For those of you who follow my posts and ramblings on Instagram or Facebook, you may know that my handle used to say “Dusky Yogi”. It had been the same since I started my page, mostly because someone had called me that at some point, I liked the sound of it, and it ended up becoming the handle and stayed there.
But I finally came up with a new one that I am happy with and that makes sense to me. As I write this article, I have changed my handle on both social media platforms to “Poorna Yogah”. If this name pops up suddenly on your feed, do not be confused. It is still me, just with a new name.
In the last many months, the name Dusky Yogi had been bothering me greatly. Every time I saw the name, it made me cringe, made my fingers itch to change it. But I didn’t know what to change it to, so it stayed. But why was it bothering me in the first place?
Who is a Yogi?
Part of the reason I came up with the earlier handle was the trend of Yoga pages having the term “Yogi” in them and I let myself be taken in by it. What does it mean to call someone, or oneself, a Yogi?
The root word is Yogin, from which is derived Yogi (for masculine) and Yogini (for feminine). Yogin would be a gender-neutral term to refer to all beings who have attained this state and this is the word you’ll see used in the rest of the article.
A Yogin is a being who has followed Yogic tenets with all their being. They have reached a point in their spiritual journey where they have imbibed the verious principles of ancient Yoga – Yama or restraint, Niyama or observance, Abhyāsa or consistent practice, Vairāgya or detachment, Dhārana or one-pointed focus, Dhyāna or meditative states, and much more – and are living them. Yogins have attained siddhis (control over the 5 elements and over energy) and are enlightened souls. They are often ascetics but this may not always be the case.
Yogins are those who have become one with the universe, becoming part of that universal energy. Some traditions explain this as being one with Shiva and Shakti or purusha and prakriti, the masculine and feminine energies that make up the entire universe, the primal energies at the root of all creation.
The more I understood this concept, the more keen I got to change the name Dusky Yogi, and you can probably now see why. It didn’t make sense. I’m not enlightened, I’m not a Yogin. I’m simply a practitioner of Yoga, a student trying to understand the depths and the simplicity of the truths of the universe. I have no right to call myself a Yogin.
In this KuzalaYana, this joyous journey of Yoga and life that I’m on, these are the kinds of realisations, acceptance of change, and learning through it all that bring me Santōsha (contentment, peace).
If you’d like to start your Yoga sādhana or serious practice of Yoga and think I might be able to help you on that journey, please do not hesitate to reach out to me here or on Instagram and I will be delighted to be a part of your journey!