Merely put, a yogi is somebody who’s dedicated to the observe of yoga. So, in case you’ve completed a number of downward-facing canines in your lifetime, does that make you a yogi? Um, in all probability not. Whereas this commonplace definition of a yogi* is often said, it’s too easy to adequately outline what a yogi is and isn’t. Most significantly, we have to additional outline what we imply by the phrases “observe,” “dedication,” and “yoga.”
Apply signifies that a yogi repeatedly performs yoga to accumulate or keep a stage of proficiency. From my expertise, I’ve discovered that it’s essential to observe yoga for no less than 3 times per week for about an hour. Doing lower than that may nonetheless definitely be very helpful however in all probability not sufficient to make as a lot progress and enchancment. Apply additionally infers a long run dedication to the trail of yoga. Normally, however not at all times, you’re a yogi for all times.
The yoga that’s practiced within the West is often solely asana (bodily postures) and a little bit of pranayama (respiratory methods). Nevertheless, that is only a sliver of what’s practiced and regarded yoga in India. Historically, a yogi could be approaching yoga in a broader context than simply asana and pranayama, incorporating meditation, mudra, mantra, tapas, yogic philosophy, bhakti (devotional) yoga, karma yoga (selfless service), and moral pointers (yamas and niyamas).
The Eight Phases of a Yogi
The frequency, intention, and depth that you simply observe yoga depend upon the place you land within the 4 ashramas system of observe. The traditional yogis understood that not everybody might be hermits or renunciates working towards yoga 24/7 and that there are advantages to working towards yoga at completely different ranges and phases of life. The ashramas system has 4 ranges of practitioners: brahmacharya (younger scholar), grihasta (householder), vanaprasthya (hermit), and samnyasa (renunciate/monk). Most of us fall into the grihasta stage – residing an everyday life in a home or condo, with a gradual job, relationships, household, and so forth.
Moreover, the Yoga-Bhashya, the oldest identified commentary on the Yoga Sutras, provides an analogous however completely different 4 classifications of yogis: prathama-kalpika (newbie), madhu-bhumika (within the “honeyed stage”), prajna-jyotis (illuminated/superior practitioner) and, atikranta-bhavaniya (transcended). Most practitioners within the West fall into the newbie or intermediate “honeyed” stage.
In case you mix these two techniques of yogi classification, then you possibly can create an attention-grabbing matrix to plot your present stage and plan the place you’d like to maneuver in direction of in your observe. As soon as you discover the place you’re at on the matrix, then it’s straightforward to see in what two instructions to maneuver in direction of development and deepening your observe. Whereas it’s important to embrace and settle for your present stage of observe, additionally it is useful to set a long run intention to maneuver in direction of the following stage.
In case you are close to the boundaries between ranges and phases, then it’s possible you’ll end up making a hybrid path of mixing a little bit of the deeper practices with an introspective life-style for an intermediate/superior householder/hermit observe. In these trendy instances, we’re additionally lucky to have the ability to expertise the hermit stage and superior ranges by taking yoga holidays or yoga retreats and not using a long run dedication.
The place do you land within the yogi matrix? What yoga methods are you planning to observe to maneuver to the following stage?
The Common Qualities of a Yogi
Whilst you don’t need to seem like something specifically or act a particular approach, there are a number of common qualities of a yogi. Within the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna what’s required to grow to be a yogi, “Fearlessness, purity of coronary heart, perseverance in buying knowledge and in working towards yoga.” He goes on to explain the normal moral and ethical guidelines of yoga, the yamas, and niyamas. In essence, a yogi strives to be the most effective human attainable and to embody the virtues of kindness, truthfulness, compassion, and persistence in direction of others.
A real yogi will observe in a transparent, targeted, step-by-step process. A yogi strives to look at, refine, and management the physique, thoughts, and coronary heart in order that the soul turns into liberated. A yogi can have a honest quest for understanding the true self and to evolving to at least one’s fullest potential.
The Life-style of a Yogi
A yogi consciously works on shaping his or her attitudes, habits, and normal methods of life to be extra congruent with the philosophies, rules, morals, and ethics of yoga. Yogis make life-style decisions that deliver them in direction of a spot of sattva, a state of equanimity and inside peace. One other vital high quality in a yogi’s life-style is the attainment of stability and concord. Yogis are often vegetarian and get 8 hours of sleep. The approach to life of a yogi can appear very boring, however the lack of drama, stress, and nervousness are very conducive to progressing alongside the trail of yoga.
How does one grow to be a yogi?
If you end up drawn towards the observe of yoga and want to grow to be a yogi, comply with these primary steps.
1. Apply yoga typically. Combine the observe of yoga into your life and observe yoga and meditation at the least 3 times per week.
2. Discover a good trainer. Working with a educated and certified yoga trainer will give your observe consistency and depth. Establishing a relationship with a yoga teacher may also provide you with a useful resource for inspiration and steering.
3. Decide to deepening your observe. The breadth and depth of the observe and philosophy of yoga is nice. Dedicate your self to discover the deeper practices of yoga and to know yogic philosophy by means of watching movies, studying books and taking workshops.
4. Embrace the Yamas and Niyamas. Take a vow to include the yogic values and ethics as a lot as attainable in your every day life. It’s not suggested to observe abruptly, simply work persistently to discover and observe every one after the other.
5. Make optimistic life-style decisions. Look at your life-style decisions and work to align them in direction of a way of life of peace, contentment, devotion, and stability.
*The time period yogi can be utilized as each female and masculine, and yogi can be synonymous with yogin. A yogini is a feminine practitioner of yoga.