I have always been hesitant to call myself a yogi, or a yogini as it may be. I imagined a yogi as a twisty pretzel person or someone who can meditate for 3 hours without opening their eyes every few seconds to check their phone. Someone who does not let the trivial bother them and has the stamina to do every Chaturanga in class. I imagined a yogi as someone other than me.

What makes a yogi? Ten years of practice? Minutes in meditation? Fancy arm balances? Am I a yogi yet? Maybe when I get headstand.

photo by Bridget Eccles

I admit that when I am not finding the whole concept intimidating, I find it completely pretentious. “I am a yogi.” It reeks of bad youtube parodies and wheatgrass. Thing is, I like wheatgrass and I have said at least 80% of the “Sh*t Yogis Say”. Good stuff.

Joking aside, I am not sure what “qualifies” one as a yogi. I suppose it is commitment. It is a feeling, not of complete mastery of the poses or perfect understanding of the text, but of marriage to the journey. It is fully committing to the path and following it in whatever direction it may lead.

In the end it is just a label. It is a way of describing oneself so that others know what to think of you. Just as I call myself a woman and a college grad, I can use yogi to distinguish myself from all those out there not getting their OM on. Or, I can just choose to live it, without the label.

Do you call yourself a yogi? Why or Why not? Click the comment below and tell me what you think.


[Originally posted on January 9, 2013 at Back to the Sutra]

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