Yoga Inspiration Podcast

Stay inspired to practice yoga!

Join Kino MacGregor, one of the world’s master yoga teachers, as she shares her yoga life hacks to translate the wisdom of yoga into a happier, more peaceful, more loving life. Listen to authentic, raw conversations and talks from Kino on her own and with real students about what yoga is really all about. Ignite or rekindle your inner spark to get on your mat and keep practicing.

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “I couldn’t escape from myself anymore, and I needed to do something to get my life back on track.” Kino 4:33
2 – “Changing the way I inhabited my body opened my mind up to new levels of being.” Kino 18:46

 

Yoga is a journey, and at the heart of this journey is the student. This brand new lifestyle podcast is for every yoga student, beginners and experts both, because we never really stop being students, do we?

Think now, back to your first yoga class…Do you remember it?

On this first-ever episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino McGregor, I’m dialing it all the way back to my very first class. I might be a yoga teacher now, but I will always be a student. I’m always looking for inspiration, and I hope that hearing how I started my yoga path will inspire you to get on the mat every day and keep changing your world.

To be a student of yoga means that your mind is open and you yourself are open to inspiration – inspiration to learn, inspiration to practice, inspiration to find narodha and inner peace. And this inspiration is never stronger than when you’re just beginning. A beginner’s inspiration is the perfect zen for your yoga practice, and this series will look closely at ways we can get back into our beginner’s mind.

I never had any intention of taking a yoga class. Not at first, anyway. When I was a teenager, I just happened to see a class of people at my gym standing on their heads. I thought to myself – how amazing! I want to do that! – and signed up for my first yoga class. This was no yoga for beginners. There was also no standing on my head, either. I signed up for a hatha yoga class without realizing what I was getting myself into.

Do you think that stopped me?

No! If anything, it inspired me to learn more. I found books, practiced at home, practiced in class, and learned so many new things about yoga and about myself that I never knew before. It changed the way I inhabited my own body, which opened up my mind to a new way of living.

Getting physically stronger through yoga also helped me to become emotionally stronger. I found the inner strength to do the introspective work I needed to do to love myself and heal. I share on this first episode what it meant to me to find yoga at a hard time in my life and what inspired me as a student to commit to my connection with yoga.

We are all students of yoga, and this podcast is meant to inspire all yoga students to seek every and all opportunities to learn. I want this podcast to become an inexhaustible source of inspiration and knowledge for my fellow yogis.

If you’re a practicing yoga student, please share a bit of your beginner’s motivation with me! Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino McGregor!

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “Yoga is a fiber of our being.” Kelly 15:31
2 – “Every time you step on your mat, it’s a new practice.” Kelly 21:45

 

The Yoga Inspiration Podcast is all about talking with real yoga students about practicing yoga in the real world. It doesn’t matter if you’re a yoga beginner or if you’ve been practicing for decades, everyone’s yoga journey is an inspiration. And this episode is a very inspiring interview with one of my own yoga students, Kelly.

Kelly came to practice with me for a week after a very important moment in her own life. Just two months ago, Kelly had a hysterectomy. Her doctors told her not to practice yoga for four weeks.

Thirty days without yoga?

I can barely imagine what it would feel like to not practice for three days!

When you practice yoga, it becomes a part of you, and to sacrifice that part of yourself can be quite the challenge. But Kelly is not a yoga student who gives up easily. She may not have been able to practice yoga physically, but the self-study of the yoga journey became integral to her healing process.

Kelly’s santosha and inner acceptance of her position is an inspiration. So often students of yoga experience setbacks that cause them to lose faith in their journey. I hope that when you hear Kelly’s story you’ll be inspired to get back on the mat. Because there’s no reason to hold yourself to such high standards when you’re practicing yoga. Your experience on the mat should be enlightening, healing, and inspiring – not a competition.

Yoga can be intimidating. Any practice that forces you to peel layers away from yourself can be frightening, but Kelly teaches us today that yoga is really a part of your mindset. It doesn’t just stay on the mat. Yogis carry their yoga practice with them through their daily routines, and we learn more about ourselves as we continue on our yoga paths.

Your yoga journey can start from humble beginnings but then blossom into something powerful and inspiring, something Kelly never knew she was capable of until she got back on the mat and tried.

As you travel on your own yoga path, I hope that Kelly’s story acts as an inspiration for your practice. She truly inspires me to keep practicing, and you will hear this inspiration in action when she asks me a few questions of her own at the end of this podcast. Kelly understands what it means to practice yoga with integrity, and she inspires me and hopefully all you yoga students listening to practice in the same way. If you’re a practicing yoga student, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me! Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino McGregor!

