your videos and the videos of many other teachers for inspiration and to learn and I'm so grateful to everyone who shares so freely. One thing is I have a feeling this is issue was really an issue at the core of Ashtanga and maybe for a handful or two people. But I've read about it now – perhaps this is the third variation over the last few weeks. Someone else posted that it made their ears perk up. Now perhaps 1000s of people are aware of something that perhaps before a very small number were concerned with. I imagine that some of those 1000s are just regular people like me who appreciate and enjoy the inspiration. I started googling this to find out more and then stopped myself because it's really none of my business and it doesn't affect me and it doesn't change anything for me. I kind of wish I didn't know anything about it because it all sounds rather petty. Perhaps in the same way you wish the complainers had gone to you directly, you could have just reached out to those directly too rather than bringing so many others into the drama. I share this with the utmost respect. It seems it is weighing heavily on you still. How can you release it and just go on doing your intention and let the others deal with theirs? It seems a distraction. I do feel for you because you can barely recognize anyone else in the video so for sure it's shame the drama. But release it. Let it be their drama. Let it be your joy.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 7:02pm

Love and Hate are too extreme…I think there is room for moderate viewpoints as well!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 6:22pm

Every Ashtanga Yoga teacher that owns a studio, or teaches in a studio, or takes money for services rendered for anything related to Ashtanga Yoga and yoga in general is in business. Business is about making money. There is ethical business and unethical business but it's all business. Nobody is living in a cave as a sadhu. Most or all Ashtanga practitioners are householders with families that they have to feed. Your videos along with David G's, Guruji's 1 and 2, Richard Freeman's, David Swenson's etc. have helped me greatly because my practice is at home and I can't go to a Shala very often. I foresee Ashtanga Yoga system getting patented at some point and all hell breaking loose. There are always detractors in every business no matter what your morals and ethics are. You need tough skin to be in business. Everyone with a Shala is in business and how far they want to go is a personal choice. I once saw a video online with a respected yogi saying, "nobody owns yoga it's universal." There's 20 million people practicing yoga in the U.S. I would think there would be enough to go around should anyone else want to get bigger and make money off of Ashtanga Yoga. You along with really only a few other's are approved by Guruji to teach. The internet as a medium is so powerful and I think you are doing a great job using it to spread the word. I've learned a lot about physiology, and the proper way to get in and out of asanas. I don't buy your products, I don't live on the East Coast or in the States but I have learned from you. I'm sorry you are having a hard time dealing with the ups and downs of business but that is business. It hurts when people you respect negatively criticize you but that is not so much about you as it is about them

    anonymous Feb 6, 2013 2:24am

    This is also so important to put forth. Krishnamacharya's lineage is one of householders — which is own teacher implored him to become as well. As householders, we have a duty to provide for our families (and in so far as we can, also provide for our communities) — this is the traditional application of the practice of brahmacharya for householders!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 6:11pm

Kino, I think you are intelligent, honest and knowledgeable. I agree with most of what you are saying here. But about the youtube video consent, perhaps some people do feel that they are being used to promote you and not Ashtanga yoga. I think they do have a right to feel that way. It will be hard not to but just like how you don't take it personally about what people think about your clothes, try not to take this personally. Also, the word authentic to me doesn't mean much. Any exercise done effectively can increase blood flow, strengthen your immunity and sharpen your brain. Stretching and fitness routine can feel very authentic to some. I know many folks who have practiced no authentic lineage based yoga that live a very full and selfless life. I am a yoga teacher, by the way.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 5:58pm

Love you, Kino. Love your shorts. Love your make-up. Love that in following your dream, we all benefit greatly. I am in Costa Rica, in a remote area with no teachers of any kind. If I was to stick to an old fashioned approach, I would never even begin an ashtanga practice. Thanks to your videos, books, and facebook activity, I am able to do the best I can with what I have available through you and other forward thinking yogis. The world is a very different place than it was before the average person had access to a computer. I think we would be foolish not to move with the times. You do NO ONE any good by not taking advantage of the amazing technology available to us that makes the world a smaller place. How else would I ever have known you even existed? I hope you not only continue what you're doing, but that you grab hold of every opportunity you see fit that will continue to shine light on this practice WORLD WIDE!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 5:48pm

The only people that needed an apology were those that you recorded without permission…
Are you kidding me?–YOGIS criticize your clothing!?!
What about your message?? It’s obvious that you care
& that you KNOW your stuff…
Fuhget about it! No apologies.
(Haters gonna hate)

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 5:37pm

Thanks for posting this article Kino. Nobody ever changed the world by sitting back and criticizing others and I personally know many people who make a lot more money than you by doing far less scrupulous things than wearing tight pants. Go for it! I believe Guruji would not have certified you if he thought you were on the wrong track. Let the critics sit back in their seats and blast away. Those who criticize you would be far better off focusing their attention on something positive. Namaste.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 5:34pm

