Something really interesting happened a few days back when I met a new intern at my agency. Together with a bunch of fellow interns, we all headed out for lunch nearby. Somehow the conversation gravitated towards me being really into yoga, and she asked me, “Are you a yogi?”
I was quite taken aback by the question. “Um.. yeah, I guess? I mean, anyone who does yoga is a yogi.”
She doesn’t seem too convinced with my reply. She added, “Well, you know, a yogi typically means someone who’s really into yoga and knows all those crazy moves.”
She’s not the only one who thinks that way, and I certainly did not take offense at her question or remark. I always get a lot of questions on my Tumblr about how intimidating yoga may seem to them because it often involves very bendy bodies and very crazy moves. I always believe in making yoga as accessible to every single person as possible, and I often try to debunk the myths revolving around yoga and yoga practitioners.
Here’s the thing – if you’re doing yoga, no matter what level you are at, you are a yogi.
There is no requirement or pre-requisite to be a yogi. To me, the term “yogi” simply loosely means someone who does yoga, just like runners. I don’t think you need to do anything special to be a runner except to move your legs.
But above all, don’t worry about all these terms and labels, and most importantly, don’t let them get you down. You don’t need to be able to do handstands or forearm stands to be passionate about yoga. You don’t need to be great at yoga to spread your love for yoga and positivity to everyone!
Something Tara Stiles has constantly said and which I really find it applicable to my own yoga practice, moving with ease. Move how your body feels and accept how your body wants to move. And something I would want to add is that playfulness is important. Play around with the poses, stay safe, and have lots of fun. Remember to laugh, and remember to laugh at yourself.