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “If I’ve met my teachers and they’ve taught me, then I’m going to practice what I’ve been taught in my room and let that be enough.” 3:30

2 – “It is so overwhelming to stand on your yoga mat and ask yourself the question ‘what should I do today?’.” 21:32

 

No matter where you are in your yoga journey, you are or you will soon start to practice yoga at home – and you don’t need to be a self-taught yogi to practice home yoga! All you need is a routine and a commitment to your yoga practice to start posing at home. A sacred space can help, too. On this episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast I’m unpacking the skills you’ll need to establish a home practice for yourself.

 

No, I’m not talking about yoga skills. Home yoga is for everyone, even yoga beginners who know only a handful of poses. It’s important not to try and teach yourself new poses at home, but practicing meditation and building on what you do know is key to home practice.

 

There are some things I absolutely love about home yoga. Hot showers right after practice are at the top of that list, but I really love just being able to pose in my own little yoga sanctuary. When you have a sacred space to practice yoga in your home, it makes it easier to get back to the mat every day. On the days when you’re feeling particularly uninspired, just stepping into your own space can bring that yoga inspiration right back. 

 

Setting up a sacred space is one way to establish a home yoga practice, but you won’t use that space if you don’t have a routine in place. I’m discussing some of my best tips that personally helped me create a yoga routine that works with my everyday routine. A yoga routine will make it easier for you to stay motivated and it will also minimize all those at-home distractions, like the laundry and dirty dishes.

 

What can you do today to create a routine around your yoga practice? 

 

The best place to start is with your commitment to your yoga journey. It can be hard to stick to a routine with everything going on at home, but setting small, attainable goals for yourself and your practice can help you stay committed. Achieving those goals turns your yoga mat into a happy space where you WANT to be, rather than a place you HAVE to be. 

 

Your yoga goals can be anything you want them to be, but they should align with your meditation and yoga practice. I’ve found that setting a realistic routine goal, such as 1 or 2 days a week of home yoga, will not only motivate you to practice, but you might find that you’re inspired to exceed that goal on a regular basis.

 

Whenever you start practicing home yoga, always remember to align yourself with a yoga teacher and check in with them regularly. Connecting with our sangha, our community of fellow yogis, is important to each and every one of our yoga journeys. 

 

Luckily, today we have the luxury of connecting online. Find out if there are any live yoga classes near you like this one or reach out to your favorite yoga studio once a week, once a month, once a year – whenever it is best for your routine. Checking in regularly with other yoga students and teachers will keep you motivated to keep getting on the mat. 

If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners! Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino McGregor!

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “Let us pause and reflect upon the enormity of this situation and just give thanks for a moment.” 10:47 

2 – “Yoga practice is a place that is a break from anxiety.” 16:31

 

We are sitting with so much uncertainty these days. I know many of us have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s put many of us in a difficult space. Even the most dedicated yoga practitioners are having a hard time, myself included. I’m turning to my yoga community for guidance right now, and I’m sharing their responses with you on this episode.

 

Hearing real stories from fellow yogis can help us through this in-between stage of not-knowing. Uncertainty is a common trigger for many anxieties, and just being able to discuss these fears with others can be a huge relief. Especially when we can’t leave our homes to see friends or even get out to our favorite yoga studios. 

 

If yoga teaches us anything right now it is that it’s impossible to try and deny our depressive or anxious emotions. In order to become a whole person, we must embrace the darkness. Yoga is about embracing the darkest, most vulnerable sides of ourselves and recognizing that this, too, shall pass. Everything is of cycles, and we will not be in this uncertain state forever. 

 

Much of what I talk about in this episode is inspired by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s book In Love with the World. With it I discuss the Buddhist Bardo states, especially the Bardo of the unknown and the transient. It acts as my guidance on this inner journey of my mind as I process the uncertain situations happening around me. I hope to inspire my fellow yogis struggling with their own anxieties. 

 

You are a student of yoga, and you have the strength within you to bear the brunt of these uncertain times. Yoga practice is designed to help us get through challenges just like these. Meditation, breathing exercises, and centering yourself within yourself are all techniques made to ease the mind and soothe anxiety. 

 

The responses I share in this episode vary across the board. I work with many yoga students from across the globe, and we are all in varying degrees of social distancing and lockdown. But right now, it seems we are all sharing the same grateful attitude for having our yoga practice. 

