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July 22, 2015

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

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.

To check A Week of Contentment, click here.

To check A Week of Healing, click here.

To check A Week of Gentle Action, click here.

To check A Week of Self care, click here.

1. Help.

Have the humility to admit that you cannot do it all on your own. Reach out your hand with vulnerability and you will be lifted up with grace and strength. Today’s yogi assignment is help.

As many of you know my father recently suffered a severe stroke. He spent ten days in the ICU, over three weeks in a stroke recovery unit and is continuing his recovery at home. Luckily, because of good health insurance my family is able to cope with the medical bills. My grandfather died of cancer and we were able to get him the best possible care in the months before his passing. Not everyone is so lucky.

Human life is not a commodity that can be traded on the stock market. Every human life is precious and valuable. I wish every single person on Earth had access to the best medical treatment and health care available. In many ways we have a global discrimination of health care based on economic status. Changing the world starts with making an impact on one life.

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2. Enlightened dialogue.

How you speak is just as important as what you say. Speak your truth and never let anyone take your authentic voice away but speak it with a kind and compassionate heart.

Today I got two disturbing comments on my YouTube channel. One guy said that I’m a lousy person and just selling sex and another guy said I should stop talking, wear a thong and called me a stupid Asian b*tch. I mean really, a racially derogatory slur aimed at my Asian heritage combined with a misogynistic comment. Or the other guy who makes a value judgement on what kind of person I am because I’m wearing shorts with my leg behind my head. Can’t please the haters, so why bother trying?

Today’s yogi assignment is enlightened dialogue. We are all entitled to our opinions but take the time to reflect on how you express them. Be responsible for negativity, value judgements and spiteful comments. Especially in the social media world we can forget that there are real people behind the videos and posts. Remember that what you say matters, on the web and in your life.

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3. Studying.

Admitting that you don’t know something is the first step in the journey of knowledge. In many ways, the humility to admit that what we don’t know is the basic requirement to be a student of yoga. In order to study something you have to acknowledge that you don’t already have it down. In order to be a teacher you have to submit to being a student, to surrender your ego, to be teachable, so that you can be filled up with the ancient wisdom of the true self that is the heart of the yoga path.

Today’s yogi assignment is study. Called Svadyaya in Sanskrit, spiritual self-inquiry traditionally takes the form of either studying the sacred texts of the spiritual path like the Yoga Sutras, the Bible or the Dhammapada. It is also a study of the true self, a sincere effort directed at the highest truth within, a concentrated discipline directed at the direct experience of divine wisdom.

If you already feel like you have all the answers, all the knowledge, all the wisdom then there is no space for the light of higher awareness to seep in. Only by admitting with humility that you need to study, learn and devote yourself to the spiritual path will you find the hidden keys to true self knowledge within yourself.

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4. Cheerfulness.

Complaining is easy—there are an infinite number of annoying things at any given time at any given day—but if you let yourself roll down that road you will miss the magic of life. Spending the precious moments of your life toiling away in misery is a waste. You have a choice in how you think, feel and live. Emotions are practiced and patterned, they are no uncontrollable storms that overtake your life. Just like you can build a habit pattern of complaint you could build a habit pattern of cheerfulness.

Today’s yogi assignment is cheerfulness. Called Saumanasya in Sanskrit, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras say that a cheerful disposition is the result of many years of yoga practice. There is always something good about every situation. No matter how devastating it might seem in the moment, it could always be worse so take the time to appreciate the ray of light that shines in your life, no matter how small it might be. There are big and small miseries in life and how you respond to them will determine how much you enjoy your life.

The purpose of life isn’t to suffer through it, but to love each moment. If you’re stuck in a traffic jam instead of sitting there miserably take the chance to appreciate your car, the person you’re with, the city you live in. If you’re stuck dealing with a difficult family situation, take the time to remember how much you love your family and how much they add to your life. Smile from your heart at least once a day. Let the good cheer from heart spill out into your whole life, let it literally change your world. Smile so bright so that the people around can’t help but smile with you.

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5. Timing.

Yelling at a rose bud and demanding it to open and become a fully bloomed rose is pointless. The flower has its own time and all your can do it nurture it and appreciate it. The spiritual journey is a kind of inner blossoming that has its own time. Just yelling at flowers and trees and demanding them to hurry up is pointless and so is yelling at your body demanding it to hurry up and master a posture.

So many people want to know why they haven’t gotten it yet, why their lotus, handstand, backbend or some other pose isn’t happening yet. I’ve turned my frustrations inward so many times, tried to rush the journey and ended up injured which made the whole process even worse. As soon as you realize that you don’t have to get anywhere fast, that you don’t have to get anywhere at all, you can relax. Trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it should be, in its own time.

Today’s yogi assignment is timing. Called Rtu in Sanskrit, this refers to the appropriate time or season for spiritual activity and it includes the notion of doing things at the right time. Some thing just feel wrong when they’re not done in the right time. The spiritual path is just like that—the flower of your inner awareness will not open just because you think now is the time.

Don’t psych yourself up for the big moment because you don’t know when it’s coming. All you can do is get on your mat every day and surrender. All you can do is show up, do your practice and trust that everything is ok, trust that you are ok. Tell yourself this right now: “I am ok.” It might just be the perfect timing to finally believe it.

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6. Hero.

Each day is filled with more goodness, kindness and love than we can ever know. There are an infinite number of unsung heroes whose bravery goes unrecognized. The good always out outweighs the bad. Always, without a doubt.

Today’s yogi assignment is hero. Called Vira in Sanskrit, living the yoga life means being strong enough to shift the narrative of your life story towards the light. Be strong enough to be the hero of your own life story.

Being a spiritual hero doesn’t mean being perfect, it means being strong enough to be a force of healing in the world. Be strong enough to love bigger than the hurt, strong enough to do the right thing even if it’s against your personal preference, strong enough to rise above the drama and keep your heart open. My husband is a hero in my life—he is always there when I need him, who puts himself last, who would risk his life to save a stranger if he had to, who would never ask for recognition for all the small acts of kindness he does each day but deserves the credit anyway. Who’s your hero?

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7. Nature.

Sunshine, birds chirping, the ocean, trees gently swaying in the breeze, the beauty of nature is a timeless truth. Today’s yogi assignment is nature.

Spend at least five minutes outside in silent reflection of your surroundings. Be still, look and listen with your soul. Wait for the magic of the moment to reveal itself. Spending the day attached to computer screens or mobile devices indoors can lead to a post modern anxiety that can easily be healed with five minutes of peaceful reflection in nature. Called Prakrti in Sanakrit, realizing our nature is a freedom that comes when Keene to stop fighting the natural order but accept and respect it.

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Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Kelli Schaffter/Instagram

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