The following qualities of a yogi are an extraction from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita—a 700-verse Hindu scripture believed to have been written between the 5th and 2nd century BCE, providing timeless wisdom for living a fulfilling, meaningful, and deeply connected life.

  1. He who sees inaction in action and action in inaction, he is wise among men. He is a yogi, an accomplisher of everything.
  2. A yogi considers even his work as a game, so be a yogi. Yogi means ‘one who does things in perfection.’ Every little thing he does will be perfect because he has that equanimity of mind. Only when you consider your work as a game can you ever be detached about whether it is going to be successful or not. It doesn’t matter anyway.
  3. You have an intention or a desire, and your mind and your life are running in that direction. When you drop this, then you become a yogi—awareness, knowledge, and wisdom dawn.
  4. If a person acts without being feverish about the fruit of the action, not dependent on the outcome of the action, that person is the real renunciate. He is a yogi. A yogi is not one who has just dropped everything and is sitting in the Himalayas.
  5. Not knowing what is going to happen keeps you in anxiety and stress. Not minding what is going to happen and giving your hundred percent—that is the action of a yogi.
  6. One who rests in the inner happiness, in the inner space, immersed in the inner light—that yogi attains the highest, here and hereafter.
  7. A yogi should be a close friend. Whether it is someone who hates you or is indifferent to you or someone you relate well to, who is related to you, or is a saint or a sinner—a yogi sees them all as the same, with equanimity.
  8. A yogi is one who has a balance of activity and rest.

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