think of who you perceive as the best yogi/ni alive. and then let me guess.
is it that guy who can stand on his head without any hands? or that girl who can press up to handstand…even in her underwear? ooh! ooh! i know! it’s that guy who can stand on one hand, with one leg behind his head, his free hand grabbing the other leg and pulling it to his head. right?
man, have we lost sight of the what makes a yogi great.
standing on your hands does not make you a great yogi. standing on your own two feet, regardless of adversity or circumstance, does.
having strong abs does not make you a great yogi. having strong morals does.
being flexible enough to contort your body does not make you a great yogi. being flexible enough to deal with life as it’s handed to you–for better or for worse–is.
quiz: how many times is asana mentioned in patanjali’s “yoga sutra”?
answer: two. and the second is only to clarify the first.
asana was never intended to be the be all and end all of yoga. and i doubt patanjali ever cared that your knee bend to 90-degrees, tracking over the second toe in external rotation.
there are the things that make people great at asana and there are the things that make people great at yoga. you aspire to be one of the great yogi/nis of all time? start practicing ahimsa (non-violence). stop coveting others’ gifts (aparigraha). start speaking from autheticity (satya). stop giving into your primal instincts (brahmacharya). start believing in something…whatever it is, have faith and devotion and keep it unwavering (isvara pranidhana). and that’s just a start.
when you achieve santosa (contentment) without complacency, you’re getting there…
truth is, with enough discipline, you can be the greatest yogi alive. even if you never once stand on your hands in the middle of a room.