What is a Yogi & What it Means to Embrace the Path

Georgina Berbari
May 29, 2024
Girl walking down a shadowed path with sun rays radiating down

In the realm of spiritual exploration, the path of the yogi beckons those who seek a deeper connection with themselves and the universe. This path invites individuals to embark on a journey of transformation and Self-discovery. Much like the journey of being human, this path is filled with both dark shadows and brilliant light. But, what exactly is a yogi?

Here, we delve into the essence of what it means to embrace the path of the yogi, drawing insights from Chapter Seven of the Practical Guide to Higher Self Yoga. We'll explore the obstacles encountered along the way and offer practical advice to empower both seasoned practitioners and newcomers alike.

Understanding the Yogi's Path

To acknowledge that you are a yogi is to acknowledge that you are now on the path of seeking unity with Source, the universal energy that connects us all. This is what differentiates the path of a yogi from a un-yogic or unconscious path. It is a commitment to self-awareness, self-transformation, and deep spiritual growth.

Embracing the path of the yogi involves a profound introspection into one's true nature—embracing both the light and shadow aspects of the self. Upon embarking on this journey, a yogi is called to see themselves completely—all the negative characteristics as well as all the positive characteristics. It's a courageous endeavor that calls for unwavering commitment and dedication to spiritual evolution. It requires discipline, faith, and great compassion.

Navigating Obstacles on the Path

According to HSY founder Nannette V. Hucknall, once you have more awareness of who you truly are, then you need to start the process of transmuting the negative and enhancing the positive. This can be a difficult commitment, one that can require many years.

Along the path, practitioners may encounter obstacles that test their resolve and inner strength. These obstacles can manifest as internal doubts, fears, and limiting beliefs that hinder progress and growth.

But, being a yogi means that you must commit yourself to following the path, no matter where it takes you. Throughout it all, you are learning how to trust yourself, and how to take total responsibility. Through connection with the Higher Self, there is empowerment to confront challenging obstacles with courage and resilience.

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The Role of Commitment and Determination

It’s important, once you are on the path, to begin the process of understanding the origins and guidelines of the teachings and how to follow them in order to grow spiritually. There are many guides that can help you; especially The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, of which there are a myriad of translations available.

Central to the yogi's path is a steadfast commitment to spiritual practice and personal transformation. It is a lifelong journey characterized by self-discovery, service to others, and a deepening connection with the Higher Self. The Higher Self is an extension of yourself that is part of you and part of the Source—the ultimate higher power, the universal source of cosmic energy. This energy links us to everyone and everything and gives you access to the best version of yourself.

Developing Discernment on the Path

Of course, there are many steps along the way that require a yogi to learn discernment, understanding of others, and mainly how to use the heart and mind together in harmony. The path is full of obstacles that relate to the person, and it is also full of challenges that require the person to go through changes, some of which are unexpected and difficult. Learning to be a yogi is part of a spiritual journey that often is started in one life and sometimes takes several lifetimes to complete.

However, there is always help nearby. “Too often a yogi forgets that he is being helped in the subtle world and that he is being watched during his spiritual transitioning both there and in the world,” says Hucknall. “It is not important to think about time. It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time to finish the path or a short time; what matters is the ability to learn how to tread the path with a deep awareness of your personal process.”

On the spiritual path, there will be obstacles, but there will also be help. There will be those who will cause you to be afraid and doubt, but if you have the commitment and strive to overcome the challenges, with the help of your Higher Self, you can reach your goal. It takes courage, determination, effort, and working with your Higher Self to help you move forward.

The path is there. Following it will show you beauty, wisdom, and also your negativity. Tread it carefully and know that you will always be helped.

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The Process of Turning Inward

Yoga turns the senses from externally driven, to internally focused. Know that this is indeed a process. As you work with each obstacle or challenge, you may find that certain ones may change into something bigger or harder to overcome, or you may find that some will not be difficult at all once you start working with them. Remember, your life will be changing as you grow spiritually.

The spiritual path is also not always difficult. There will be times when you experience feelings of happiness and joy. Live in those moments, and know that when you encounter the opposite, striving to go through those hardships will always bring you to a place where you feel peace and beauty.

The spiritual path takes you into areas of the unknown where you will start to understand the meaning of existence and why evolution always ends in the highest realms. There will be others who come with you who will be your brothers and sisters, and others who have gone before you who will help you. There also will be times when you will help those who follow you, who will continue the spiritual journey in your footsteps.

Know the value of this journey and the adventure that is before you. Your teachers are there for you to turn to, and they will teach you how to walk through the wilderness–within and with-out.

Embracing the Path of a Yogi

The path of the yogi isn’t for everyone–it is a sacred journey filled with great beauty and great difficulties, that ultimately leads to the purpose of Yoga: Self-realization, or union with Source, and the realization of your best, and truest possible self. Through devoted practice and reliance on the Higher Self, practitioners can navigate obstacles, cultivate spiritual awareness, and embrace the fullness of their being. As we embark on this journey together, may we find solace, strength, and profound spiritual benefits in the practice of Yoga.