What Is a Yogi?

What is a yogi? Let’s find out…

You probably hear the term “yogi” thrown around a lot these days, from websites and blogs (including this one, I’ll admit), to yoga classes (“Hey yogis! Welcome to today’s class!”) – but what exactly IS a yogi anyway?

According to YogaBasics.com, a yogi is someone who is committed to the practice of yoga.”  That means, just showing up for a yoga class once in a while doesn’t make you a yogi! And it begs the question, what exactly does “committed” mean? Or “practice,” for that matter.

Yoga Basics says that “practice” can be defined as performing yoga repeatedly and frequently enough to acquire and maintain a level of proficiency. “Practice also infers a long term commitment to the path of yoga,” so it’s not just about practicing regularly for a few months and quitting.

And, in truth, the question of “what is a yogi” goes far beyond just practicing yoga poses. Traditionally, yoga includes not just postures or asanas, but also the regular practice of meditation, Pranayama, Mudras, Mantras, and certain ethical guidelines (Yamas and Niyamas), as well as other aspects of the yogic path.

A yogi may also work towards achieving certain qualities:

In essence, a yogi strives to be the best human possible and to embody the virtues of kindness, truthfulness, compassion, and patience towards others.

A true yogi will practice in a clear, focused, step-by-step procedure. A yogi strives to examine, refine, and control the body, mind, and heart so that the soul becomes liberated. A yogi will have a sincere quest for knowing the true self and to evolving to one’s fullest potential.

A yogi consciously works on shaping his or her attitudes, habits, and general ways of life to be more congruent with the philosophies, principles, morals, and ethics of yoga. Yogis make lifestyle choices that bring them towards a place of sattva, a state of equanimity and inner peace. Another important quality in a yogi’s lifestyle is the attainment of balance and harmony.

It may sound like a tall order, but it’s certainly not impossible. Remember, yoga is never about the destination, but the journey!

If you are interested in becoming a yogi, here are a few guidelines:

1. Practice yoga often. Integrate the practice of yoga into your life and practice yoga and meditation at least three times per week.
2. Find a good teacher. Working with a knowledgeable and qualified yoga teacher will give your practice consistency and depth. Establishing a relationship with a yoga instructor will also give you a resource for inspiration and guidance.
3. Commit to deepening your practice. The breadth and depth of the practice and philosophy of yoga is great. Dedicate yourself to explore the deeper practices of yoga and to understand yogic philosophy through watching videos, reading books and taking workshops.
4. Embrace the Yamas and Niyamas. Take a vow to incorporate the yogic values and ethics as much as possible in your daily life. It’s not advised to practice all at once, just work consistently to explore and practice each one at a time.
5. Make positive lifestyle choices. Examine your lifestyle choices and work to align them towards a lifestyle of peace, contentment, devotion, and balance.

Learn more at YogaBasics.com


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