What does a yogi look like? How does a yogi act? What are the rules and commandments of “fitting in” with the yoga crowd?
Are yogis the people with perfectly toned yoga bodies wearing Lululemon, adorned in mala beads and “om” tattoos? Are they compassionate, vegetarian saints, shopping at Whole Foods with a cart full of kale and quinoa (never any cookies or booze)?
What Defines A Yogi?
I am someone that strongly dislikes being defined or being forced to conform. I am a “rebel”. I want nothing more than to be free, to be myself, to be authentic.
I was first introduced to yoga around age nine. Instead of going to church on Sundays, I would practice yoga, read from the Bhagavad Gita and chant sanskrit mantras with my mother. Soon I realized that was odd and different from everyone else, and I wanted nothing to do with it.
Somehow drawn back to yoga in my late teens, I’ve been practicing consistently ever since. There have been times when I have wanted to give up and get out of this “yoga thing”. But I am still here, still practicing, still dedicated – now more than ever. This is my path. This is who I am.
What Does A Yogi Do?
I wear mala beads and use them to meditate. I am named after Hanuman’s mother and I am a vegetarian. I am kind, compassionate and selfish at times. I am moody and messy. I suffer, I laugh, I get fearful and ashamed. I like to look good and feel good. I love kombucha. Malbec and Stella Artois. I rock yoga pants, Ganesh t-shirts, short dresses and heels. Depending on the day, I practice yoga in silence, listening to Rihanna or jamming to Krishna Das. I like to chant and I like to party. I am spiritual, I am human.
I love yoga. Yoga can’t really be pinned down and defined, and neither can I.
So what’s a yogi to do when that concept or idea starts to become another stereotype or image to fit into?
Yoga is living, breathing and ever-changing. There are no rules. There are no exclusions. There is no conformity. You don’t have to look like anything in particular. You don’t have to act a certain way. Your Warrior II doesn’t have to look perfectly like mine. You are free to be who you are. Yoga is all accepting, all encompassing, all unifying.
Vegetarians drinking green juice, all their chakras aligned, standing on their hands in yoga pants have become an image of what yogis are. It is no more than an image and concept in people’s minds. Those things don’t define anyone.
Those practicing yoga for spiritual, mental and emotional reasons are no better or worse than those practicing for chaturanga arms, a yoga booty and six pack abs. Eventually, people practicing for the purpose of an ass-kicking workout will inevitably go deeper. Yoga does the work. It does the magic.
Yoga is about you, the practitioner. Whoever you are. It’s about knowing your true self and evolving to your fullest potential. It’s about awareness. It is about connection of all the fragmented parts of yourself, connection between yourself and others, connection of mind and body.
15 Things That Make Me A Yogi
There are no rules or definitions, but I do know some things that undoubtedly make me a yogi.
I practice… and practice more. It is my space, my freedom, my devotion and inspiration.
I am aware. I am aware of all parts of myself, all the layers. I am aware of the thoughts, emotions, aches, pains, judgements and everything in between. I am aware of the space that holds all of that.
I am centered and grounded.
I am present. I am with my breath. I am at home in my body.
I know myself, love myself and accept myself. And there are plenty of times when I don’t. But I know how to come out of self-judgement and self-loathing.
I go with the flow. I ride the waves of life and find the ease.
I have an ego. I remind myself that I am not my ego.
I see the light in everyone. I appreciate everyone as they are. I love.
I breathe deep and live from my heart.
I am flexible and supple in body and mind.
I am a student of life. I am always learning and evolving.
I don’t follow rules. I am who I am. I will never fit into any category, definition, image or concept.
I am authentic and honest. On and off my mat.
I am not all these things, all the time. But the awareness remains no matter what comes and goes on the surface. I know how to return to my center, to my most true and pure self, unified and whole.
What makes YOU a yogi?
viaWhat Is A Yogi?.
Everyone knows yoga, the Millennium discipline practiced by millions of worldwide followers. But do you know the acro-yoga, this blend of acrobatics and yoga?
Unlike the traditional form of yoga that is practiced alone, this variant of modern times involves two partners minimum who perform different movements together. Many figures imply the presence on the ground of one of two practitioners, which becomes the “base” and supports the weight of his partner who becomes the “flyer“.
These are two Montrealers Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku who invented in 2001 this hybrid discipline that attracts a wide audience, including men. “It is true that the acro-yoga captivated many men, because some exercises require that one who is on the ground can raise his partner, which requires some physical strength, said Jill Campbell, a professor at Acro Yoga Montreal. But it should certainly not summarize the acro-yoga with the notion of physical exertion, acro-yoga is primarily a way to find balance, move in space with a partner or more while focusing on synchronizing the breath with that of his partner. ”
When looking at some movements of acro-yoga, one quickly realizes the difficulty of the exercise and the importance of teamwork. “It is a discipline that is anything but selfish, each practitioner has with her partner a dependent relationship very strong with time, Jill Campbell says. We must be attentive to the other. ”
But if physical force is a factor in the practice of this new discipline, the meditative spirit of yoga and the values of harmony are not set aside. “When doing acro-yoga, it is important to be in the moment, which means being aware of what one feels, the reactions of our body, communicating with his partner.”
Many acro-yoga practitioners are already familiar with disciplines where the body plays an important role as the circus, tai chi chuan, dance, as is the case with Aurelie, practicing dance since many years and who has just discovered the acro-yoga. “What I particularly like in the acro-yoga is this is a mix between yoga, gym and circus, we play a lot about balance, concentration and self-confidence, but also confidence in a partner that knows no bound. In addition, unlike a yoga session at the end where you feel relaxed and zen, with the acro-yoga we’re pretty super excited and energized. ”
For Jill Campbell, the benefits of acro-yoga are felt even when the course is finished and working closely with a partner resonates in the lives of every day. “We have noticed that people who practice regularly feel an overall improvement in their confidence in themselves, they develop a sense of contact with others both verbal and physical. They less feel barriers and communicate more easily, I would also say they have one certain joy of life ».
Acro Yoga by Equinox
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