Am I a yogi?

Ah, the age-old question! Not that the question in regards to being a yogi is that old, but more in terms of ‘when can you call yourself a…?’ [fill in the blank]

Think about it; you write lots, every day, for hours. Would you call yourself a writer? Or you paint, would you call yourself a painter or an artist? What are the criteria for you to give yourself a name identifying yourself as part of a certain team as it were?

 

Deserving it

Personally, I always feel I have to “deserve” to call myself by any of these names. ‘I write, but I haven’t been published, so I’m not a writer’ and so on. It’s obviously quite silly, and I think it says a lot about me. It took me quite a while to admit I was a yogi. Even after I did my yoga teacher training, I wouldn’t necessarily go around calling myself that – even in my head. So how come I am hesitant to use that label?

It has nothing to do with any kind of judgement on my part about yogis, but more about my self-worth or my perception of myself. But these days are over. Why WOULDN’T I call myself a yogi?

So I have decided for once and for all that I am a yogi! That there are no rules for when you can call yourself a yogi, that I would never frown upon someone else calling themselves a yogi, that I wouldn’t even flinch if someone who goes to a yoga class once a year calls themselves a yogi.

Why would I accept these things from other people and not from myself? Unfortunately, I think I know the answer to this one, and it’s something that comes back to me time and again – and is, quite frankly, extremely tiring. It’s because the standards that I set for myself are far higher than the standards I would set for anyone else. I know I’m not the only one who does this, and I am sure I can’t be the only one who finds this tiring.

 

Standards

Because let’s face it: if I hold people to a certain standard, wouldn’t I be held to a similar standard by other people? Shouldn’t I accept that it is okay if I hold myself to the same standard I hold other people?

Yes. Yes, I should! So from here on in, I am calling myself a yogi. Because I feel like I’m allowed to, because I don’t think I should judge myself for it, because I wouldn’t expect anyone else to come up with rules which you have to follow before you can call yourself a yogi, and just because I can.