 

The reality of yoga right now is that it’s available to us whenever we need it. Whether you’re using this time to develop a home yoga practice or taking an online yoga class, just make sure all of your thoughts and actions are aligned with supporting a balance within yourself. Know that these transient times are a necessary part of the cycle, and none of your anxious feelings are permanent.  

 

If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners. Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino MacGregor!

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “The reason we practice yoga is to tap into that heart of compassion.” 5:34

2 – “When you devalue your own life, there’s a devaluation in the life of others as well.” 19:33

This episode of the Yoga Inspiration Podcast is coming straight from my heart. I was inspired by my own yoga teacher this week when he reminded me how special and valuable life – all living things – truly is, including yourself.

 

Do you know how hard it is to love and accept yourself? Especially during the times we live in now. The world is so different, and things are changing so quickly for so many of us that any sense of normalcy or acceptance is flying right out the window. With this episode, I want every yoga student out there to continue practicing compassion and empathy.

 

The reason we practice yoga is to tap into our hearts, the heart of compassion, and find ways to turn our empathy into action. And the first place to start is with yourself – 

 

Do you ever think negative thoughts?

 

Do you ever think negative thoughts about yourself?

 

You aren’t alone. All of us face our own personal conflicts with self-loathing. Recognizing our own worthiness is not always an easy feat, but you must have faith that this negative cycle is not a permanent state of being. There is nothing natural about hating yourself. Self-hatred is a habit we have learned and conditioned ourselves into believing. 

 

Remember that your thoughts and emotions have the power to influence your life. What’s more, if you’re trapped in this cycle of negative thoughts towards yourself, it will be that much harder to open yourself up to a higher plane of being. Think about this – how are you supposed to learn acceptance on this spiritual journey if you don’t first accept yourself? 

 

It’s time to take a closer look at self-hatred and why so many of us mistake these negative feelings as facts about ourselves when the complete opposite is true. I share the psychological research behind this condition of self-loathing many modern adults are susceptible too, and I ask each of my listeners to take a closer look at the thoughts and feelings they experience towards themselves. 

 

Take note of how you think about yourself, as it will influence the way you move forward on your yoga journey. True spiritual liberation doesn’t happen overnight and learning how to recognize a pattern of self-loathing in yourself can be a powerful tool for overcoming self-doubt and low self-esteem. Great strength and love are there inside you, and I discuss ways you can tap into these powerful emotions and restructure the way you think about yourself.

 

The architecture of self-love is built on more than just hope and faith, but you must have both if you wish to be truly inspired by this episode. Compassion is the life force within every living being. Let it first flow through you so that you can experience the power of your own compassion before sharing it with others.

 

If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners! Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino McGregor!

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “Let’s not put ourselves in the solitary confinement of seriousness, because that just creates more suffering. Instead we can ask – what’s funny about this?” JP 14:08

2 – “The evidence that they’ll benefit from yoga is found in their feeling of intimidation…The intimidation means there’s something there for you.” JP 33:35

 

I’m bringing a new kind of inspiration to this episode of the Yoga Inspiration Podcast! You may not realize it, but humor is so important to our spiritual journey – especially right now. We can walk the line between appropriate and inappropriate humor, or we can use humor to help us and our fellow yoga students to cope, understand, and bring some light to an otherwise dark and confusing time. My guest, conscious comedian JP Sears, is here to discuss how humor can be a yogis best motivator.

 

What I love most about humor is that it takes something that’s mysterious and makes it approachable. If you’ve ever been intimidated by a yoga studio, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Being able to laugh at your awkwardness or the silliness of the poses is a great way to relax and come into your own in a yoga class. For more practiced yoga students, humor is a great way to approach meditation and keep your ego in check. At least, that’s how JP does it.

 

JP’s motivation for comedy came from a personal need to get his own big head back to size. He was quickly becoming aware of his own egotistical nature – as he calls it – and he wanted to bring himself back to earth. 

 

As students of yoga, we aren’t immune to our own successes. Sometimes on our spiritual journey we can grow a little over-confident in our abilities and the role we play. That role puffs up an ego and influences the way we share our spirituality with others. Humor can be a way to tap into that side of our ego, to learn where it hides and how it feeds, and ultimately laugh at it (and ourselves). 

 

Just like yoga students, comedians have layers. When you start to peel away the layers of their jokes, you realize that they are making some serious points. We peel away some of JP’s jokes on this episode and really talk about what it means to be a comedian during the Coronavirus. Because there’s not too much humor in this situation. There’s a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, and JP points out ways we can still laugh in the face of trauma without disrespecting the severity of our situation.