Kino,
I was introduced to Ashtanga when I stumbed upon your website. You really inspired me. I currently practice vinyasa flow 6-7 days a week but I'm hoping to get an Ashtanga DVD for my birthday this week. You're right — not everyone has access to a live-and-in-person instructor. I can't afford to go to a studio, I don't have child care available, and I don't event think there is a place that teaches Ashtanga near where I live. I really appreciate the fabulous instructors who make their instruction available to people like me on DVD and online.
And if I looked like you do, maybe I'd also wear tube tops and shorts. I think you look great and I can't understand criticizing your clothing. Though I have wondered how your tube top stays in place, LOL.
I think anytime you're in the public eye, you will have cruel people criticizing you. I know it's hard and awful. I think you're lovely and I love your YouTube channel.
I know I'm fairly new to yoga, but I find it so strange how certain practices have such strict rules, like when you can practice and when you can eat, etc. I mean, I work till midnight, so I can't get up at dawn. Should I be rejected from certain types of yoga? I'm going to ignore those rules when I need to, and still accept the benefits of the yoga practice as I can.
Best of luck, and keep up the good work!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 5:11pm

I'm relatively new to yoga and stumbled onto your YouTube videos. I learned a lot from your demonstrations and found your instruction very clear and concise. They're a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to learn a new pose or deepen their practice. I also appreciate that you acknowledge how difficult some of this can be for beginners and how long it took for you to accomplish some of these poses. Keep up the good work!!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 4:57pm

Here's a different perspective:
It's unfortunate that the yamas and niyamas are not used as guides more. We're Ashtangis. There are eight limbs. We should be especially aware of the yamas and niyamas. It's not about using the do's and dont's like commandments or anything, but they can help us with issues like the ones with which you're wrestling, and that's especially true when we approach the practices of the yamas and niyamas "energetically." No one can say whether a particular behavior is good or bad in and of itself. Take your clothes choice, for example. Only you know how if it feels energetically okay for you to dress the way you do. My sense is that you are actually truly okay with the way you dress. I don't feel any energetic agitation from it. So that tells me something. It tells me your Ahimsa practice is okay too. If I were as good of a self-promoter as you and could get the word out as well as you, people would already be familiar with this "pairing of the yamas and niyamas" idea of mine, but since that's not the case, I have to explain that we can practice the yamas and niyamas in the already ordered pairs they come in to get a better sense of how our practices are going. You feel fine, or "clean" about your clothes. Cool. But if you didn't, that would also be messing with your non-violence practice. So first niyama issues affect first yama practice and vice-versa. Gandhi's Ahimsa didn't really start going well until his Saucha practice starting going well. That's no accident. It's how it always is. Gandhi had to get clean about what he was wearing before being more non-violent himself. Once he was making his own clothes he was experiencing a high-level "personal" Saucha that helped his "social" Ahimsa express itself so powerfully, and then it worked both ways. Only you can feel how your clothes are working for you in connection with Ahimsa, but I don't sense an issue there. Where I do sense an issue is with your Aparigraha and Ishvara Pranidhana (the last yama and the last niyama). Again, only you can really tell what your experiencing with those Limbs, but you might want to check out the relational feel of them in order to really tell what's going on. One thing tells you about the other. This is just my sense and I could be wrong, but it feels to me like you aren't Surrendering well. I don't mean that as a judgment, but you did invite critique. I hope it's helpful for to point out that when someone's Surrender isn't going that well, then their Greediness is at issue too. Is it possible that the promoting and everything you cop to here is making it impossible for you to Surrender well? If so, then it's certain that your Aparigraha practice is also not finding its full positive expression. Just to end with a positive, I would say your Asteya and Tapas practices are going great. You are very disciplined and that Tapas tells me that your Asteya practice is going very well. You don't steal. So, bluntly stated, screw the folks concerned about you filming them. They're just being uptight. You're not stealing from them. You don't steal. You're too disciplined to be a thief, and your attitude about their issues with you also speaks to that understanding.

    anonymous Feb 6, 2013 2:12am

    This is a really insightful way of looking at this process. My clients who have mentioned interest in going deeper into theory and practice on this end will be delighted with working with this in this way.

    Thanks for putting it out there! Now I get to go and check out my own stuff!

      anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:47am

      This is a lovely reply! And the forgotten aspect of true yoga practice. I recall once a very sincere teacher saying that whenever you are off balance check in what your yamas and niyamas.

      In other words, these are the basis of really how you are doing, going and being. Everyone I feel is getting really lost in the 2 dimensions of practice (body postures and breathing), but these first two limbs serve as the entire foundation for which we really do stand upon!

