January 31, 2010

Hey, what makes “Me” a Yogi, anyway?!

What makes you a yogi?! Do you call yourself one?!

by Sarah Miller

Oh how the ego loooves itself and oh, how the ego gets carried away at times.

Yogis take themselves far too seriously [note to “Self”]. What constitutes a yogi anyway? Do you use this word Proudly? Flippantly? Sparingly? Do you refer to your Self as a Yogi? Does it depend on the company you are with?

Being the list maker that I am (early childhood Montessori training perhaps), I’ve asked my Self many times if these are the qualities required for distinguishing modern yogis from the rest of the masses. Or are these just attributes associated with the natural evolution of the yogic path?

Do you….

  • Eat daal and rice at least 3X a week.
  • Do you have perfect form in Chaturanga Dandasana?
  • Have you gone to India at least once?
  • Do you know as many Sanskrit words as possible?
  • Are you a vegetarian for ahmisic reasons? Have you struggled with this?
  • Do you have a tradition, a lineage or a Guru?
  • Do you look good in your yoga pants?
  • Do you have a regular asana practice and meditate daily?
  • Do you know your Yamas and Niyamas and try to live accordingly?
  • Do you see the world through the lenses of Vata, Pitta and Kapha and/or the three Gunas?

If you answered “yes” to four or more of these, then you may be running the risk of being called a “yogi.” However, I prefer the formless approach to yogidom. My teachers Sharon Gannon and David Life reminded us on our TTC that everyone is a yogi- whether they know it or not. We as teachers are helping the inner yogi awaken in our students, friends and families. Your students and friends may very well be more evolved than you even without ever having done Nadi Shodhana.

Humble thyself dear yogi. It’s a pathless path.

Om Shanti!

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