 

With humor, timing is everything. Navigating when is the right time to make a joke is one big topic we discuss on this episode. Humor isn’t always going to be an appropriate response for everyone, but there are ways to use humor in a way that’s inspiring without being inappropriate. 

How can we inspire ourselves with humor?

 

JP says to look at our lives as a spiritual practice. Too often we compartmentalize our yoga journey and our spirituality. It becomes something we only do on the yoga mat or when we meditate, which is kind of silly when you think about it. JP looks at his experiences and his relationships all as spiritual practices. Every day there are opportunities to learn by fire and discover new layers of yourself, and you don’t have to be in a yoga studio to do it. 

 

I hope that taking this kind of approach to your spiritual journey – and being able to laugh along the way – will inspire you to continue your yoga practice throughout these sheltered times. Being able to laugh at ourselves can be immensely healing. I know that, personally, I would not have been able to work on my higher spiritual journey if I wasn’t able to laugh. When JP interviews me at the end of this episode, I explain how humor tackled my internal antagonistic paradigm of achievement, and I hope it helps you to see how humor and laughter can encourage your spiritual journey.

 

If you’re interested in hearing more of JP Sears’ conscious comedy, check him out every Friday night on his website – Awaken with JP.

 

If you’re interested in the resources I discussed today, you can find In Love with the World by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche here.

 

If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners. Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino MacGregor!

 

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “It’s been a challenge but a new perspective on how my yoga practice is going to evolve.” Dianne 4:22

2 – “Yoga isn’t just that physical practice. It’s all about the way you want to show up in the world, and it’s all about the way you want to be physical in the world.” Dianne 30:03

 

This episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast is especially inspiring for me because one of my very own mentors is here as my guest. Dianne Bondy is a disruptor in the yoga scene. She is a social justice activist who paved the way for more inclusive yoga studios and practices, and I sought out her mentorship when I wanted to make my classes more accessible to yoga students from all walks of life. 

 

Inclusive yoga is more important now than ever, even as we’re squinting through our computer screens on Zoom. Being a yoga teacher in the digital age of COVID-19 means we are seeing more and more new yoga students picking up the practice. That’s why I brought Dianne onto the podcast. 

 

Dianne is teaching more yoga now than ever before – go figure! Not only does she have more time to do yoga with friends, but she’s also helping new yoga students start this spiritual journey for themselves.

 

For her, without the spiritual journey of yoga, she would be “going off the handle,” as she calls it. With all the uncertainty in the world, a spiritual connection between mind, body, and soul can be very grounding. This is what makes the spiritual journey particularly important to new yogis.

 

How can a spiritual practice help you keep your sanity?

 

Just breathe. Dianne wants us all to learn to breathe again. Because yoga isn’t about mastering impossible poses. Yoga is about breathing, and if you’re brand-spanking-new to yoga, tuning in with your breath is the first thing you should be doing with your practice. 

 

Just. Breathe.

 

Breathing can ground you. Breathing helps you notice when you’re in your head and overlooking the bigger picture – the bigger energy – you are a part of in this big, crazy world. It can really soothe the jagged edges around your nerves and bring you a sense of calm.

 

Dianne shares her favorite breathing exercise for beginners, and we discuss how taking this time to breathe can bring a calming pause to your life – a pause that is not so unlike “The Great Pause” this pandemic has caused for all of us. 

 

The Great Pause. That is how Dianne refers to our global situation on this episode, and it’s inspired me to think a bit differently about how I look at and approach my own yoga practice. We’re all going to have to relearn how to live in this world again, but rather than focus on the anxious energy – take a breath, and take a pause. We’re all going to see each other on the other side of this.

 

If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners. Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino MacGregor!

 

Show Notes

Show notes

On the this episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast, I’m sharing with you the powerful life lessons I learned about failure from the yoga mat. If you remember back to my first episode, you know that I didn’t come from an athletic or particularly physically fit background when I took my first yoga class. I didn’t even know what any of these poses were when I started! But just because you can’t balance a pose doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of practicing yoga. 

 

Yoga practice is anything but easy. You will most likely meet failure right there in your first yoga class. When I first started practicing yoga, I wasn’t good at the poses– these backbends don’t come naturally! In fact, it was the Pose Pincha Mayurasana that was absolutely impossible for me, and I failed more at this yoga pose than anything else. 

 

I wasn’t good at failing, either. Frustration and failure have a nasty habit of sneaking into your mindset, and they have the potential to really ruin your yoga practice if you let it. The reality of staying inspired to practice yoga when you keep failing is exceptionally difficult. You can’t force it. What you can do is change the way you think about failure.

