Kino MacGregor has a lot of peace in her life. It’s her guiding principle and what’s helped birth her 1.1 million Instagram followers, fame and the Miami yoga center she co-owns with her husband, Tim Feldmann. When you’re as in tune with the world as MacGregor is, as her practice of Ashtanga yoga requires her to be, a magnetic field forms, pulling in anyone with a mat and a credit card. MacGregor is attempting—and succeeding—to answer: Can you really put a price on enlightenment?
MacGregor is a walking, bending, empire-building motivational poster come to life. And she’s here to preach the merits and healing power of yoga. She found it at 19 and studied by herself for a few years until discovering Ashtanga yoga—a practice that places emphasis on the spiritual side and skill levels—at 22. It changed her life. She estimates it took her eight trips to India, where she studied under guru Pattabhi Jois, to achieve her Ashtanga teaching certification.
MacGregor is now 40 and is a rock star in the yoga world. That term might seem glib if it weren’t so true. To watch her do yoga—both on her personal YouTube channel with 507,296 subscribers (as of press time) and on the multimedia site OmStars “the world’s first yoga TV channel,” as she calls it—is to try to spot exactly where the CGI is edited in.
In advance of her June workshop with Live Pure Yoga in Springfield, 417 Magazine spoke with MacGregor about her career, her upcoming workshop and what you can do to prepare for it.
417 Magazine: It seems like yoga is having a moment and people are gravitating toward it. Exactly how big do you think that footprint is right now?
Kino MacGregor: I think right now people are really interested in how to bring more peace into their lives. I think that everything, whether it’s a yoga happy hour or goat yoga or beer yoga or whatever, it is that makes it accessible for people to get on their mats for the first time, and maybe they would never go to the yoga class except that they were promised to pet a goat, or they would never go to a yoga class but they were promised a glass of wine after—that’s great. It gets them into the practice. If that person has the seed inside of their heart for true practice, they’re going to pick it up, and they’re going to practice again. As a long-term consistent practice, I don’t think any of these more promotional yoga classes should be a substitute for disciplined, medicated, spiritual practice.
417: What’s your regular breakdown of person-to-person classes you teach versus the online videos you create?
K.M.: I film about one day a week, and I teach probably between three and five days a week. I’ll either be traveling in my workshops I do over the weekend or teaching. When I’m in Miami, I’ll be teaching in my yoga center. Without the experience of teaching real people, I don’t think anybody should be making videos. It’s so important that the work of being a yoga teacher happens in that one-to-one format where you show up, and you’re teaching the students. You’re communicating with them, and you’re there for them after when they have questions. That’s really the foundation for everything else.