Practice Ashtanga Yoga and Continue Your Healing Process
I had the most amazing weekend ever! Not only did I get to road trip and share a house (that had chickens in the backyard) with the some of the coolest people I know, I got to spend the weekend doing yoga with Kino MacGregor! I attended workshops from the one and only Kino MacGregor and had a guided Primary Series class and a Mysore style class from Kino at Yoga East in Louisville, Kentucky. Yoga East is owned by Laura Spaulding who studied in Mysore, India and received certification from Pattabhi Jois to teach Ashtanga yoga. Kino, the studio, the yoga, the energy, the education, and the awesome people I was with were absolutely immaculate. Kino is incredibly down to earth, funny and is one of the most knowledgeable people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
I had a couple firsts this weekend
1. I got into full seated lotus (padmasana) and
2. I did a Mysore style class…which I was initially very nervous about.
I got a cheat sheet because Mysore is very daunting to me. Mysore is traditionally practiced at Jois’ school in Mysore, India and in this style, the Primary Series is not verbally guided, however assists are performed; Sunday, we did the entire Primary Series with Kino and two other teachers from Yoga East were assisting and it was AMAZING! It makes you truly speak words of affirmation to yourself and although Ashtanga is a systematic series, Mysore “makes the practice your own” as my friend Lacey says. Ashtanga’s lineage is ancient and has lasted into the 21st century (Ashtanga has moderately evolved over time) and I’m very honored to have received amazing guidance, assists, education, and honesty from Kino. Kino lifted me into a handstand which was pretty epic!
Embrace the struggles and suffering
Kino said something that resonated with not only me but with our group, and it was about yoga being about the struggle and suffering and how once we’ve all gone through enough suffering, we have space for growth in our practice and everyday lives. Yes, that sounds negative but it’s very true. The truth is not always kittens and rainbows; the truth is that suffering is a guarantee and it’s how we deal with suffering that makes us better. The struggle to get on the mat, the suffering outside of our practice, the suffering during the postures that we don’t like, suffering through being sore, working through the suffering, etc. Suffering makes us appreciate and give thanks for our physical abilities and also makes us appreciate what we have. This motto can be applied to all areas of life.
Keep practicing Ashtanga and other styles of yoga
Kino also said something important that I plan on applying to my daily life, “Keep practicing, even if it’s on your own.” In addition to practicing other styles, I intend on practicing Ashtanga 3 times a week. I plan on doing the Primary Series twice on my own and once as a guided practice. The practice is incredibly healing, meditative, difficult, important, and the history is rich and full of life. I’m extremely grateful for this past weekend.
“Do your practice and all is coming.”Sri K. Pattabhi Jois