Kino MacGregor is truly a yoga sensation; perhaps it’s more accurate to call her a yoga rock star, because she’s mastered the art of garnishing fame and marketing yoga. She uses this skill to spread the message of Ashtanga, and she has an incredible gift for explaining how to do yoga. Her teaching abilities parallel her own practice, because she herself is a committed yoga practitioner. In addition to being an insanely talented 4th Series Ashtangi, she’s also one of the few certified teachers sanctioned by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois himself.
I’ve had the incredible opportunity to train with Kino extensively via several yoga intensives, and most recently a 100 hour Ashtanga course. In the words of Shakespeare, though she be but little, she is fierce. Seriously, training with Kino is a butt kicking experience, but it transforms your practice. There are endless ways to learn from her. And learn we certainly can, because she clearly breaks down not just how to master poses, but all the steps along the way.
Kino has teamed up with Cody App to provide detailed, step by step yoga instruction. Can’t make it to a training session with Kino? No problem. Your app goes with you everywhere. I wish this were sponsored, but goddamit, this is purely my own opinion: the Cody App is actually pretty awesome, particularly for people who don’t have yoga studios or advanced teachers to learn from. The app provides a wide array of yoga and fitness programs for smart phones and tablets. The app itself is free, and allows the user to search through many series of yoga, strength and flexibility training. The programs cost anywhere from $20 to $80 dollars, and you can access them as many times as you want on device that supports the app. Each program is broken down into portions as well the whole series, so you can practice for over an entire hour or just a few moments at a time.
The Journey to Handstand series is a 31 day process that introduces new strength training and handstand specific drills in each video. You can mix, match or stack the videos however you like, but at last we have a program that provides direction on the elusive handstand. Kino filmed the handstand series with her friend Kerri Verna, known on Instagram as Beach Yoga Girl. The two have a warm and engaging relationship, and it translates well into a yoga instructional series.
Why does this formula work? Specific shoulder and core strength must be built up to nail these poses. No amount of kicking up against a wall will really teach a yogi what is needed to master handstands and forearm balances. Kino’s series breaks down the training to easy (ish) bite-sized portions, so you have a very clear, organized road map to follow.
Results: it works. It probably will take longer than a month, but you’ll see a significant improvement to be sure. Strength training is the only way to really nail handstands. Kino herself very forthrightly says no app or DVD can replace a classroom experience, but not everyone has the luxury of private lessons or a studio that provides strong yoga training. Furthermore, most classes spend very little time teaching students how to do handstand and forearm balances. If a yoga practitioner wants to learn these master poses, they must be practiced outside of the studio on a consistent basis.
- The video and sound quality is excellent
- Kino’s explanations are succinct and easy to follow…and they work!
- The programs stacks on itself, so you can build up the strength required to nail your inversions
- CORRECT and SAFE postures and poses are taught, which is essential for both health and success
- Both Kino and Kerri are knowledgeable in their instructions and explain sequencing very well
- Because it’s two friends filming together, it feels personable. You get that wonderful community feel of doing yoga with a small group of people you know
- Take it with you wherever you are and review as many or few times as you’d like
- It cost about the same price as going to a workshop, but you can’t pause a workshop.
- It’s a little chatty. If you are a Dive In and GET TO IT type of person like I am, force yourself to be patient the first time through so you can get good instruction. When you repeat it though, be prepared to fast-forward. Or, memorize the sequence and do it without the video. The sequences aren’t terribly difficult to learn, just hard to execute since it requires tons of strength 🙂
- The programs run slowly (regardless of your internet speed), so fast-forwarding or rewinding can be a pain. However, Cody has fixed this to some extent by giving the option to download each sequence directly on to your phone or iPad.