As those of us who practice yoga know, yoga is the blending of our body, mind, and spirit in harmony.
When truly getting into our yoga zone, one of those aspects of ourselves does not war with the other in our practice.
Stepping off the mat and into the world, we are more centered, peaceful, and joyous. Some of us yogis may have a more difficult time stepping off the mat completely, but hey, there are far worse things in life than being called a serious yogini. So seriously, but not that we always take ourselves super seriously, here are a few more signs that we are ready to call ourselves a serious yogini.
1. We find it comfortable to sit in the position—as kids call it—criss cross applesauce, or close enough to what us yogis call a half lotus, in booths at restaurants. (Inconspicuously at the more upscale ones, of course.) It is as close to seated meditation as we can get.
We have often contemplated getting rid of our dining table at home completely. It would probably happen if we didn’t have pets or kids, a significant other who isn’t a yogi, or a circle outside of our yogi group, which is pretty much the whole of our family and longtime friends. Okay, I guess it won’t be happening anytime soon.
2. When on a train, we choose to take up a three-seater to practice some seated asanas before our arrival at our destination. We need this time any way we can get it. Of course if, and only if, there is a lot of room, so as to be polite. Anything else wouldn’t be very yogi.
3. At red traffic lights, we sometimes close our eyes for a brief moment and place our hands in prayer, or commonly known as anajali mudra. It helps to ground and center ourselves when needed. God is good. Looks from other drivers are not something we think about, as we are in your own little haven for a brief moment. Besides, we’re pretty sure it’s more amusing to watch us belting out a tune, emulating the likes of Madonna in our glory days, or like, yesterday.
4. We do uttanasana, or forward bends in public places when we really need to to relieve built up tension in our backs, only to sometimes wonder later what we must have looked like to those who don’t do yoga. Oh well. Good back or bad back—we opt for the good back. Comfort and feeling good is key to us yogis.
5. We would rather be barefoot in the sand, or walking around our yard than wear shoes in the warm months. And all those high heels we have in our closets that we used to wear everywhere prior to becoming serious yoginis still make us feel sexy, but only for about a minute. Maybe five.
6. Driving with our right sandal off on the gas pedal is grounding, so that is what we frequently do in the flip flop months. Usually with our left foot up on the seat at our thigh. It is close enough to lotus position and car yoga, so why not?
7. We love trees, the earth, the ocean, and anywhere we can be one with nature. Some of us would hug trees if we didn’t hate bugs.
8. We love animals. Sometimes we really get turned off by the thought of eating meat. Many of us have been vegetarian or vegan for a bit, have contemplated it, or are one now without hesitation.
9. We pay homage to the sacred in every living thing. Yes, that huge spider we just freaked out about counts too. So what do we do? We get it the heck out and as far away from our home as possible. We don’t even like killing ants if we don’t have to. It makes us feel guilty. They work hard.
10. Hawaii is calling us all. The closest thing to the divine is on this earthly plane. Someday—if not only on our own personal island of a yoga mat, in our flow time.
11. Instead of replying in hesitation with “umm,” we sometimes say, “aum.” You know what I mean, Om.
12. Standing in tree pose is often effortless and habitual. We sometimes catch ourselves balancing with our foot in tree in a conversation with friends or family. It isn’t exactly the normal way to stand, but no biggie. They’re cool with our yogininess.
13. Silence is golden. We savor as much of it as we can get during the course of our day. Waking early with an intention to be still before it all begins is just as important, if not more, than our morning breakfast. Where other people say don’t talk to me until I have had my coffee, we say don’t talk to me until I have meditated. Silently, of course.
14. We know that we are all connected. We realize that everything that happens in our lives, for better or worse, is a part of something making us better. That girl at the mall who offered a sample of serum for our dried out wintry face, only to find out later that it was meant for our hair, is just another character in the play of our life. We could have called her boss to complain but didn’t.
Anyhow, we are yogis. And, because of that, we realize that people can only give what they have. As difficult as it may be at times, practicing compassion for that fact, and not stooping to meet other people at their level is one of our mantras. It may not always be easy, but despite what others may think, us yogis are tough, and better because of it.
15. We are thankful. For everything. The wind at our backs, the earth at our feet. We know our job is to enjoy every precious day more, so we do. We slow down the rushing, practice conscious breathing, cherish every moment of our divinely inspired, infinitely gratitude filled life, and pray the same for everyone we meet. Yes, even the ones who’ve gotten under our skin after the dust of the day has settled. Everyone has a story. Everyone has had struggles and joys. We know this and practice that meditation of compassion for ourselves and others daily.
So, there you have it.
Once we got on our mat, we have never turned back.
You are a part of the yogini tribe. Now that you know you can call yourself a serious yogini, I will let you in on an insider secret. Instead of saying TGIF or, Thank God it’s Friday, we bow our heads in reverence every day and say TGFY. Thank God For Yoga.
Namaste fellow yogis. We are seriously yogi strong. Yogi on.
Author: Laura Lee Lakova
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Used with permission from Brittany White Photography