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15 Ways You Know You’re a True Yogi

Known for their tight pants and meditative practices, yogis have become a regular part of Western society. But aside from the calm voices and strong, flexible bodies, the growing number of those who practice yoga has led to an increased number of yoga studios, yoga gear, and an online yoga presence. Yet, while the definition of a yogi is simply, one who practices yoga, it is an entire lifestyle that “non-yogis” may not understand. It is a lifestyle where your yoga practice becomes more than a fitness routine or relaxing activity; when it becomes part of your identity and how you define yourself. The shift is often subtle and unnoticed at first. You may begin to realize it while you’re with a group of yogic individuals, or while successfully making your pigeon fly after a time of practice.

For those still unsure, here are some signs that you’re a yogi at heart.

1. You are humbled to remember the beginning of your yoga journey and how far you’ve come.
No matter where you are in your practice, you remember the first time you heard “forward fold” and had to look around to see how others reacted. Nowadays, you are holding poses for minutes and doing chaturanga pushups like a boss. You have come to realize that it is not about the skills and how quickly you learn them, but the journey. You are fully aware that yoga is personal, and at the end of the day, all that matters is you.

2. You are an expert at breathing. Other humans just don’t do it right.
You use ujjayi breathing off the mat to assist you when life gets hard but but you understand that sometimes it is okay to not be okay. Whether stuck in traffic, dealing with bills, or handling work issues, life is stressful. We are human and are not meant to be perfect.You move with your breath. You warm with your breath. You feel with your breath. You think with your breath. You live with your breath. You are your breath, and you realize that it is the most important part of any practice.

3. You schedule other events in your life around your yoga schedule.
That is something you won’t alter for just anyone or anything. Weddings, births, deaths, graduations and most birthdays are pretty much the only guaranteed events that will interrupt your practice. All others are luck of the draw and should hope they fall within a yoga-free time frame. Luckily, now that MyJoyYoga.com has live-streaming classes that allow you to take your yoga with you, you are able to squeeze in more social events.

4. Your feet have developed super-human strength.
Never mind the muscles you have gained from intentional pointing, flexing and balancing, but being constantly barefoot has allowed your feet to better withstand the elements. You don’t need anyone to sit on your feet in winter because you’ll be warming them up with a sun salutation.

5. When you are injured, your first thought is whether you will be able to yoga tomorrow and how it will affect your practice.
A main principle of yoga is listening to your body and knowing when to slow down. But you cannot help but get upset at the thought of taking a break from yoga. Instead of pushing it through, you take a break from your powerful practice and visit MyJoyYoga.com for meditation and breathing videos to calm your mind and ease your worry.

6. You always feel grateful for everything, big or small.
With learning the ins and outs of yourself and how you fit in this world, you begin to gain a sense of appreciation for all that is around you. Yoga heightens the senses and can either help you channel your deepest self, or tune in to details of your surroundings. You see beauty in all things and nature becomes a miracle in itself.

7. Coworkers know of your yoga ways and you often practice in the workplace.
Having a desk job can be taxing on the body, especially when all you want to do is to be up and moving. Be it at your desk or in a conference room, you move your asana whenever the moment strikes, even if that means getting strange looks. But you know that secretly, bystanders think you are pretty great and envy your fearlessness.

8. Sanskrit has made its way into your day-to-day conversations, even to those who do not do yoga.
You have used Namaste as your sign-off from emails, text messages, personal notes... everything is fair game when spreading respect and acknowledgement with this Namaskar. When you’re talking to fellow yogis, you are on the same wavelength and everything makes sense. To non-yogis, it is a different story. Sure, sometimes, you have to have deal with the blank stares and explain the words you have said, but it just means you get to share your yoga knowledge.

9. You own multiple yoga props and even have them in a specific area of your living quarters.
You may even have a specific room dedicated to your practice, because yoga is your life and it should have it’s own room. Yet, because yoga is your life, yoga paraphernalia often ends up in every room anyway, deeming a yoga room nearly pointless. Mats, straps, blocks, bolsters, foam rollers… these items can be seen in any room at any given time.

10. On days you do not do yoga, you are cranky and your body aches.
You have developed such a dedicated practice and your body has become so in love with movement, strength, and balance, that you feel incomplete without it. You see your body as a temple and it craves to be healthy each day. You often regret the days you do not do yoga, for there is usually not a good enough reason for not doing it.

11. You find life lessons in all aspects of your life and sometimes look for lessons in others’ lives.
Better knowledge of yourself on a smaller scale has helped you better understand things on a grander scale. You believe that everything happens for a reason and that struggles only make you stronger. You have noticed that this way of thinking has improved your self-love as well as your relationships with others. Yay for wisdom!

12. Your yoga social media game has skyrocketed.
On Instagram, you follow more yogis than non-yogis and most of your feed is yoga inspiration. Yoga porn is real and you are very aware of it. You have spent countless hours watching and practicing to yoga videos on MyJoyYoga.com. But how else can you figure out the proper positioning of Eka Pada Koundinyasana or a decent modification for headstand? And do not forget the huge inspiration you get from seeing others around the world sharing their practice – it just makes you want to share yours with everyone forever!

13. You are constantly smiling.
Someone may catch you staring off into space with a goofy smile between your cheeks for no reason, but you are happy. Often times, you may not even know why. But the calm that yoga has brought to your life has pushed out the negative and allowed for an overflow of light and love. You may not necessarily have a direct reason for why your heart is smiling, but who says there has to be.

14. YTT, dristhi, sit bones, utkatasana, chaturanga, vinyasa, mantra, heart’s center, mudra, and Namaste are used in your daily conversation, but it is all Greek to non-yogis.
You have probably butchered most Sanskrit words at least once and had another yogi politely correct you. But now you not only know the words, you know the meanings and what they stand for – and you appreciate them.

15. You no longer feel embarrassed or ashamed when you cannot do a pose.
Whether you have been practicing 2 months or 20 years, you are always a student. You understand that you are constantly learning, both physically and mentally, and that often times the physical part comes later. You have, at some point, stopped yourself during a flow and rested in child’s pose in the name of listening to your body. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the beauty in humanity is that we are all unique. You have become content with your own journey and where you are in your practice, because ultimately, yoga isn't just a practice, it's a way of life.

Are you a true yogi? Prove it! Try out one of the many class types that we offer at Joy Yoga Center.

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