Isn’t a yogi a sandwich?

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.

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.



15 thoughts on “Isn’t a yogi a sandwich?

  1. Nice post, Jennifer. I reminds me of the Buddhist saying (roughly translated) “if you think you’ve found the Buddha, kill it.” – meaning that attachment and ego leads us away from the truth. I love the humor in your post and the video. Namaste, Suzanne

  2. I think about this all the time. Then read a version of Krishnamacharya’s biography. His learning taught him that its a lifestyle and philosophy. Its an amazing read.

    1. thank you for the recommendation. I will definitely look into that. And I do agree it is a lifestyle. It is the attitude in the heart and the following of the philosophy that makes one a yogi. I believe the same of Christians or Hindus or anything. You can call yourself something, but you must live it to be it. And when you are truly living it you have no need to call yourself as such.

  3. Pingback: The disclaimer should read “I judge you” | Back to the Sutra

  4. Verbal Ponderings

    I love this Jennifer. I am with you. Its a commitment to the journey. I think it takes years sometimes to figure that out. There is a judgmental yoga community out there, and there shouldn’t be.

  5. Oh I LOVE this video. Have said about half those things too. I guess I do consider myself a ‘yogi’ at least at some level. hahaha. Thanks for the inspiration.

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