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August 4, 2015

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

Photo: Yanni De Melo/Instargram https://instagram.com/yogiyannii/

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.

To check A Week of Surrender, click here.

To check A Week of Loving Kindness, click here

1. Self-discovery.

No matter where you go or what you do you are always yourself. There is nothing you can ever do, nothing you can wear, no story you can tell that will change the basic fact of who you are. Instead of running from it, accept it, trust it, embrace it, love it because it’s all you’ve got. If you could only see yourself through the eyes of spirit then you would know that you are whole, you are complete, you are worthy of love. You are bright and cherished, you are more powerful than an angel.

Today’s yogi assignment is the self. Yoga is sometimes called a science of self-realization. It could also be called a path of radical self-acceptance. Today ask yourself this: What are you running away from? We are all afraid of something, we are all running or avoiding something, most often some aspect of ourselves that is unresolved stemming from feelings of insecurity, feelings of not being good enough. Take the first step down the road of self-discovery and stop running from yourself. Be who you are. Relax, let all the struggle go, because you can’t be anyone other than who you are anyway. And isn’t that kind of a relief?

2. Relaxation.

When I first started my yoga practice, I used to feel like I had to give 150 % every single time in every single breath or else I would be a slacker. When someone told me to try less hard I thought they were nuts. After nearly ten years of practice, one day in the middle of a ten day meditation retreat I got this brilliant idea to relax and see what happened. And you know what? It was amazing. When I started to let go of all that extra effort I started to open my heart and mind to receive things that were bigger than I could ever imagine. When I stopped trying to bend the world according to my will I started to experience the magic of divine will. It sounds simple but learning how to relax wasn’t easy. It’s like finding the sweet spot between just the right amount of effort and surrender, the perfect mix of strength and grace.

Today’s yogi assignment is relaxation. Patanjali says that when the firm posture is established, we should relax all unnecessary effort and meditate on the infinite. The idea that you can control anything is false and a delusion of the ego. Try to bend someone to your will and it always goes wrong. Try to bend the world to your will and it will fight back. But relax, surrender and let it all go and you’ll experience the freedom that is the heart of yoga.

Ask yourself what you’re trying to control in your life, what you’re holding on tightly to and where that comes from. It most likely comes from fear and insecurity. Relax and let it go. Trust in the purity of your true self, have faith that there is a divine plan specially made for you that is full of blessings.

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3. Pride.

Sometimes we are too proud to say we’re sorry, admit our mistakes or look like a fool. I used to be like that too. There was a moment when after multiple trips to India that I thought I was special. My pride kicked in and suddenly I thought I was somebody because I could press up into a handstand. My teachers proceeded to show me otherwise: when I thought I was strong enough they asked me to be stronger, where I thought I would be first, they put me last. Every place where I felt satisfied with myself they sought out and broke down the guard of my ego until I realized that I was no better than anyone else, that a handstand isn’t a measure of strength. Being strong has nothing to do with what you can and can’t do physically. It has to do with how much you’re willing to open your heart.

Guruji said that pride is one of the six enemies that surround the heart and block the path to liberation. Called Mada in Sanskrit, pride and stubbornness take shape as a giant Asura in the Mahabharata known as the intoxicator who has the power to swallow up the entire universe in one gulp. Pride is just like that—it has the power to destroy all your happiness in a flash.

Today’s yogi assignment is pride. The first step down the road of knowledge is to admit that you do not have all the answers. There is a fine line to walk between a healthy sense of self-esteem and an inflated ego. Admitting that you’re not perfect, that you need help, that you haven’t got it all together on your own is sometimes a bigger act of strength and faith than trying to cover up your mess. Having a humble, teachable spirit paves the way for your heart to open and for the power of grace to step in and take the reigns of your life. Pride gets in the way. What matters in life is to be humble, to be kind, to share more love.

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4. Celebrate.

Celebrate every little blessing that surrounds you. The birds chirping, sun shining, flowers blooming, trees fruiting, wind blowing, water swirling, people laughing, kids playing, animals doing their thing. Choose to celebrate, appreciate, and enjoy every moment of your life. Embrace the goodness hat surrounds you. Make it a habit to dance, sing, laugh and shake it out at least once a day.

Today’s yogi assignment is celebration. Life is a grand celebration, a divine orchestra. All you have to do is tune the radio of your mind in to its vibration and you’ll see it all around. Put cynicism aside long enough to let the magical harmony of life into your heart. Breathe, be happy, be yourself.

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5. Mystery.

Each day is a blessing filled with wonder. Every person is an angel is disguise. Each breath is an adventure. Every flower contains a universe. With a curious heart discover and constantly rediscover the world around you. Embark on an inner mission and explore the uncharted territories of the true self within.

Today’s yogi assignment is mystery. Rather than solving a mathematical problem, the mystery of life is magical, heartfelt and can only be revealed to you when you’re ready to truly see it. In chapter nine of the Bhagavad Gita, the yoga of the greatest secret is revealed to Arjuna. According to the Gita, the revelation of raja guhja yoga is the deepest mystery of life. It is the direct experience of the infinite power and grace of God. Each time you practice you have the chance to access this timeless wisdom, to be led down the inner road. Look for the signs all around you, see beyond the material world into the spiritual truth that underlies all things throughout all time accept the path with a humble heart. Mystery cannot be solved, but it can be revealed to you.

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6. Intention.

I woke up one day more than 15 years ago with a sincere desire to live a more peaceful life—late nights, wild parties, nameless substitutes for intimacy lead to an emotional dead end. I saw a few of my friends end up nearly dead, broken and lost. I was young and haughty, full of pride, ego and attitude. I left a trail of misery and drama around me without realizing the repercussions of my selfish actions. I’m not perfect now, but I know where my heart lies. And I took a step down the path of yoga out of a yearning to live a more peaceful life, to leave the world a better place, to bring love and trust back to a barren emotional landscape.

Today’s yogi assignment is Sankalpa—intention. Once my intention was set, my world slowly started to change, one breath at a time. I went to India, traded parties for practice, shifted selfishness for generosity, cynicism for understanding, depression for love. And you can do it too, you just need to set your intention with your heart.

Maybe we can set the intention today to live a life devoted to love and that will be enough to carry us out of suffering. Maybe the question is how bad does it need to get, how much do you need to suffer before you yearn for the way out? How chaotic and crazy does it need to be before you start searching for peace? I had to suffer a lot, it had to get dark for me before I was willing to accept the light. My prayer for you is that you accept the gift of grace today without having your face planted in the gutter. You don’t need to suffer any more. You are worthy of love, you deserve peace, your birthright is happiness.

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7. Concentration.

Keep your mind calm and steady amidst the chaos of life. Focus on the next step forward no matter how small it might be. Success is as much about keeping your eye on the ball as it is about raw talent and luck and consistent effort over many years is the humble secret of realizing your dreams in the world.

Today’s yogi assignment is Eka Tattva, single-pointed concentration. Sit for five minutes with your awareness on the breath. Start with this simple task and let it initiate your journey into the yogi’s mind. Then take that powerful focus into your life. Set your intention clearly and then don’t take your eye off the ball. Wash every decision, every move up against your deepest truth and don’t waver. With a strong, steady mind keep your attention on the path and take one small step forward every day. With devotion, discipline and determination there is nothing you can’t accomplish.

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Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Yanni De Melo/Instagram

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