10 Signs That You’re a True Yogi

True Yogi

Yoga’s popularity has boomed over the past decade, leaving scores of people self-professed “yogi’s.” While this is amazingly beneficial for public health and the popularity of yoga, it leaves some wondering if there are ways to tell if you stand out as a true yogi. If you fit most of the points below, you are indeed a yogi.

1. You have more than one mat in your car

True yogi’s collect blocks and mats compulsively, and often stash them in the back of their car in case they should ever take a last-minute class. This is a tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with a real yoga enthusiast.

2. You have or are planning on taking Teacher Training

Teacher Training programs are a great way to deepen your practice, become certified to teach, and potentially make a career out of yoga. With the popularity of training programs growing and their availability increasing, most real yogi’s are involved in training, teach one, or are currently saving up to take one. If you are not this person, be friends with this person. They will teach you free yoga during their training.

3. You either absolutely love or absolutely hate Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga

Most hardcore yogis have branched out from standard Hatha and vinyasa to try more exotic sects of yoga. Bikram (or traditional hot yoga) is one of the most popular offshoots of hatha yoga in the west and as such, most real yogi have tried their hands at enough to come to a decisive decision on how they feel about. They will either absolutely love it and take a six am class five days a week, or verbally attack you with all the ways Bikram yoga ruins the purity of the practice.

4. When sitting casually at a restaurant/desk/bus seat you contort yourself

True yogi’s refuse to sit normally and will take every opportunity when seated to find lotus or other strange variations of sukhasana (easy seated pose). This will invariably get weird for another non-yogis around you who cannot fathom that this position is more comfortable than just sitting.

5. You’re planning on taking a seminar with Ana Forrest

Ana Forrest is one of the big names in yoga today, focusing on core strengthening yoga that can be modified to work for people with injuries. Most serious yogis have a mental plan to tackle a training seminar with her, or maybe even a full teacher training program.

6. You’ve been on a retreat

Yogi’s love to travel and with so many exotic retreats available, any true yogi has experienced one or two, probably in India or Costa Rica. These retreats are usually held in beautiful places with the vegan and vegetarian-friendly fare, boasting full days of yoga, massage, and meditation.

7. When life gets tough you take Savasana

True yogi’s never underestimated the power of savasana. This is the section at the end of any class where you lie on your back, eyes closed, and take a few minutes to relax and meditate. This practice allows for space in the mind to figure out life’s difficulties, and a few moments to give yourself freedom from stress. It’s not uncommon to see real yogi’s take seated, or even standing savasana in times of stress by closing their eyes and taking a few deep breaths.

8. You’re probably vegetarian/vegan

And if not you’re very concerned about where you’re meat comes from. Ahimsa, or compassion for all living things, is a staple of yogic philosophy, stating that a yogi cannot do harm to another living thing. Many serious yogi’s take this to the extreme eating fully vegan diets, while others are more flexible, but all serious yogis show concern for how animals and other people are treated.

9. You have a monthly unlimited package to at least 3 yoga studios

Real yogis have come to enjoy variety in their practice. Most yogis will have a few different studios they practice at regularly, each with a different atmosphere, instructors, and class offerings. I myself belong to a hot yoga studio, a very spiritual studio where teachers take time to affirm the spiritual aspects of yoga during class, and a more laid back studio with a younger crowd where people like to experiment and learn new postures.

10. You cried over the recent passing of B.K.S Iyengar

Iyengar was truly one of the yoga greats who frontiered the use of blocks and props in hatha yoga. True yogis saw him as their guru or spiritual guider in their practice and were very emotional about his passing. He left an irreversible mark on yoga in the west for the better and encouraged students who couldn’t necessarily execute poses without blocks and straps to practice anyway, to practice through the difficulty and listen to your body. If you mourned his passing, chances are you’re a true yogi.