are you offended by the casual use of the words “yogi” or “yogini”?
The comments on the page are largely (and to be expected) to the tone of “Hey, man, it’s only a word. Let’s move on?” Or, “Hey, man, if you’re offended by that, that’s your own deal.” This is basic responsibility deference in the guise of spiritual above-it-all-ness. It’s the removed sort of speech you come up with the first time you read in some “advaita vedanta for Westerners” book that “you create the world around you.” Because this idea is too huge for young boys (and all guys who are kinda like young boys) to really appreciate you start telling your girlfriend that it’s her own problem she’s pissed at you for getting a handjob by some other chick at Wanderlust, ’cause your girlfriend is in control of her own destiny and it’s her own limited sense of capital-L “Love” that makes her angry. You know, typical boy-makes-excuse-for-extracurricular-handjob stuff.
Anyway, for me, a “yogi” is defined by the person or people who call one such. So, are you the one calling yourself a yogi, or is someone with actual skillz calling you a yogi?
Like, I wouldn’t call myself “a yogi,” the same way I wouldn’t call myself a “surfer” or a “prep” or a “punk” or a “raver.” I didn’t even do that when I was in middle school, why would I start now?! Those are things your parents call you in order to try and understand why you’re so weird. Those are things the television calls you.
Same goes for “yogi.” I wouldn’t call myself a yogi until someone of great spiritual progress and discipline—someone who themselves has been defined as a so-called yogi by others with great spiritual progress and discipline and who were defined as a yogi by others with great spiritual progress and discipline and who were defined as a yogi by others with great spiritual progress and discipline and who were defined as a yogi by others with great….—who knew me and my own progress and discipline, called me a yogi. And even then, I wouldn’t call myself a yogi until I either A.) took a major step in fulfilling the lifestyle of what I personally believe to be a yogi (incl. donning a shit-ton of cool yogi stuff like human ashes and playing out every scenario in the Kulachudamani Tantra), or B.) I was an old fart who didn’t care anymore what little whipper snappers with cellphones and water bottles propped up next to their yoga mats thought.
PS: Lest you think we are followers of Baba Rampuri, let me state that we are not. That’s not to say Baba: Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Sadhu (or as it’s now unfortunately called, Autobiography of a Sadhu) wasn’t a decent read, or that the man can’t throw it down, but boy, could we write a dissertation on the semiotics of the Twittering gent. That would be fun!