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"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do."

- Henry Ford, Prominent entrepreneur

Interview with Kino MacGregor - International Yoga Instructor

By Sharda ten Hove on 29 August 2014

Kino MacGregor is an international Ashtanga Yoga teacher, co-founder of Miami Life Center and founder of Miami Yoga Magazine. In September Kino is coming to London to teach several workshops as well as a three day ashtanga immersion from which she will donate a percentage to the fantastic organization Yoga Gives Back, the non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds in order to alleviate poverty in India. Time to have a chat with Kino!

You’ve been an ambassador at Yoga Gives Back for years. Would you share with us why you chose YGB?

Since I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga I’ve made yearly trips to India for the last fifteen years. Through Yoga Gives Back I feel that I can give something back to the community that has enriched my life with its valuable teachings.

You are one of a small privileged group to have received teachings by Pattabhi Jois . What was it like learning from him and how is this reflected in your own practice and/or your teaching?

Guruji is my inspiration for the practice. He is my guiding light and I think about him each time that I practice. I attribute all the learning that I’ve experienced through the Ashtanga Yoga method to him. I am grateful for every day that I spent under his guidance and I am grateful now to continue my studies with his grandson, R. Sharath Jois.

Pattabhi Jois said that yoga is not so much an external practice but more of an internal cleansing. Yoga has become a multibillion-dollar industry and it seems that the latter has become less significant. How do you feel about that and how do you see this being reversed?

Whatever draws people to start yoga doesn’t matter because yoga eventually begins working from the inside out. I think it’s great that people get into yoga for all sorts of different reasons, some just the physical benefits. Eventually I believe that yoga will work its magic and draw people into the depth of the inner tradition.

Do you feel that a yoga instructor bears social responsibilities beyond the walls of a yoga studio?

Yes, being a yoga teacher is about more than just giving physical adjustments or teaching physical yoga. Being a teacher is about being an ambassador for the yoga lifestyle in the world, which essentially means living and embodying the values of the spiritual tradition of yoga.

What is it about Ashtanga that you love so much? Do you also practice other styles of yoga?

I only practice Ashtanga Yoga. I love its intensity, its dedication and devotion. I love how relentless the practice is about cracking open the heart and revealing the true nature of the inner self. I love its challenge for the student to try something impossible every day.

Achieving sustainable consumption and production are among the great priorities of the 21st century. How do you feel this is to be fulfilled?

I don’t really know if I’m qualified to speak on this subject because I haven’t done the research necessary to understand full dynamics that are at play in the world. But I’ve read the statistic numerous times that if the entire human population switched to eat a vegetarian diet then we would have the resources to feed the world simply by eating the grains that are used to raise the livestock that our society uses for meat. I follow a vegetarian diet as part of my commitment to the principle of Ahimsa.

What is your dharma?

Before I found yoga all I wanted was to find out what I was put on this earth to do so that I could do it with all my heart. Now I know what my dharma is, my life’s mission, to share the limitless potential of the human spirit through the inner tradition of yoga. If you don’t know what your life mission is you can feel lost and search for meaning in all the wrong places. Look within to find the answer to the question: What is your dharma? What is your life mission? Ask yourself this question: What would you do if you knew there was no possibility of it failing? Answer it honestly and you may find your most secret dream, your most authentic path, one perhaps so special to you, so private and delicate that you haven’t dared to share it with anyone, perhaps you’ve even been afraid to admit it to yourself or say it out loud. Own your dreams and follow them with unapologetic passion. Believe in yourself beyond any doubt so that you can reveal all the beauty, love and power you already contain.

To learn more about Kino visit her website: www.kinoyoga.com
To learn more about Yoga Gives Back visit their website: www.yogagivesback.org

About the author

Sharda ten Hove

Founder, Ethical Vegan, Yogi, Social Activist

Sharda was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Descended from an Indian mother and Dutch father, she received a multi-cultural upbringing during which she gained a broad perspective on life.…  Read full bio