      Thanks for taking your time to eloquently explain where you think the imbalance is (and with all due respect). For sure, each can only answer this for themselves, but often too our samakaras are heavily blinding us from looking at the simple basics which includes Sutra II (yoga is the cessation of thought waves).

      I guess this is why the spiritual teacher Krishnamurti wrote so extensively about greed and ambition and that it makes people and society ugly. And he urged people to drop being ambitious because it mares your soul.

      Still, this is the basic conflict (inner and outer) that all public figures face (at least publicity they do and for some privately). As Swami Rama was famous for saying when you live "in the world" then "you have to be not of the world" too.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 4:49pm

Quick question. If you have been made aware that there are individuals who specifically asked that you not publish this video because they have not given their consent to be in it… why would you repost to a public forum?

All in all I honor your persistence and know you are a proficient and good teacher! This issue of non-consenting people in your video made me perk up my ears.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 3:47pm

Eddie is right. It's way better that it's you. Blessed to have been your student.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 3:17pm

Honey, never apologize for being yourself… it is the greatest gift you have to offer. Second, i love the LED ZEPPELIN tee-shirt. keep smiling:)
krista

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 2:59pm

Wherever there is light, there must also be some shadow. Kino, you are a bright light to countless yogis. I am thrilled that Ashtanga has such an articular voice in you.
You've never claimed to be perfect. You're on a journey just like the rest of us. You are genuine and authentic. If all of those things come wrapped up in shorts and mascara, so be it. You look happens to appeal to a demographic of young women who might otherwise overlook yoga as boring stretching. I say let your personality shine.
I don't think you should change for anyone. If I could give one totally unsolicited piece of advice, I would say that if you wanted to help your naysayers understand where you're really coming from, you could release more videos discussing lineage, history, sutras, etc. When you speak from your heart, there's no denying your true intention.
Thank you so much for all you've taught me and inspired me to reach for… and all electronically!!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 2:53pm

Such an incredible sight to see. I completely 'get it', thank u for sharing this video. To all the un-cast cast; the video wouldn't be the same without you yet I have no idea what you look like. I would not know u if I bumped into you in the street. To see for my own eyes completed the message. I certainly hope this video continues to be shared. Each and every one of you should be proud to share.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 2:30pm

If its any consolation, I've practiced yoga for 32 years and have never heard of you, your teachers or your friend's studio in NYC. We all have different paths. Over the past 10 years I've had health issues that have prevented me from the rigorous 90 minutes practice I once had. I've been grateful to find videos and yoga communities online, and horrified at the ignorance of some who see it only as stretching, aerobic and toning activity.

I'm sorry for your suffering, whether due to the many things you allude to that you've done wrong, or to something else. We all have those things in life that we did before we became wiser and found our way. And we'll continue to be unskilled in our behaviors until we learn 'the next thing'.

I am always surprised… and surprised that I'm surprised, but the secularity within every group. Look at the many division within the Christian community…. and for the most part, they also disparage and criticize who are not just like them and do not follow the teachings as they think.

I am surprised that you wouldn't have asked permission to film your community, but now you know.

Ah… we are all on the journey. Who knows what their lessons are.

Be at peace and do your work.

Sussi

    anonymous Feb 6, 2013 6:39am

    I love your line, "surprised that I'm surprised.' Really nice message.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 2:23pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 1:49pm

I wish I had just a small amount of your courage. You are much admired.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 1:42pm

Don't listen to the haters it's great to see more teachers taking their career (and not themselves) seriously. Your vids are great they are just scared or jealous or lame.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 1:17pm

You have the gift of grace, flexibility, and lovely body and personality..We are taught not to bury our gift under a bushel So go spread the Yoga word and enjoy your gifts. We're all cheering you on..Not sure about your detractors: they have personal work to do.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 12:54pm

You sound fabulous to me. Keep on doing what you are doing, shining your light and let the detractors scuttle away to the shadows.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 12:46pm

Your honesty is invaluable!
I officially give you all my love and best wishes as I – for one – could not care less whether you are wearing tiny shorts or present yourself completely covered. That is not what matters.
Honest and integrity does, however, and if people had doubts before, they really should reconsider… and perhaps even look a little further within themselves? Just rock on and follow your path, you shiny diamond! 😉

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 12:42pm

Kino, this article made me so sad. You should never feel you need to justify yourself to ANYONE. As soon as I read this I thought of Albert Einstein’s quote “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”. I am very against the commercialization of Yoga, but I absolutely think it is inevitable that someone else will take that opportunity and morph it for money. You are an inspiring teacher that is perfect for that kind of position because you are able to balance business and deep spirituality and dedication. Without teachers like you promoting the practice, the practice has the potential to be advertised as something like Bikram yoga to the world. You are not afraid to show your own personality and your videos have PROFOUNDLY helped me in my personal practice. You are a very good speaker and eloquently explain all the deepest aspects of personal practice. Humans can be petty by nature, and when things like this happen just remember that each and every person is going through their own struggle and the fact they are so concerned about talking you down shows they just need to keep practicing. 🙂