 

Yoga practice is a space where failure is welcome. Failure is the only way you can learn from yoga because yoga isn’t about memorizing or perfecting the poses. Yoga is a personal and spiritual journey that strengthens your mental abilities just as much – if not more – than your physical form. 

 

Are you afraid of failure?

 

Fear of failure is a huge inhibition, both on the yoga mat and in your everyday life. This fear can stop you from achieving the things you want most in the world. When you let fear rule your actions, you trap yourself in an endless loop of fear and failure that can be difficult to break. 

 

In a success-oriented society like ours, failure can be seen as a threat to our livelihood. Each of us will experience this fear more times than we can count. Did you know that I was afraid to start this podcast because I thought I would fail? Even after 20 years of yoga practice, I still have my own doubts when it comes to my abilities as both a yoga student and a yoga teacher. The trick is to acknowledge these doubts and create a process-oriented way of thinking that will focus on the steps that will work through these doubts rather than just setting an impossible goal for yourself. 

 

Remember – perfection doesn’t exist and you will never achieve it. What you can achieve is self-acceptance and a higher sense of self that is able to accept failure and learn new things because of it.

 

This process of trying-failing-learning is the process-oriented thinking that is required to be successful at yoga. Process-oriented thinking in your yoga practice gives you the freedom to not care about whether you achieved the poses but to focus on your breathing and the internal journey you are taking with your practice.

 

My goal with this episode and this podcast is to change the whole paradigm of “success”. The next time you get on the yoga mat, I want you to challenge the way you look at failure. My stories as a yoga student will inspire you to see your failures in a new light and give you the guidance you need to keep moving forward with your practice. Success is what you get from yoga practice when you learn something about yourself, not necessarily when you do a headstand. 

 

Don’t be afraid to share your failures with you. If you’re a yoga student and you want to share your yoga journey with me, I would love to hear it! Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino MacGregor!

 

Show Notes

Show notes

1 – “What are we doing on the spiritual path? We’re trying to break those chains of the ego.” 2:27:10

2 – “Your practice, in my opinion, is the strongest when it’s the worst.” 2:57:22

 

Yoga is hard. I’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years, and I still think it’s challenging. But something worth doing is never easy, and I’m talking about one of the most difficult practices in yoga on this episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast – the Tapas.

 

We all come to our first yoga practice for selfish reasons – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Wanting to strengthen your body, open your mind, and improve your health are all great reasons to seek out a yoga studio. But yoga isn’t a fast and easy shortcut away from suffering. Yoga is a journey, and like all journeys, your yoga practice will come with its own and deeply personal trials and tribulations. 

 

How do you face these trials?

 

Patanjali’s Tapas are the way to make sense of them, but it’s more than just a few complicated poses and positions. Tapas is how you identify and burn away the chains of your ego so that you can continue your spiritual growth. 

 

Your ego is how you recognize yourself and your personality, so the Tapas will not be easy. Tapas are here to help you learn how to break the habits of being yourself. 

 

Sounds intense, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. As you meet this confrontation on your yoga mat, you will experience two levels of Tapas:

  • Level One is within the physical body. When you feel your muscles burning, imagine that it is the Tapas burning through your body.
  • Level Two is deeper. This is when you start burning through the old states of your personality. 

 

I discuss in more detail what these levels mean, because it is more than just your physical body that benefits from this kind of yoga practice. According to Patanjali – whom I also discuss more in this episode – the benefits of Tapas start first with the physical body, and then move through the energy and space around and within the body.

 

The Tapas will start in Kaia, your physical body. This also includes your subconscious, where your thoughts reign. You have to be able to bring your subconscious thoughts to the surface in order to benefit from the Tapas, and that means taking on your ego. 

 

Then the Tapas move to your physical senses, the Indria. Your senses are more than just a means to experience the external world – they are just as important to your internal world, too. In order to benefit from the Tapas, you will have to turn your senses back in toward yourself and your spiritual journey.

 

Finally, you can achieve Siddhi after putting in the work that the Tapas require of you. And you may not achieve it in this lifetime. The important part is that you put in the work and get on the mat every day to tackle your ego. Because it’s not easy, and I admire anyone that can power through and take on even the most impossible pose.

 

The Tapas will be strongest during your hardest practice, so never let the pain hold you back. Whether it’s physical or emotional, the pain is what leads to this purification and brings up the fire and heat within is. When you feel the burn, that means your Tapas is on fire – and my advice is to let it burn. 

 

If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners. Send me an email at info@kinoyoga.com and tell me – what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino MacGregor!

 

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