Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview with Kino MacGregor

Kino Macgregor is one of those teachers that I just watch in awe. She has the amazing ability to make the most incredibly difficult postures look like a piece of cake! And what's even more amazing, she can describe them in a way that they're accessible to people like me--you know, the people whose eyes bug out of their heads when they see a pose that looks impossible? She was the youngest woman to recieve certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Tradition and philosophy are a big part of her teachings. I am a huge fan her teaching style, but I LOVE her authenticity, commitment to being herself, and, of course, her bright and bold fashion sense!

Tell me about your favorite yoga outfit. Why do you love it? How does it make you feel?

I love wearing shorts because it makes me feel like I am getting stronger every time I slip and slide down my arms in challenging arm balances. I also love to feel my legs--and wearing shorts helps me get in touch with my body. Actually I love shorts so much so that I'm thinking about creating a line of yoga shorts! 

I ran across an interview with you where you describe that you once shaved your head because you thought it helped to embody yoga, but later you realized that wasn't who you are. How has yoga helped to you become comfortable with who you are? And what has your practice taught you about beauty?

Beauty is an expression of inner peace and whatever accoutrements worn on the outside will reflect the level of peace within. Beauty to me is the true shining of the human spirit, a brilliant illumination of love

What advice do you have for other people who are trying to find who they are through yoga?

Keep practicing! Even when it gets difficult and you feel doubt and confusion. Have faith that your inner light is brilliant and illuminated with the flame of eternal love. Find a teacher who inspires you and who lives the life you aspire to live. Believe in yourself even in your darkest moments, love yourself even the parts you think are unlovable, and be gentle with yourself even when you feel you don't deserve it.

You have an amazing yoga practice! How long do you practice each day? What drives you to keep practicing?

I practice between one to two hours of asana practice about six days a week. I also do a twenty minute Pranayama practice, a thirty minute meditation practice, and a fifteen minute chanting practice as often as I can. For me the key to maintaining regular practice is a sincere devotion to the spiritual journey of yoga. I practice and teach because every time I get on my mat I feel that I continue the life work of my teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. He inspired me to devote my life to yoga, to delve deeply within myself and discover the inner light hidden within a world of doubt and confusion. When I practice and teach I pay homage to him, and it humbles me to think that I may continue what he steadfastly dedicated his entire to teaching. 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grow up? Why?

I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice because I wanted to be a force of justice and social change in the world.

Tell us what inspires you so we can be inspired, too! 

What inspires me? Taking the authentic, healing power of yoga to as many people as possible!

Fun Facts
Favorite Pose? Well, that changes based on the day. Right now I’m loving Shayanasana because this elbow balance is something I thought would never happen and it’s feeling better every day.
Favorite Color? I love them all, but especially bright vibrant colors.
Favorite Book? Too many to choose from because I love to read! I could really give you small library that catalogs my brain, but I'll chose a few that are dear to me.
Fiction – Cloud Atlas was the best book I've read recently, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami is an all-time favorite, The Feast of Love by John Baxter is great too.  Gilead ny Maryline Robinson is beautiful, too. 
Non-fiction – A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, Peace Love and Healing by Bernie Seigal, Only Love is Real by Dr. Brian Weiss, The Yoga Sutras by Edwin Bryant, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, Zen Mind Beginner's Mind by Suzuki Roshi, Ask and It Is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks
Favorite Movie? Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and Slumdog Millionaire
Favorite Vacation Spot? Bali, the Gili Islands or anywhere tropical and Caribbean!

Read more about Kino at her website, kinoyoga.com.