Hey Yogis, Do you need to be enlightened? Do you need to have all the poses? What is it to being the best yogi, or for that matter, the best person? Is it enough to be self aware? Is it enough to have less stress than before? How would you define success in yoga, on and off the mat? Are you sick of me asking you questions? There are many ways to define what makes a “good yogi”. Most of us yoga teachers would agree that an experienced, dedicated yogi is one who turns their attention inward in their practice, works on being still, works on knowing their body and serving its changing and unchanging needs, works near their edge and doesn’t push to impress themselves, their teacher, their fellow practitioners or their social media followers, and calls on their own compassion. By contrast, a good baseball player is one who hits far, runs fast, fields well and scores runs. Yoga is different from purely physical activities in that there are 7 other limbs to the practice, including pranayama (breath work), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and the yamas and niyamas (restraints and observances). Yoga isn’t just an asana (pose) practice, it’s a philosophy. When I mention to not-yet yogis that I teach yoga, I often get the response, “I could never do that… I can’t sit still,” or, “I’m not flexible at all.” Though we have small reasons for starting yoga, we stay for things bigger than still sitting and flexibility. We come for balance, and I don’t just mean Tree Pose. We come to calm or enliven, become intelligent in the body and find a connection of body to breath to mind. We come seeking refuge from anxiety, depression and stress. We come for fun and exercise, but it goes so much deeper. Understanding whether you’re a “good yogi”, if there’s any such thing, is understanding what yoga asks of you - balance, awareness, and an understanding of yourself. Put me in, coach.
A "Good Yogi" - Defined?