Trans­for­ma­tive power: a chat with in­ter­na­tional yoga teacher Kino Mac­gre­gor

In­ter­na­tional yoga teacher and ash­tanga prac­ti­tioner Kino Mac­gre­gor tells YTL Life about her yoga jour­ney in Mysore, In­dia, and how the prac­tice has shaped her life.

YTL Life - - Contents - Words TAN SU FEN

Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur in part­ner­ship with Os­cil­la­tion Yoga had the plea­sure of host­ing Kino Mac­gre­gor. The in­ter­na­tional yoga teacher and pi­o­neer­ing yogi em­braces the tra­di­tional teach­ing of yoga and so­cial me­dia – she has 1.1 mil­lion fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram. This is your first time at Ho­tel Stripes. What are your im­pres­sions? I think one of the most stun­ning fea­tures about this ho­tel is the rooftop pool. It has a beau­ti­ful view of the city and it’s peace­ful up there.

How and when did you find yoga? I started the prac­tice of yoga to live a peace­ful life. When I did my first class at the age of 19, yoga left an im­pres­sion. It was a path of heal­ing.

Is ash­tanga one of the most in­tense meth­ods of yoga? There are some things that the tra­di­tional prac­tice de­mands in the ash­tanga yoga method that some of the more con­tem­po­rary styles of yoga don’t. For ex­am­ple, if you drop in for a be­gin­ner’s ash­tanga class, ev­ery­thing will be rel­a­tively ap­proach­able.

What is the big­gest chal­lenge you face on your yoga jour­ney? My big­gest chal­lenge in the prac­tice is strength. I was never a dancer or gym­nast, so it’s not some­thing that comes nat­u­rally for me. To work on the pow­er­ful moves, to lift up and jump back or to do a hand­stand, all that stuff was al­most im­pos­si­ble when I first started the prac­tice.

How has yoga changed your life? The first thing that yoga taught me was how to be­lieve in my­self. I never learned that, I never re­ally had a dis­ci­pline of any type. It taught me how to be­lieve in my­self, to achieve the things I wasn’t nat­u­rally good at.

Tell us about your yoga jour­ney in Mysore, In­dia. When I first went to In­dia, I had no idea what to ex­pect. I was just this Amer­i­can girl from Florida who flew to In­dia and it was com­pletely over­whelm­ing.

There were only 40 stu­dents in the class, and that num­ber dwin­dled to half be­fore I left, so there were only 20 of us in that trip to In­dia. It re­ally just changed my whole per­spec­tive. I re­alised that the first gift that In­dia gave me was pa­tience.

Tips for prac­tis­ing yoga at home? Try to prac­tice at the same time ev­ery day. Try to make a pro­gramme and stick to it – that is re­ally im­por­tant be­cause if you have a rou­tine around it, then the peo­ple in your life start to re­spect that rou­tine. Try to prac­tice in the same spot ev­ery day. This is im­por­tant be­cause it builds a sense of en­ergy and re­spect, much like a sa­cred space.

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