A serious yogi is someone who practices yoga every single day, understands fully that practicing yoga is not usually done on a mat and who tries to always better herself (or himself, but, I’m a feminist—so herself).
In short, a serious yogi believes that the purpose of life is self-growth and self-betterment, but knows from personal experience that owning our ubiquitous human-flaws is the only real way to achieve it.
And this—this—is why once upon a time I wrote a slightly infamous article entitled, “Yes, I’m a Serious Yogi, But I Still Do These 6 Things.” (By the way, I’m including this definition for the way too many comments that followed, asking what my definition of a “serious yogi” is.)
I wrote it because I believe that a huge amount of personal responsibility coupled with a ginormous sense of humor is an extremely helpful combination to possess on this “serious yogi” path.
And, for me, this year was one of the craziest I’ve ever had.
And you know what? I really needed that sassy sense of humor of mine—I definitely used it to help me come out stronger, happier and all-around better as this year closes (instead of going nuts).
So, in honor of my belief that the yoga community is never too snooty or close-minded (or definitional of what yoga is), I’m creating another list of six more things I do even though I’m a serious yogi.
1. I yell.
This one I’m not proud of—but I’m not ashamed of it either.
I have a temper.
I’m loud—always. (My husband regularly asks me if I could speak more quietly, as he’s getting a headache.)
And, yes, I’ll admit that I do work on not yelling and that, likely, I’ll always have to work on this reaction of mine, but here’s to being open about who I am, stopping shame in its tracks and loving myself wholeheartedly.
2. I hopped on the selfie-crazed bandwagon.
And, no, it’s not because I’m a yoga-narcissist. Rather, it’s because I realized that I have very few pictures of me with my children. (I’m always the one taking the pictures.)
So, I fixed that (by taking a few selfies).
3. I eat quickly.
Yes, I work on eating mindfully. Of course, I consciously try to slow myself down, but speaking of practicing yoga, there’s a little thing called doshas within its sister-science of Ayurveda.
And my prominent dosha types are Vata and Pitta—meaning my nature is to eat fast and then rush off to the next thing. (Which is one major reason I practice yoga in the first place—to appreciate the present moment more fully.)
4. I call myself a yogi.
Another long string of commentary on that aforementioned blog of mine was directed at my calling myself a “yogi.”
Instead of going on and on about what a waste of time/what nonsense/how nit-picky it is to take the time to focus on this aspect of my writing, I’ll simply explain why I call myself a yogi and not a yogini—it’s because I’m a feminist and I personally don’t feel the need or desire to classify myself differently simply because I own a vagina.
5. I dislike people.
This said, I don’t prefer to use the term “hate” and I really don’t hate anyone. However, I absolutely dislike a few people. (I am a human being after all and one with a strong personality on top of that.)
Still, I use my yoga practice to help me understand and accept people and to direct my energy more efficiently (at better things and people).
6. I use the toilet.
I’m throwing this in last, as my closing, because I think it’s extremely helpful to remember that every one of us—even the greatest, most positively influential people who ever lived—still had to go to the loo.
Because we’re all human—we’re all perfectly imperfect—whether or not we’re “serious yogis”—thank God.
Photos: Author’s own; Flickr/Happy Yoga.
This article was first published by elephant journal.