January 27, 2012

On Yogis & Hot Tea: A Husband’s Memoir of the Woman He Loves and the Practice She Adores. ~ Brooke Kochel


Photo: Brooke Kochel

Please note, I’m not endorsing any of the observations below, although as a yogi, they were insightful, thought provoking, enlightening, and created a slight bit of neurotic anxiety. My darling husband is not an asana (pose) practicing yogi, although he’s not scared to spend two weeks in LA while I immerse myself in Shiva Rea training for 15 hours a day. Nor does he shy away from an occasional Trance Dance with Ms. Rea (It’s nothing but a Wide Spread Panic, jam band, hippy dance with no alcohol or drugs, he claims). No virgin to a Yoga Journal Conference or a meditation session with Rod Stryker, I deem him qualified to observe us from a slight distance, with love of course.

So in no particular order, I present to you straight from his I Pad notes…

Characteristics of Yogis; The ones I’m certain of:

Photo: Brooke Kochel

  1. They consume a massive amount of hot tea
  2. They have less body fat than the average bear
  3. They are confident, passionate and connected
  4. They are spiritual
  5. They are nonjudgmental towards other yogis
  6. They tend to be well traveled and are drawn to other cultures
  7. They don’t smoke (maybe weed)
  8. They are yoga junkies
  9. There is a certain cult to the yoga culture (groupies)
  10. They are peaceful or non-violent
  11. They all seem to be seeking something, yet it’s different for each yogi (truth, inner peace and beauty, enlightenment, escape, etc.)
  12. Yoga is more than asana or poses and physical practice
  13. They have a style unique to the yogi (comfortable yet fashionable: boots, super fitted, tight pants, baggy shirts, natural, little makeup, handmade jewelry, tattoos and piercings)
  14. If they think they’ll get hot, they’re allowed to wear in public the skimpiest outfits ever witnessed by man!
  15. They believe in Energy and the Universe and Power and Light

Characteristics I’m fairly certain of but needs further investigation:

  1. They don’t seem to be big on the word “God”
  2. They put themselves, other practitioners and the practice itself on a different level. Not necessarily higher, just different.
  3. They want to share what they have learned with those they love
  4. They are aware of their surroundings and enjoy aesthetics
  5. Their practice is a very high priority
  6. They enjoy being alternative (out of the box, creative, different)
  7. They’re charismatic; intrigued people are drawn for no apparent reason
  8. They’re not transparent, although they want to be
  9. They love to dance
  10. They reduce/reuse/recycle/compost

Lessons this yogi learned from an open-minded husband:

  1. We are being noticed in a positive way by the ones we love.
  2. Keep sharing your passion…most people love learning new things or at least new ways of looking at things.
  3. Be mindful always of your intentions & your motivations…they may teach you a lot about yourself.

And most importantly…there really is just something about hot tea. It’s soothing. It creates an immediate, simple, sacred moment, even if it’s just the first sip. It invites intimate conversation or quiet reflection. It’s nostalgic, yet you can almost feel the Universe (he’s right, we do say Universe) conspiring for your dreams all in the same instant. It’s simple or ceremonial. It’s multicultural and meditative. It transcends language, race, religion or gender. It’s a beautiful way to stay in the present moment, watching the steam rise like nag champa (classical Indian incense), holding a symbol of feminine and receiving in your hands as the warm spreads to your heart. Plus, it’s another excuse to use my new addiction, local honey!

Edited by: Lindsay Friedman


Brooke Kochel has been a yogini of seven years and student of Shiva Rea, I’m a lover of two soul mates: husband and babe.  Jet-setting citizen of the world, foodie and cultural junkie: I’ll try anything twice. She is currently on a farm in Arkansas living off wild game, fish and foul.

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