September 22, 2015

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

Photo: Author's own

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

To check A Week of Focus, click here.

To check A Week of Love, click here.

To check A Week of Calm, click here.

To check A Week of Direction, click here.

To check A Week of Calm, click here.

To check A Week of Giving Back, click here

1. Tristana.

Yoga is not a physical destination. Practice is like a road map, leading you along your personal journey and along the way you need to have some tools in your spiritual backpack to be prepared for the long ride. Ashtanga Yoga is built on the Tristana method—a there pronged approach to the discipline of daily practice. You need the breath, the posture and the focal point in order to build a firm foundation for practice.

Today’s yogi assignment is Tristana. The breath is the invitation to the subtle body. The asanas or postures heal the body and give you a platform for inner awareness and reflection. The drishti or focal point concentrates and steadies the mind. Together they form the Tristana method that my teacher Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said essentials the Ashtanga Yoga practice. Take this practice and all is coming.

2. Purpose.

You are who you were meant to be. You are exactly where you need to be doing exactly what you need to be doing. Every single event in your life is unfolding for a divine purpose. You are worthy of love and greatness. Don’t force it or rush it. I believe that truth and goodness always win out in the long run, that a kind word spoken from the heart can heal years of bitterness, and that life is a precious gift to be relished and enjoyed with your whole heart.

Today’s yogi assignment is purpose. Live every moment of your life on purpose, with purpose and for a deeper purpose. Look for the magic in every breath, the spark of sunshine hidden in every cloud, the secret message of every flower. Ask yourself what drives you and motivates you. If you accept that your life is divine mission, what is that mission? What is your purpose? Why are you here? Life is unfolding through you each moment. Play a conscious role in every decision and choose love, kindness, truth and compassion.

3. The Garden of the Heart.

The blooming of one flower doesn’t take anything away from the beauty of another. In fact it adds to it. Like a bouquet, when we flower together we magnify our beauty. Competition, jealousy, feelings of unworthiness are all spiritual obstacles. Don’t worry about being the first flower to bloom. You’ll have your time to shine, just like every flower has its time to bloom. 

Today’s yogi assignment is the garden of the heart. As you nurture yourself along the inner path think of it like tending to the garden of the heart. Just like you wouldn’t go and yell at the roses if they’re not blooming yet, don’t put yourself down. Just like you wouldn’t stand in front of the lavender and think it wasn’t good enough, don’t think that about yourself. Celebrate every bloom. Plant the seeds of peace deep in the garden of your heart. Water those seeds with love and kindness and see the beauty of the true self bloom all around.

4. Be strong.

I woke up this morning bummed out. I struggled today in my practice, felt weak and couldn’t findy strength. I remember when I started the practice and everything felt like an uphill struggle—I couldn’t do handstands, jump backs, or even a headstand. Other people seemed to get strength much faster but I sat there and felt heavy and couldn’t lift up. While I was sort of happy for them I must admit that it often frustrated me and stirred jealousy.

Then when I started teaching I sent out 100 emails to studios and got only a few replies. While I’m thankful for the replies and the people that supported me for the start, to be met with that many negative replied was overwhelming. I wondered if there was some magical formula for success that I couldn’t unlock.

When I first wanted to publish my first book over 100 agents turned me down, 10 replied with why I wasn’t good enough and one believed in me and said yes. All it took was one and I’m thankful. But facing hundreds of negative replies made be doubt if there was space for me in the world.

Today’s yogi assignment is be strong. I am not a naturally strong person emotionally or physically. I want to quit, lie down and give up. But yoga has taught me how to believe in myself, to rise above the struggle and see it through, to work tirelessly for my dreams one breath at a time. You don’t need to be the first one up in a handstand. You don’t need to have everyone on your side. You just need to be strong enough to keep the faith and put in the work every day. How strong do you need to be? Strong enough to believe in yourself against all odds. Strong enough to humble enough to put in the work, whatever it takes, however long it takes. Strong enough to never give up.

5. Celebration.

It’s my birthday today and I’ve been overwhelmed with snapchats, emails, comments, presents, flowers, cupcakes, chocolates, cards, diamonds and a holiday trip planned to the Caribbean. And just for today I’m going to have my cupcake and eat it too. Because…. Well, because I’m worth it.

No matter if it’s your birthday or not, celebrate the good times. You’re worth it. Be bold, be bright, be beautiful, be yourself. Trust that it’s enough. Trust that you are enough.

Today’s yogi assignment is celebration. If you think there is no need for all the fuss, you’re wrong. You are a divine being sent here on a spiritual mission. Celebrate yourself and all your blessings.

6. Non-doing.

Just because you can’t do it today doesn’t mean you never will. Delay isn’t denial. Sometimes the best thing for you to do is sit tight and wait it out. Sometimes the most appropriate action is non-action. When you drop your will and surrender, then you make space for God’s will to be done.

Today’s yogi assignmentis non-doing. If you’re like me, type A, and rather do something than nothing the waiting game of the non-doing state can seem like torture. Even more than patience the non-doing state is the true opposite of the doing state. Drop the idea that you can control it all. Let go and let God. Try it out.

I’ve pushed my will power to its max so many times. It always has blind spots big enough to drive a sixteen wheeler truck right through. But in those rare moments when I had enough faith to sit tight, wait it out and not rush the process or doubt, steadily put in my work and chip away at the monumental project of life change, miracles occurred at every corner. What would you choose, your will or God’s will? Do you need it to be all under your control? Or are you ready to receive something bigger and grander than you could possibly imagine?

7. Dialogue.

Today’s yogi assignment is dialogue. Respectfully disagreeing and sharing what can be considered negative feedback without trying to take the person down is hard. Voicing positivity and support without attacking the other point of view or making the critique wrong is just as hard. Creating a safe space where people feel free to voice the good and the bad in open dialogue is important to me, both in the public and personal space. Being strong means more than handstands, it means having enough confidence in who you are to honestly look at positive and negative feedback in a healthy dialogue.

You, my social media following, have shown me that you respect and trust me enough to share positive and negative feedback and that you care enough to share your thoughts with me. So thank you, thank you, thank you. Regardless of where we sit on a debate or discussion what matters most is that we are yogis, practicing yoga to make our world a more peaceful place. Think about how many arguments could have been avoided and how many friendships saved if we could engage in healthy, open and respectful dialogue especially when we disagree.


Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Author’s own

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