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Does practicing yoga make us a yogi?

We in the popular culture use it quite loosely, addressing anyone who is in the pursuit of fitness through the physical practice of yoga as "yogi", the same way we would address someone who pursues art as an artist or is musically inclined as a musician. But, is it appropriate? Who is a yogi? 


According to the Bhagavad Gita, one of the characteristics of a true yogi is that of a person who performs dutiful actions without any desire for gains! Does that sound quite far-fetched? Without any desire for a favorable outcome or gain, how do we get motivated toward an action?

But then, there is the Karma yogi. A yogi of action, who toils toward an ideal without caring for name, or fame. She or he works just because ‘good’ will come of it. They have fully accepted their dharma (duty in life), setting aside any selfish desires.

Wait! Is that a description of you? You, the caregiver who takes care of your loved ones -  your family, parents, children, and siblings, whether close by or far away. Relentlessly doing what is best for them in your selfless ways, making innumerous sacrifices with a single-pointed devotion. Sometimes feeling duty bound, sometimes in pangs of anxiety, and most times feeling love, but always acting from a force within that diminishes the ego and sees the other as part of the self. Now, if that is not the making of a Karma yogi, then what is?!

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