What is a real yogi? Is it a person who talks, acts and lives like a saint? Is he/she a person who cares about the Earth, Mother Nature and the ‘shape of his/her heart and soul’, and doesn’t care at all about luxury vacations, ‘bling-blings’, or any material stuff for that matter? Or is a yogi a person who eats only vegan, clean foods from Whole Foods, walks around with a green smoothie in hand and wears Lululemon, malas and little Buddha pendants?
After all, who sets the rules of “fitting in” with the yoga crowd and who says who is a real yogi and who is not?
I am a yogi. A devoted practitioner and teacher. I wear malas and little Buddha pendants, but I also love wearing a Tiffany&Co necklace and piece of gorgeous diamond earrings. I do care about the Earth and recycle regularly, and I love spending time in a quiet green forest, just cherishing and breathing the miracles of Mother Nature. Yet, I really enjoy the long New York weekends that my husband and I share from time to time, and I cherish the busy, noisy, urban jungle as just as much as I cherish the real green one. I do adore green smoothies, vegan dishes and cozy little restaurants in a hippie style. But I also love to have a great steak with a glass of wine in a fancy place every now and then. This is who I am. Does this make me less of a yogi?
A few months ago I had the pleasure to share seven amazing days with one of the most famous yogis in the whole world: Shiva Rea. If we have to think about a real cool modern yogi, Shiva would be the first name to come to our mind. She is indeed real: a real human. She meditates in silence and peace for hours in a remote mountain cave, but she also loves dancing her ass off on Rihanna’s ‘Work’ tune while the sun is going down. Shiva rocks her yoga pants and organic cotton t-shirts, but she also looks gorgeous in her sexy purple dress and black high platforms. She is spiritual, sublime and goddess-like, but she is also human, normal, modern and natural. She is real.
So what’s a yogi to do when that concept or idea starts to become another stereotype or image to fit into? My answer is simple: not care about it at all.
I believe that in the modern world that we live in now no accurate or universal definition for a yogi could ever exist. And whoever thinks that there is one is certainly away from being a yogi at all. Yoga is freedom. Yoga is judgments free. Yoga is rebellion. Yoga cannot be labeled or forced to conform. Neither can a yogi.
We are all yogis. Those of us who practice yoga as a spiritual practice, and those of us who do it for the ass-kicking workout. The second type will inevitably go deeper and see yoga beyond its fat-burning or body shaping qualities. Yoga will do the work and magic soon or later and they’ll see yoga and themselves as practitioners in their true colors.
Read why and how our CEO Iveta Filipov became a yoga and mindfulness teacher: YOGA. MY MISSION. MYSELF. OR WHY I BECAME A YOGA TEACHER.
Thank you for reading this blog post. For more health, wellness and yoga related information, materials and inspiration download 2Health App (available on both Android and iOS). 2Health App and all its updates are available for a single charge ($0.99p). You access all content, all the time, anywhere. No monthly membership fees and restrictions. We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think.