15 Signs You've Stopped "Doing Yoga" & Have Become A Yogi
Yoga is becoming more and more popular. But how do you know when yoga has become a way of life for you? Here are 15 signs that your yoga practice has become a part of your identity.
1. You've started saying you're "practicing asana" instead of "doing yoga."
You now see that yoga is so much more than bending and flexing your body. You fully appreciate and respect the physical asana practice, but you know that it's just one part of the whole.
2. You don't have a home yoga studio — because your home is a studio.
Every room in your house is fair game for asana, as long as your mat fits.
3. You've let go of the evangelical phase.
You absolutely believe in yoga and its powers for helping to transform live, but you also fully respect that everyone is on their own path, and if and when the time is right those around you will ask you for information on yoga. You're more concerned with just living your practice.
4. You no longer care what your yoga asana teacher looks like and what asanas she can perform.
You attend classes purely on how the teacher makes you feel, and the message she has to give.
5. You sit in Sukasana or lotus 99% of the time you're sitting.
At the dinner table, waiting for the bus, at the office. You just feel more comfortable sitting cross legged.
6. You practice asana at home just as much or more than you do at a studio.
You have an intimate knowledge of your own body, and your asana time has become a time of turning in and self reflection. You love the community of group classes, but your practice is becoming increasingly sacred and private.
7. You're not hung up on any one lineage of teaching.
You now respect that all teachers have something to offer, and you're more concerned with learning and growing than siding with one way of thinking.
8. You actually do have a change in perspective each time you come out of an inversion.
You now have deep insights about yourself and life during your practice, because you're able to draw your attention to your breath and slow down. This makes you more open and receptive to higher wisdom.
9. You're well aware that the pain in your hip is from resentment towards your mom.
And the tweak in your shoulder is from the stress of your job. And you're working on it.
10. You get mantras stuck in your head instead of music.
You're chanting Sanskrit to yourself while you drive, scroll through e-mails at work and while waiting in line at the grocery store. Those chants are just so catchy!
11. You regularly take time to stop and watch your breath during your day.
Checking in with your body and how you're feeling are an integral part of your life now. Awareness is becoming a way of being, not just something you do when you're practicing asana
12. You've read Light On Life by B.K.S Iyengar, and it actually meant something to you.
You now get high when you practice pranayama, and refer to this book for Facebook status update material.
13. You've stopped blaming your drama on other people.
You're starting to see that we are all one, that you are a part of the greater whole. No one is for you or against you, everyone is you and you are everyone. No one can push a button in you that doesn't exist, so the work is internal. You may still be bothered by other people, but you always take the time to catch yourself and turn inside.
14. You have your own way of eating that respects your body.
You know that there's no one right way to practice ahimsa; you now look at it as that which causes the least harm. You choose your dietary approach from an inner wisdom.
15. You feel comfortable calling yourself a yogi or yogini.
Even though you still drink alcohol or coffee, watch trashy T.V sometimes, complain about your boss and can't hold a perfect handstand. You call yourself a yogi or yogini because you know that you're on your journey, there is no "perfect" and you're grateful for every moment of this wild ride.
Ali Washington is a Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Yoga Teacher, Trained Life Coach and Reiki Master currently living in Thailand. She loves yoga and believes that it there is a practice that is right for everyone. You can connect with her on her website www.urbanfruitbat.com or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org