Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dare I call myself a yogini?

The term yogi (male) or yogini (female) is used to describe someone who practices yoga. Wikipedia describes yogi as " practitioner of various forms of spiritual practice".

I am rather cautious in calling myself a yogi or yogini.  After all, I started as a woman who can't touch her toes and is now taking baby-steps towards yoga practice.  I've looked at the blogs of many yogi/yogini and have been impressed with the years of experience they have under their belts or should I say on their mats.  Many have learned under well-know gurus or at least been to Mysore, the Mecca of yoga. Two years of Bikram yoga class does not qualify me to be in the same league as some of those yogi/yogini.

Yoga can be a rather intimidating experience for beginners.  I recalled how confused I was when I first decided to check out a yoga class.  They sound like foreign language to me (even reading through the descriptions of the classes do nothing to help me in understanding the different schools of yoga).

I signed up for Bikram yoga since the studio was most convenient to where I live and ended up liking it.  It probably has to do with the fact that the first few teachers I've had impressed me.  Omar was one of the first teachers I've had and he exudes the yoga spirit.  He was working in the IT industry before he decided to teach yoga full time.  This is not a guy who is a high school drop-out who has no idea what he wants to do in life and ended up as a yoga teacher.  This is a guy who decided to put aside what he had to pursue his dream or calling.  He shares his story of being a vegan, another true reflection of his calling.  This is definitely someone who practices what he preaches.

I suppose you can call yourself yogi/yogini when you truly exudes the yoga spirit, when yoga is not a badge you flaunt on your sleeve but a way how you lead your life. A true yogi/yogini is compassionate.

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