When I started going deeper into my yoga practice, I began to wonder what it really meant to be an advanced yogi.


I remember the frustration I had with certain poses that wouldn’t happen no matter how hard I tried. One day in a yoga class, I noticed someone transition directly from a wide-legged forward fold to a headstand. My reaction was, “Wow, this person is like a magical unicorn!” I could also hear the little voice of doubt inside my head saying that would never happen for me.

Well, I was wrong. A few years later, I conquered that variation—I’d officially transformed into that magical unicorn.

Did I feel any more enlightened? No.
Did I feel like I’d raised the bar? Not really.

Luckily for us, what determines an advanced yogi has nothing to do with yoga poses; shifting into a refined practice goes a few layers deeper, to the core essence of what it means to be a “real yogi”—whatever that means. We can learn a lot about how we act and react by challenging ourselves. However, mastering that tough pose  suddenly give you enlightenment, so what does elevate a yoga practice?


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