With yogic dreams come responsibilities

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Have you ever heard the term 'yogibhyasi' before? I hadn't until I read Yoga Rising.

The book, which I recommend, is 'a collection of personal essays meant to support your journey toward self-acceptance and self-love'. The storytellers are people who, because of body issues, race or gender, have struggled to find acceptance in the world of yoga.

One of the stories is 'Whose Yoga Is It Anyway?' by Lakshmi Nair.

In her story, Lakshmi makes the distinction between yogi/yogini and yogibhyasi. According to her, the true definition of yogi/yogini is 'One who has realized the state of yoga'. Yogibhyasi is the correct term for somone who simply practices yoga.

I guess that realizing 'the state of yoga' is achieving some kind of permanent yogic insight.

The distinction between yogi/yogini and yogibhyasi strikes me as quietly highly significant.

I've been calling myself a yogi for quite some time now. I like the feeling it gives me of being slightly special, part of a tribe. But I can't truly say I've achieved a 'state of yoga'. Or, if I have, it comes and goes.

Really, for 99% of the time at least, I'm a yogibhyasi. What about you?

Your response to this might well be 'Who cares? These are only words.' But, for me, it's about much more than that.

Because, if we truly were yogis and yoginis, we would all accept anyone of any size, colour or gender into the places where we practice without batting an eyelid.

Actually, we simply wouldn't notice that they're different from us at all.

And I would personally do more to challenge the idea that yoga is only for bendy young white people. Because, when I started practicing, I was far not young and far from bendy and I had to struggle to overcome the feeling that I didn't belong in yoga.

I owe it to other people like me to help them realize that yoga truly is for everyone.

If you have a second...

I invite you for a free 30-minute consultation about your yoga and how you can perhaps combine it with a writing practice in 2019.

Please go here.

If you have another second...

I'd love it if you checked out my Secret Writing Mantra course on DailyOM here.

If you have one more second (and 17 minutes)...

This time last year, I was just grateful to be alive. My resolution was to stay that way. Read my story here


David Holzer