It’s easy to say Namaste, listen to Snatam Kaur on repeat, burn sage and call myself a yogi.
It’s easy to sport the yoga pants, hit up a flow class, master full lotus, drink coconut water out of a coconut and call myself a yogi.
It’s easy to read The Autobiography Of A Yogi, quote Osho, light incense, scan my body as I meditate and call myself a yogi.
It’s easy to snap a photo of myself doing an impressive forward bend (while nude) or a beautiful dancer’s pose in Lululemon attire, post it on social media, receive a lot of likes and call myself a yogi.
When in fact, I am not a fucking yogi.
I spent six months in India.
I did an insanely intense yoga therapy certification course.
I meditated for 10 days in silence in Lumbini, Nepal.
I still did not become a yogi.
Being a yogi is so beyond the place, practice, pants and poses.
Anyone can take some teacher-training course.
Anyone can travel to some far away land and follow some guru.
Anyone can wear some mala-beads and douse their body with frankincense.
Anyone can claim their front row spot in some packed Ashtanga class.
That does not make a yogi.
Being a yogi is an attitude, and one that isn’t driven by the ego.
Being a yogi requires presence, patience and acceptance of what is.
Believe me when I say that I set intentions to be all those things…
I create vision boards.
I pick tarot cards.
I read self-development books.
I say my morning affirmations.
I see healers.
I study Spiritual Psychology.
And yet I am not a fucking yogi.
Sometimes I struggle.
Sometimes I say, “fuck the path!”
Sometimes I want to give up on all of it.
Sometimes I desire to walk away, to revert back to my old ways, before being “spiritual.”
Sometimes I wish I could forget the word yogi and all things esoteric.
But that’s not where I miss out on being a yogi.
I miss out because of my own judgment of my process.
I judge myself for falling behind, for regressing in ways, for my missteps, for my pain, for not maintaining a sense of equilibrium while it downpours.
I judge myself for not being able to stop the rain that disrupts my self-enforced stillness.
I want to be like a calm lake that looks like a sheath of glass…
And I attempt to manage all the elements that inevitably cause ripples in the water.
I judge my failure to prevent the fucking ripples.
It’s my judgment of the upheaval; my unwillingness to accept the fact that I am human; my intolerance of my mistakes; my anger for not being able to transcend the chaos; my self-inflicted repugnance that boils to the surface upon realizing that I am not at peace with myself.
This is what disconnects me from my heart, where my ego takes full reign and when I am suddenly spiraling and stewing in my own self-created hell.
It’s not my struggle.
It’s not my questioning of the path.
It’s not my blunders.
It’s not my pain.
The ripples are all part of it…
It’s my aversion of accepting and loving what is…
And it’s a choice that I’m making and can choose to change at any moment…Like right now.
Author: Jessica Winterstern
Images: Sarah Orbanic; We Are Social/Flickr
Editors: Emily Bartran; Catherine Monkman