For those who give a shit and are still reading:
I no longer feel comfortable calling myself a yogi or yogini.
A few months back when I listened to Dana Falsetti’s excellent podcast “Deep Dive” on this very topic, it validated my feelings of unease and finally exhumed the heart of the matter for me.
Perhaps it's the spirit of Australia Day (being celebrated this whole long weekend) and the historical colonialism, racism and cultural misappropriation that surrounds this controversial holiday that have finally pushed me over the "dare to change your Insta handle and confuse everyone!" line.
I practise yoga and I make money from teaching yoga. But I just don’t feel like I have the authority to claim the title yogi. In the same way I have been feeling increasingly uncomfortable saying namaste at the end of class. For the same reason I don’t wear mala beads or paint a bindi on my head. For the same reason most yoga teachers probably wouldn't recognise the goddess in the picture above (hint: it's not Kali).
Don’t worry, I’ve tried all of these things and more. But for me, they’ve never felt quite right as I explained at length in my post Why I quit yoga (and what brought me back). For me, letting go of the self-appointed yogi title is yet another layer of self-discovery, and my gradual disentanglement from the clusterfuck of fake spiritual empowerment and "holier than thou"-ness that I call the Sexy, Successful, Spiritual Woman Ideal.
There are three main reasons I'm letting go of the yogi title.