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 12:33pm

You will probably get tons of comments like this, but even if this one is never read, I post it anyway. Your teaching changed my yoga, changed my own teaching, and (as non-specific and blah as it sounds) I really think finding Ashtanga through you changed my life. I'm not a comment poster, normally, but I was moved to post this. In fact, coincidentally, your teaching led me down the path I wrote about in my recent elephant journal article: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/02/all-is-com… just published yesterday. Anyway, blaze your trail and many, many thanks.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 12:12pm

You girl! I'm right there with you, get as many people to Yoga as you can! Any Yoga practice is better than no Yoga practice.

Kate Bartolotta Feb 5, 2013 12:02pm

It was actually one of your videos that first piqued my interest in Ashtanga a few years ago. You made it seem accessible, not just something for those who were willing to live a very rigid, ascetic life. I love the discipline of Ashtanga yoga, and have this year deepened my practice into a 6 day a week practice, increased my studies—but I'm still an American girl. I like wearing cute shoes and dresses. I like music with my practice sometimes. I don't think being financially stable is antithetical to being a yogi! And for helping to bring Ashtanga yoga to those who might have otherwise missed out, Thank You!!

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 11:48am

Kino, thank you for posting this. Your critics may not accept your motivations as sincere but it's important that you articulate why you put yourself out there like you do. I am sure you have seen Guruji's letter to Yoga Journal, published in the Jan/Feb 1995 issue, regarding my own teacher's book. She also was accused of using ashtanga yoga to market herself for fame and profit. The bottom line is that we cannot control how others interpret our actions, and all we can do is act with sincerity and do our best to explain our motivations. Things have changed a lot in the last 18 years, and the media that you have at your disposal to make this practice accessible to a wide audience can be an effective way to augment one's personal practice, especially for people without regular, direct access to an experienced teacher. In my opinion, you are using those resources effectively. I have learned a lot from you, both directly in workshops, and from your online articles and videos. I am very grateful for that. Even if this article does not change many people's minds, you have at least attempted to set the record straight.

anonymous Feb 5, 2013 11:26am

may i one day have even an ounce of your strength, commitment, smarts, and heartfelt willingness to be so raw and vulnerable to remain real. you are an inspiration and a role model – and i, for one, am grateful. thanks kino – we love you!

Jana Simonstone Mar 2, 2018 12:35am

Keep it up! You're inspiring.

Brookes Girard Jan 12, 2018 10:51am

Kino, can I start by saying a heartfelt thank you for sharing your passion. To become proficient at anything takes a great deal of sacrifice and the associated opportunity costs! To share as freely as you do shows great compassion on your part. I have heard from your mouth that seeking out a yoga teacher is the best way to study, but I believe that the media work you do is important for the future of Yoga. For me Kino, you are an authentic Yogi and an authentic person. You have shouted from the mountain tops about where your Yoga has come from. I am upset that your colleagues/classmates in Mysore have much Kharma to burn to see that you honour them by envolving them on your mission of bringing the message of Yoga to ears that have not heard and eyes that have not seen. Please hurry up and keep true to your vocation. You have no idea how much positivity you have injected to quiet corners of the world and the hearts and minds that walk there. Please remember that for every negative criticism that comes your way 100,000 or maybe even more minds and hearts have been gladdened by your message. Namaste from East London.

Vincent Wright Jun 15, 2017 3:32am

Nicely argued, Kino! If the purists are going to insist on 100%, absolute purity, let them demonstrate their 100% purity to the world. In the meantime, I hope and trust you keep on pushing toward the very BEST of the best for what's available to you and yours through a good, strong YOGA *FLOOR* for the big yoga business you're building... #KeepSTRONG, Kino!

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Priya Kesavan Apr 23, 2017 1:12am

Shame on Kino shamers. Kino is simply a fantastic teacher, her technical breakdown and the ability to clearly articulate what needs to be done and what we need to feeling on the inside is remarkable. I have learned much more from her Youtube videos and practising daily by myself at home than I have ever done before. I'm grateful that she uses social media and makes her high quality teaching available to anyone anywhere in the world. And the fact she gives away a wealth of information for FREE on Youtube shows her generosity of spirit. However, the fact remains that a beautiful savvy modern woman who has the confidence to wear what she wants, carry it off with elan and be a smart businesswoman at the same time is sure to draw envy and evil eye. Shame on the shamers, carry on with your lfie work, Kino!

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