Installment III of Donavan Wilson’s extended conversation with Kino MacGregor about her yoga evolution. Since I have already apologized to Donavan for taking so long to get this article online, I should probably apologize to Kino now as well because she invested time and thought in answering Donavan’s persistent questions and did not see the end product for months. Photos are provided from Kino MacGregor’s website. In case you have not figure it out yet, just click on an image to see a larger format.
Finding a Home
Kino discussed the direction of practice after Jois left New York. She identified Jois as her teacher. She practiced at few places, but with no success. Govinda Kai left New York City to assist Eddie Stern. The issues of affordability, convenience and schedule conflicts prevented Kino from practicing in a studio. Also, Kino had used her money to pay for her first trip to Mysore and Jois’ practice in New York City. She believed that her trip to Mysore and Jois’s tour of New York served as a message. Kino unrolled her yoga mat and practice in her apartment every single day. Govinda moved into Kino’s apartment and they became roommates. Kino participated in an occasional workshop, but identified Jois as her teacher. In the subsequent years, Kino returned to Mysore to practice with Jois. The longest time she stayed in Mysore was six months, doing so two years in a row. During her third trip to Mysore, she received the authorization to teach.
The opportunities to teach Yoga grew after the authorization and she received invitations from several studios to teach. “When I spent time in India or Europe, I would return to Europe,” said Kino. “After teaching at some really amazing Yoga centers around the world, such as Tri-Yoga in London, Balance Yoga in Frankfurt, I returned to Miami. There are nice yoga centers and a good yoga community in Miami. I wanted to create something on the world-class level to the centers that I have been to and give back to the community,” she said.
“Then, one year, when I spent six months in Europe in July in Ireland, I was drawing myself a bath to thaw myself out of the cold. Northern Europe in the summer is cold and grey, it was one of those gray days, what is called a bad summer. I thought I want to move back to Miami,” said Kino. “I want to live in the sunshine. I do not want to live in Europe. My husband and I entertained the idea of opening a yoga center in Denmark because he is Danish. I would check the forecast in Northern Europe and then Miami Beach, then I would think why I am here? I missed home, the air, the light, the sunshine you can count on, the heat and openness of America. I missed America, too.”
“I never wanted to create a place that would only have Yoga classes,” said Kino. “I knew that for me personally that the path of Yoga was multifaceted.” Kino’s vision for the path of Yoga includes all the necessary tools to enhance total life transformation, having a nutritional counselor, energy healers, providing workshops and classes that facilitate the whole journey of yoga. Kino wanted more than the creation of an Ashtanga yoga center.
The Miami Life Center provides an environment in which people can search for inner peace. “I wanted to create a facility that would be a sanctuary,” said Kino. “We treat the space like a temple. We take cleaning the space and keeping a level of organization like cleaning the temple grounds. We try our best to keep an open and honest dialog among our staff and the materials we use to create the facility. We want to create a space to be beautiful and calming,” she said.
“We have Iyengar-inspired yoga and Jivamukti-styled yoga. I do not believe that Ashtanga yoga is the only yoga; it is the way for me. There are numerous paths along yoga that are totally beneficial. Guruji never said do only Ashtanga Yoga and Shanti is coming. Guruji said you do three things. He would say you take yoga practice; one style of yoga, and many years. He never said take Ashtanga Yoga only, he said one style and one teacher, whatever style that is.”