Article's Author: SFL Style writer
Publish date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Kino MacGregor a Miami native is one of only a few yogis to have earned a certificate in India directly from founder K. Pattabhi Jois. Kino is the founder of Omstars—the world’s first yoga TV network.
Kino has an impressive 1 million+ followers on Instagram and over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube and Facebook. Her message of spiritual strength has a global reach. She is a highly acclaimed international yoga teacher, inspirational speaker as well as the author of four books, producer of six Ashtanga Yoga DVDs, writer, vlogger, world traveler, co-founder of Miami Life Center.
Yoga for Kino is more than a “workout”— it is a way life founded on a firm commitment to the moral and ethical precepts of truth, non-violence and love, which is a crucial message for today’s world.
On a typical day, Kino will be teaching her classes and workshops all over the world, filming for her YouTube channel, that has over 100 million views and on Omstars, where all her newest and inspiring video content lives. Kino has more than 20 years of experience in Ashtanga Yoga and 18 years of experience in Vipassana Meditation, she is one of a select group of people to receive the Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India and practice into the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga under Sri R. Sharath Jois.
Being strong in yoga is just not about a powerful handstand or a deep backbend, Kino sees yoga as a daily ritual where people tune deeply in to their spiritual center and experience the peace of the Eternal Divine. Kino believes in making the tools of traditional yoga be accessible to everyone, no matte your body shape, size, or age.
Rather than it being an exclusive club for the privileged elite, yoga is for everyone and it is the international community of yogis who are responsible for the integrity of the sacred heart of yoga.
Our editors wanted to learn more and asked Kino to answer a Q and A.
Please, in a few words, tell our reader about your background. When did you understand that yoga is your calling?
I was never a dancer, a gymnast or anything physical before yoga. I walked into a yoga class at a local south Florida gym over 22 years ago. While I didn’t dive into the practice deeply then that one class left an impression on me about yoga as a path of healing. Later, when I was suffering from multiple ankle sprains and a period of depression I made a choice to start yoga and to live a more peaceful life. That was the moment that my life changed, and I felt a true calling to devote my life to the spiritual practice. Since then I have dedicated myself to the continual practice of yoga and I can testify to the fact that yoga has helped me to live a more peaceful life.
How did you get the idea to create the Omstar channel?
Yoga really influences everything about your life, from choices in food, social consciousness, environmental awareness and more. But, perhaps more than anything else yoga makes you more sensitive to the way you effect the world and the way that the world effect you. After a few years of practicing yoga, I suddenly realized that I no longer found the average TV series entertaining anymore. All the manufactured drama stopped speaking to me. As I flipped through endless episodes available to stream on demand, it just felt like there was nothing that spoke to me as a yogi. So, I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if there was an online channel that represented the entire world of yoga? I imagined a place where yogis all over the world would come for yoga practice and stay to binge-watch yoga lifestyle content that spoke to them as a yogi. I started dreaming about yoga practice series, TV shows and movies that would inspires people to live a more peaceful life and support the spiritual path. It looks years of work, but that is the dream of Omstars— we carry the torch of yoga and bring the tools of traditional practice to students all over the world.
What is your favorite style of yoga?
I’ve been practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga for the last 20 years. It’s definitely my main yoga discipline and truly, I haven’t really ever experimented with other styles of yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is named after the eight limbs of yoga outlined in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras nearly 2,000 years ago. More than just a physical practice, Ashtanga Yoga seeks to transform every aspect of your life.
What is the most difficult in your professional work in working with people?
The hardest part in any interaction with people is accepting that you cannot and will not ever please everyone. Some people will leave thinking that you treated them harshly even if your best intentions were in place. Other people will have decided to judge you according to their own convictions and you will have no chance at convincing them otherwise. As a yoga teacher with a public presence it can be difficult to accept the negative comments and not let them weight me down. I have to put in a good deal of emotional labor not to take on or own other people’s negative views of me. It’s easy to want to please others, but in order to keep your integrity I’ve learned that you have to please yourself first. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t listen to diverging points of view—you should. In fact, I make it a point to listen to anyone’s point of view even deeper when I feel defensive. But, there are some situations that are simply unwinnable and all you can really do is accept that the you will have divergent viewpoints. That’s always hard for me because I like to believe that we can always make peace and find a win-win situation if we open our hearts. And truly, most of the time we can and do.
What is the best place to practice yoga in Miami? Where do classes and workshops usually take place?
Over 11 years ago, my husband I founded Miami Life Center and we are still going strong as the heart of Ashtanga Yoga in South Florida today. Whenever I teach in Miami, it’s always here at my home base. But, more than that, my husband and I have trained our amazing team of teachers. When you walk in the door, you’ll feel a sense of belonging and a kind of spiritual home. We also host community events, like free yoga in the parks, and workshops with visiting teachers.
What are your three favorite places to eat in Miami?
Soul Tavern - This locally owned plant-based restaurant really understands the heart and soul of ahimsa, the moral and ethical commitment to non-violence. Not to mention that the wood-oven pizzas are divine. You must try the edamame dumplings and the gyoza jackfruit!!
Glam Vegan - Fun, affordable and super yummy just over the bridge at the outskirts of Wynwood.
Planta - Trendy upscale vegan that feels like a party. The cauliflower balls are amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!
If I could add one more, I’d throw in Atlas Meatless Deli. All the meats and cheeses are homemade, and this local restaurant owner actually supplies most of the vegan meats to the other restaurants around Miami. It’s just a bit far for me to frequent them as often as I like. But, there’s always Postmates :)