Kino MacGregor is one of a select few people to receive the certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. As life coach and Ph.D. student in holistic health with a Master’s from NYU, Kino integrates her commitment to consciousness and empowerment with her yoga teaching. In her unique, inspirational and playful approach, Kino helps her students expand and deepen their understanding of yoga and life. We talked to Kino about her yoga journey, the healing power of yoga poses, tips for beginners, great books, and more.
MindBodyGreen: When and how did you first discover yoga? You received your certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder in Mysore, India. What can you tell us about your experience with Ashtanga's founder, Sri K Pattahbhi?
Kino MacGregor: I joined my first yoga class when I was 19, but only when I discovered Ashtanga yoga did I fully commit myself to a daily practice. When I traveled to Mysore for the first time at the age of 22 I asked Sri K. Pattabhi Jois where I could find the illusive state of inner peace that all yoga practice seeks to instill. Known as Guruji to his students, he said, "You take it practice many years, then Shantih is coming... no problem" and my heart opened to the grace of his teaching. It is my great fortune to consider this amazing man my teacher and I attribute the depth of my personal practice and teaching to the light that Guruji's fire ignited within me. Always joyful to see a new student, Guruji carried the torch of Ashtanga yoga while it grew over the last 34 years from a few disinterested students into a flowering, international community of dedicated, passionate practitioners. He lived to see Ashtanga yoga reach more than 30 different countries, transform thousands (if not millions) of yoga practitioners and sprout centers all around the world. The full fruition of his life's work became manifest within his lifetime. Guruji used to say, "Ashtanga yoga is for all people, old people, young people, fat people, skinny people, only not lazy people." That is because Ashtanga yoga is challenging; it asks tightness to bend, softness to be strong and pushes the limits of the mind and the body beyond popular medical notions of safety, possibility and comfort. In doing so practitioners literally expand their consciousness.
MBG: Is teaching and practicing yoga in Miami unique from other parts of the world? If so, how?