Between 1st and 3rd of June 2018 I participated at Kino’s MacGregor workshop on Ashtanga in Budapest. I consider Kino my guru. I discovered her on Instagram a year before and I was instantly mesmerized by her words. They had a wisdom that I haven’t found before on any other yogi’s profile. They always seemd to be exactly what I was searching for. If you don’t know her, you should definitely check her profile. Also, she has an amazing yoga platform, called Omstars.com, on which you find yoga videos on any subject: Ashtanga, Iyengar, yin, vyniasa, philosophy, meditation, lifestyle, clothing, vegan food, talk shows and some of the greatest yoga teacher in the world. I can’t describe in words how many things I’ve learned from that platform. I will write an article dedicated to that platform.
So let’s go back to the workshop in Budapest. Kino, every year, goes in tour around the globe to do workshops and this year she also had the workshop in Budapest, which I chose because it was the closest to me and the cheapest destination. The ticket was 230 euros, perhaps a bit spicy, but believe me she is worth it, maybe much more.
The workshop was on Ashtanga, which I developed a crush on since I’ve started following her and now it is the only style of yoga that I want to do. This workshop was structured into five parts.
The first part was a led Full Primary Series class and was held on the Friday evening. The event took place in the sports holl of an university and it was full. The feeling was amazing. Usually, the feeling in an Ashtanga class is something very special, but being between hundreds of ashtangis and led by the youngest ever certified Ashtanga female teacher was at a totally different level. It is a very empowering feeling being a woman and see how far another women came.The opening and the closing prayer gave chills to each of us for sure.
And another thing that made the hole event special, was meeting two of the creaziest and fun ashtangi girls I ever met, Marina from Serbia and Ana from Poland. We met through a fortunate funny series of events and we “clicked” from the start, It was the beginning of a beautiful yogic friendship. It was amazing how many things we shared, starting with our passion for Ashtanga and admiration for Kino. We promised each other that we will definitely meet again at other workshops of Kino.
The second part of the workshop, on Saturday morning, was Twist into your centre. Kino has a real gift with words. She uses some comparisons and terms you would never thought about and makes the light in your brain light up. And so was in the Twist into your centre part. She skillfully thought us how we can get deeper and deeper into our twists and all kinds of warm-up exercises which helped us get deeper into the postures.
The thing with the warm-up exercises continued into the third part, Fearless Backbends. She lead us from really light backbends into very deep ones, giving us all sorts of very useful tips to go deeper and deeper into our backbends. Did you know that for going deeper into a backbend is very important to activate your core and mula bandha, but relax your glutes? And that is pretty tricky for our brains to do the difference whilst in a backbend? Neither did we. And perhaps for some of you, it wasn’t that new, but the way she uses words, like I said before, makes the light in your mind light up. Also, she warned us from the beginning that backbends are very emotional and after the workshop or even days after we might feel very emotional and all types of feelings might come to the surface. And that’s how it was. Me and my friends were totally spaced out, but we remembered Kino’s words and didn’t act upon how we were feeling in that moment. And we were yogis, we knew the powerful effects of yoga on feelings and thoughts. And I always have a rave of emotions coming over me when I practice backbends and hip openers.
The forth and fifth part took place on Sunday. The forth part was Ashtanga magic / Trishtanam. The Trishtanam is composed of three main focus points in the Ashtanga practice and any yogi would tell you that without focusing on them, you pretty much are not doing yoga, but just some physical exercises. The three main focus points are the breath, the gazing point and the usage of the bandhas. There would be an entire article to be written about those three points, but I will briefly talk about them. The breath should be Ujiay breath, the breathing with sound and each movement is made on an inhale or on an exhale. You should also have a fixed gazing point, so that your mind could go easier in a state of meditation. And finally, you should always have the mula bandha or the root lock activated, and depending on the posture the other two bandhas, Jalandahara and Udhyana, should be activated. Here Kino shared with us her knowledge and experiences through her years and years of practice, making us understand their importance and their effects on a subtle level.
The last part of the workshop was perhaps the most fun, because it was Handstand lovers and handstands are always fun! It was the perfect way to end the workshop, even though we were all pretty sore. By the end of it we were all upsidedown smiling and being amazed that we were able to do a handstand. Of course they were all up against the wall, but things literally go upside down when you are upside down. The hole feeling of your body in space is changed, like you don’t know where your body parts are so you can’t control them. But Kino helped us better understand the hole mechanics of a handstand. And she always teaches you with a big bright smile on fer face, making jokes, being goofy and making you feel relaxed, enjoy, love and trust the hole process.
Another aspect of this workshop that I want to mention was the organization, which was very well done and I would like to thank the Mudita Yoga School from Budapest which made all this happen. They offered us an amazing opportunity to study with one of the greatest teacher in the world and also, I’ve seen that they are doing lots of other courses and workshops with very good teachers in Budapest. So if you are in Budapest someday, you should definitely check them!
Finally, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart to Kino for traveling every year and sharing all her knowledge with us and to yoga studios, as Mudita Yoga School, who organize this workshops and help them happen.
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