Yogi? Yogi in training? Yoga enthusiast?

When I was thinking of a title for this blog I decided to look up the word “yogi”. The first definition I came across said, “Someone who is proficient in yoga.” The next one I saw said, “A person who practices yoga”, “an adherent of Yoga Philosophy”, or “a markedly reflective or mystical person.” This gave me a lot to think about. Am I a yogi “In training” or am a Yogi?

If I go by the first definition I would most definitely say that I am NOT a yogi. If I went by the second three definitions I would most definitely say, “Hell yes, I’m a Yogi!” But if the real concrete definition is the first one, is anyone ever really a yogi? Is there anyone who is done learning yoga? In my experience over the last couple years, the answer to that is a super no. So for now, I’m going to stick with yogi in training,

So, why am I writing about yoga? I’ve been wanting to for a while. I’ve been thinking about writing a long ass Instagram post about what yoga and other “yogis” mean to me. But then something happened today and it made it clear that I’ve been hesitant for a reason. I’ll get to that.

I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe in the God from the Bible. What I am is spiritual. I’ve always been spiritual. I think you can find spirituality in anything. Crafting was my spiritual time at one point. Being outside in nature is spiritual for me. Smoking a cigar listening to Maynard in my backyard with my husband is spiritual. And for me, yoga is spiritual. I didn’t realize this when I first started practicing but I know now that this is something I was meant to get into.

Many years ago, like 7, I went to a yoga class with a neighbor. If you’re familiar with my health journey you’d know it’s what really started the whole thing. I loved that class. It was calming and I liked the feeling when I was done. We went the next week and I hated it. It was a different instructor and she did more cardio type yoga and lots of planks and it was tough. I didn’t go back to yoga class. But I never forgot how I felt after the first class. I had always hoped I could find that again. Flash forward to August 2014 when I met my bff, Isis. I met her through another mom and we started to work out together. I found out that she was also in the works to become the base’s new yoga instructor. I remember asking her what type of yoga she did because I was totally scarred from that second class I took forever ago. She encouraged me to just try it. I’m so glad I did. I started going to her class at least once a week and started doing more stretching on my own. She was always inspiring me to try new things. She could do a headstand so I wanted to learn how. She could do fun back bends so I wanted to try. She looked like a tear drop in bow pose and I wanted to look like that. So I started practicing. I started doing headstands and handstands against the wall whenever I had the chance. Flash forward again to now, I live 3000 miles away from her but I’ve found that yoga didn’t stay in Arizona with her. It most definitely followed me to Virginia. I even went as far as doing yoga poses in every state I drove through on my way here. You can look it up on Instagram with the hashtag #yogaacrosstheusa. (You follow me on IG right? 😉 @chrissyq02) I do yoga almost everyday now. And Isis does yoga everyday and we talk about it constantly and send photos to each other to update each other on our progress.
Here are some progress photos to show you just what yoga can do and what it does for me. It gives me something to look forward to when I have alone time. It gives me something to strive to be better at. It is making me more flexible. And when I’m doing yoga I feel that spirituality.

The top photo here was taken almost a year ago. I was at Isis’s house and I told her I wanted to try a new backbend. So I did this one. Flash forward to last week and I busted out the bottom photo.

camel bend

When I was a little girl I did a couple seasons of gymnastics and one thing I remember being proud of was being able to touch my toes to my head. Several decades later I wanted to be able to do it again. Practice, practice, practice!!! Achievement unlocked!!

bendy

Then on a random day in November, Isis says she wants to do splits. She says, “We should totally do splits!!” I reluctantly say I’ll try this journey with her but I never ever imagined I would continue it and see progress. OMG!! I’ve stuck it out and look!! I’m pretty close to maybe someday touching the floor.

splits

And now back to the beginning. Why did I choose today to write this and what is the significance of today. Well, I’ve been working on my forearm stands and doing pretty good so I thought I’d try something a bit more challenging. Scorpion pose always seemed like something fun to learn so I decided to try it today. Third attempt…

scorpion

 

Of course I immediately text Isis.
Me: ISIS!!!!!!!! emoji emoji emoji emoji!!!
Isis: What did you conquer today? Tell me!!
She already knew that something exciting happened for me today. She knows me!! I send her the photo and we talk about how exciting it is and blah blah blah and then later she checked her “On this Day” thing on Facebook. Guess what she was uber excited about exactly one year ago today? Being able to do a scorpion! She had been terrified to try it but went for it and did it. Today. One year before I decide to go for it. How cool is that? My bff, my yoga teacher, my mentor, my inspiration, was in my exact same place one year ago. It’s pretty neat. So neat I made this cool photo of us! One year apart.

us

And you know what makes it even neater? I know, just from texting and knowing her, that she was as excited for me as she was a year ago. That’s what its like in the yoga community. And that’s something I’ve been wanting to write about. Ever since I started yoga, I started following a bunch of yogi’s on IG. You know the most common thing about every single one of them? They own their shit. They are humble. They make mistakes and fall over and they post about it. Everyone I follow has blooper videos to show off. Of course they all find the best looking poses and the best filters for a lot of the photos, who doesn’t, but in the descriptions they’ll tell you, “this was my third attempt”, “this was after a week or trying”, “this is the only time this has ever happened”. There is never a post that says, “I decided to try this today and I totally succeeded and I am now perfect.” On top of that, they are some of the most compassionate people you will ever meet (or know online). They will always tell you you’re awesome even when you fall over. They will always tell you that your pose looks perfect even when, in your eyes, it’s far from it. And that’s the kind of person I strive to be. Those are the folks I call “My people.” And of course I know people like this outside of yoga, but I think there is just a bit of something extra sprinkled on these people. And I love them for that.

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