Confessions of a Loved & Hated Ashtangi.

Via Kino MacGregor
on Feb 5, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

kino23May12

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.

gurujiThe 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.

Padmasana Kino yoga oprah tvI 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.

kino2One 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
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

151,697 views

About 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.

Comments

216 Responses to “Confessions of a Loved & Hated Ashtangi.”

  1. […] 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 […]

  2. Carolyn Riker says:

    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!

  3. Lynn Braz says:

    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.

  4. KEPuckett says:

    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.

  5. Shari says:

    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!

  6. hannfay says:

    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.”

  7. 2m3gansee says:

    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.

  8. Angel says:

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

  9. Tim says:

    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.

  10. Joseph says:

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Holly T says:

    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!

  13. gloria v says:

    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.

  14. Juanita Jones says:

    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.)

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

  16. Jenny says:

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

  17. HopefulRN2004 says:

    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'

  18. Sophia says:

    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.

  19. roee weiss says:

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

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

  21. Amy says:

    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.

  22. ros says:

    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?!

  23. gastrophase says:

    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.

  24. […] 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, […]

  25. […] 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 […]

  26. Kat says:

    I think you are fantastic.

  27. mae says:

    don’t get all the self-deprecation

  28. paul says:

    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

  29. Jennifer says:

    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..

  30. 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.

  31. priscilla says:

    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.

  32. Istafiah says:

    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!

  33. Felicity says:

    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.

  34. Kushal Malhotra says:

    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.

  35. kimimarinyoga says:

    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.

  36. ce mois says:

    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.

  37. ce mois says:

    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.

  38. ce mois says:

    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!

  39. William says:

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

  40. David Johnson says:

    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!

  41. Spoonful of Karma says:

    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.

  42. butterflythunderwolf says:

    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.

  43. John Dandrea says:

    Well Done … Keep on Shining Sister …

  44. Viv says:

    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

  45. Lee says:

    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.

  46. Ivey DeJesus says:

    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.

  47. Jeannette says:

    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!!!

  48. Purusha says:

    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.

  49. Dawna says:

    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.

  50. Joelle says:

    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