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June 23, 2015

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

KIno MacGregor

Daily assignments for living the yogi’s life with Kino MacGregor.

To check A Week of Self Reflection, click here

To check A Week of Acknowledgements, click here.

To check A Week of Internal Peace, click here.

 

1. Self-care.

When life is consuming in its busy-mess it can be hard to take time out for ourselves. When our bodies send us a signal of distress sometimes it’s easier to ignore it than to listen clearly. Today’s yogi assignment is self-care and it’s an important part of the yogi’s inner journey. Carving out time for practice, even just five minutes, is a statement of self-worth, a statement that says, “I am worth these five minutes of self-care.”

Take time to practice today and set up the whole foundation of the yogi’s life. Listen to a message from your body and make time to seek treatment for an ailment that you’ve been ignoring—take the first step down the road of healing today. Listen to your emotional body and set some boundaries to claim personal space or more free time. If you feel over-extended because you’ve taken on too much or if you’re feeling taken advantage of, self-care can mean taking your time back for yourself. If thee are things you need to get done that you’ve been avoiding, getting those things off your to-do list can feel like a burden lifting so you could knock odd some of those tasks today.

~

2. Shantih—peace.

I used to plan everything, stressing the small details on everything from a shopping list to my progress in asana, but then I realized that I could never ever control everything so why bother trying? It was a huge relief. It’s kind of exciting to accept that you cannot control everything, nor should you try. As long as you need to take care of all the moving karts, you will always limit yourself to experiences that you can dream up. The magic happens when you surrender, open your heart and mind to a power bigger than you can imagine.

When I find myself stressing or worrying I ask for that burden to be lifted off my heart. Today’s yogi assignment is Shantih, peace, and it’s especially for all you type A planners and control freaks like me. Tune in today and see what’s your biggest worry or stress and ask for that burden to be lifted, turn it over to God.

No amount of worrying or stressing is going to change the situation. Rest in the knowledge that you are experiencing exactly what you should be. You don’t need to manufacture or force yourself to be different, all is good and whole and perfect just as it is. Let go and open your heart and mind to a transcendent peace. Because you can either make peace with yourself and your world right now or even when you get to your biggest life goals they will leave you empty.

~

3. Mudita—joy.

No one can ever take your place in the world. No one can ever replace the unique contribution that you have to make to the powerful play of life. When you see someone with the exact success that you dream of it’s easy to cave into jealousy and let the belief in your unworthiness make you bitter. But choose the higher ground, follow the yogi’s life and choose joy, Mudita in Sanskrit, and unlock the keys to true success.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras say that the yogi must cultivate the attitude of joy in the presence of those who are happy and successful. Joy, like love, never ends—the more you give it to the world the more there is to go around.

Today your yogi assignment is to go out and bring joy to the world. Smile at people, tell them a joke and share laughter, tickle someone, do something silly, laugh at yourself. Share with the world that, what brings you joy or turn negativity around and offer a prayer of joy to someone you are a little jealous of. It’s humbling to see how hard it is to wish someone joy if we are feeling jealousy towards them. But offering joyful wishes to others only brings more joy into the world. Give all the joy away and it will multiply around you. Fill your heart up so much that there is no way you won’t get all the success that you want because, actually, you’ll already have it in the bundles of joy that are dancing in your spirit.

~

4. Respect.

It’s too easy to judge others by their outward appearances and come to conclusion about them based on what we see at first glance. It’s too easy to react based on assumptions that stem from our own insecurities. Today’s yogi assignment is respect.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says that we must develop respect for the gift of the practice and turn up on our mats with sincerity, with humble hearts devoted to the spiritual journey.

Today, reflect on the people in your life and see if there is someone that you have been disrespecting or someone who would feel validated by your respect. See if you need to respect yourself more and honor your boundaries and your personal journey. Respect your practice by doing it every day with a kind heart.

Life itself is a gift to be cherished. What matters is the love we share. Being a yogi means having a heart so big that it can accept multiple truths as equally valid.

~

5. Saumanasya—happiness.

You can spend your whole life in search of happiness outside of yourself and never find it. But if you find it inside of yourself, you will illuminate the world with the brightness of your light. Today’s yogi assignment is happiness. Cultivate the cheerful disposition of the yogi’s mind, called Saumanasya in Sanskrit.

Reflect on the definition of happiness, define it in your own terms and don’t anyone else’s idea of what happiness should be define you. Maybe happiness is your practice, maybe it’s the beach, maybe it’s building custom motorcycles, maybe it’s going to law school, maybe it’s being a parent. Or maybe happiness is finally being comfortable in your own skin. Then, step number two, share your happiness with the world. Smile at someone you don’t know today, give someone a hug, pay someone a compliment, laugh, love, be happy.

~

6. Endurance.

Today’s yogi assignment is endurance. Sometimes we have to dive into something that we would rather not in order to accomplish a larger goal. Sometimes we have to stay on the course despite impatience, annoyance, frustration, irritation or a whole host of other obstacles.

When I first wanted to publish a book, make a yoga video and write blogs every single person that I reached out to rejected me. I couldn’t get a book agent, let alone a publisher. I couldn’t find one video company that wanted me to make a yoga video. No one believed in me. But I endured.

Endurance is the waiting game, the patience and humility to take one small step forward in the journey of yoga and life, even when no one has your back. When I wanted to press up into handstand and jump back people said I would never do it because I was the wrong shape and my legs were too big. But I endured.

Endurance is the calm, steady strong mind that is willing to show up and put in the work each day, no matter what that work is. Endurance is the opposite of entitlement, it is patience and humility, the yogi’s mind and heart.

~

7.Upekshanam—equanimity.

Acting out of anger only harms ourselves. Yelling at someone in an effort to convince them that we’re right means that, even if we win the argument, we still lose because of the residual damage done to ourself and our relationship. Instead, let’s learn how to disengage whenever we’re emotionally flooded and cannot see clearly.

Emotions are like storms in the emotional sky that obscure your clarity. If you can’t see straight how can you engage in an enlightened action? I know how hard it is to disengage in the midst of a heated exchange or to not take the emotional bait in an argument. I’ve gotten into a fair share of disagreements that ended bitterly.

Today’s yogi assignment is equanimity. In many ways this is the antidote to anger. Called Upekshanam in Sanskrit, the Yoga Sutras advise yogis to cultivate an equanimous mind in the presence of anyone or anything that we designate as evil or wrong, essentially anything that gets our blood boiling. It’s a humble teaching but one that can transform your life. Once your mind is a calm you see clearly and can wait for the appropriate action and response to be revealed.

If you could see for example that the person who cut you off in traffic is being rude because their dog just died, would you forgive them or honk at them? If you could see that your partner is really hurting because of a stressful day when they snap at you, would you snap back at them or give them a hug?

Jarvis Masters wrote in Finding Freedom that as long as we are all a bunch of angry faces shouting at each other the world will never be a peaceful place. So for today ask yourself where you have been acting out of anger, righteous indignation or just a feeling that the other person was wrong. See if you can take a step back and cultivate equanimity instead. It takes great strength to drop the fight and walk away. Then once you regain your calm mind ask for guidance about the next step and wait to act until you come from a place of love.

~

 

Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Author’s own

 

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