Yoga, what is it?

definition of yoga

The moment of contemplation..

started this morning with my coffee. I read a thread about a girl who asked what is a yogi. Apparently someone has told her that she is not a real yogi. I was intrigued by the question. What is a yogi? Because a yogi is typically a nickname for someone who practice yoga, to answer this question, we need to know what is yoga.

What is yoga to you?

In the Instagram world, it seems like a yogi is those who has thousands of followers and posts amazing circus-like poses each day. Some of them will make a monthly competition for their followers to win. Furthermore, most of the people in this group are wearing fancy pants, some poses in bikinis and those who poses sexy yoga in bedroom gets lots of likes. This group calls it yoga. On the other hands, I noticed a few people who strongly say that this is not yoga. Because yoga is a spiritual practice, the people in this group believes that you have to be spiritual. Consequently, it is a constant discussion – to put the arguments lightly.

The term yoga originally comes from yuj which means to yoke, to connect. It is connecting out true Self with the Divine. So yes, it is a spiritual practice. But how can we judge each other of who are really connecting and through what means? As Gandhi said, we don’t even know what our karma is, let alone judging others’? How can we say those who do Downward Facing Dog is not a true yogi? How can we say those who are sitting down are better yogi? What is the device to measure “connectedness”?

But, if we cannot ever be sure if someone is doing yoga or not, how could we ever be sure how to judge if someone is a real yogi or not?

So I think the real answer is: “It is not your business to judge others’ connection to the Divine”.

It is just between you and the Divine. You are where you’re at. If it is through your body that you connect to the divine, so be it. Remember that we each have our own path that we have to pursue fearlessly. If you are sitting in meditation, then be it. If you take one big breath and dive deep into the ocean just with one breath – yep -, then be it. That’s YOUR yoga. It is important to steer away from judgement. It is not your business what others are doing with their soul connection, and it is not others’ business of how connected you are. You are not better or worse than others in front of the Divine.

So yes. I am a yogi. You are a yogi. The guy who helps dogs but never done a western yoga class is a yogi too. We are all walking on our path to that “oneness”. We try to find the path and do what our soul is meant to do. Our journey is different although we brush and crash into this life together. Judgement screws up our journey and feed our ego.

Hence, next time someone ask you the question. Just smile. 🙂






Friday Night Yogi Survival Tips

friday night

Hiya my Friday night owls yogis,

Yogi should not go out in Friday night? Really? I’m a truly believer that we are here on our own purpose, walking our own path.  Because most of us live in modern world,  not in stereotyped yogi lifestyle living in a cave, we have to find a way to live our path truthfully – even in the madness of modern lifestyle. I don’t call it balance, because balance means you do something plus and then something minus and balance the both. What I mean, is tip-toeing through your social life as authentic as you can.

Solitary or Social are both okay

If you come to my retreats on Fridays, most likely after arriving on the destination and doing some ocean play and asana, you’ll be tired in the evening and go to sleep early! If you work and come home and you meditate all night, congratulations. But if you have some social responsibilities – meeting friends, colleagues, or family, that is also okay.  No judgement here.

I personally do not go out that often, I really enjoy sitting in with my books. Yes, and do some works on meditation, asana, all these stuff.  There are nights though which is typically on Friday night –  that I go out with my friends and do some social activities. This will involve music, dancing, drinks, dinner, and a lot of chit chat with people. All these things that does not really correlate with yogic life style. Or is it? Can you maintain your true identity while going out? Yes, you can, and let’s talk about it.

Surviving Friday Night Tips.

First thing first.

The energy that we meet. Usually there are a lot of people in Friday night scenes. So there will be various kinds of energy – and these are not always awesome. To protect you from all of these energy madness, do a short meditation before you go. Ground yourself. Sit up tall. If you sit on a chair, make sure both feet are on the ground. Imagine you have deep root growing down into the earth. Then surround yourself with white white, this is your cocoon.

During the night, if we feel energetically attacked – any kind of negative feelings: fear, worries, angry – remember your cocoon and protect yourself in it again.

Then the drinks.

As a dive instructor, I often joke that I know how to drink and not get drunk. I actually do! The secret? No alcohol. Ha. Drinks are the first thing we have to control, because the higher the amount of alcohol in our body, the less sensitive we are to the energy surrounding us. Thus we might be late to put us back in the cocoon. I usually simply take soda water, putting some lemon slices in it, most people would think you are having vodka. 😉

The dinner.

Truly, there are always options. Whatever your diet is, do not go crazy on Friday night dinner, or you’ll crash to bed feeling like puffed up potato.  When I know there won’t be any meal option that I can take, I often have my pre Friday night dinner first. But honestly, there are options. From salad, to plain rice, to chopped carrots!

Finally, we are going to enter the most difficult one.

The people we meet. In many occasions I always manage to find someone who always talk about someone else. Hence, it is called gossiping. The energy can feel sharp and pierce. This can linger for hours and attacking your aura. I can tell one thing. Step back and assess the situation. Sometimes we need to direct the conversation somewhere else, sometimes we need to tell the person to talk about something else. So this is really really important because by reminding others about the core of our Beings are one, the night would pass peacefully without any harms to other souls.

Then listen to your intuition, go home when it says so even if it’s early. Drink a lot of water when we get home. Do some cleansing meditation. Dust off all these people’s energy from our aura. Then go to sleep.

Happy Friday Night!