I love yoga. I’ve loved it for a long time. But I never really got into meditation. This may seem like a cardinal sin of the yoga world, especially as a yoga teacher, but the truth is… I don’t meditate.

I like the occasional meditation, since after a good, sweaty yoga session, there’s nothing quite like a good Savasana, but I don’t always find it necessary. If you’re like me and don’t meditate, or at least not often, does that make you a worse yogi than someone who has completely integrated meditation into their yoga practice? In my opinion, no it doesn’t. All yogis are created equal in my book; no matter what their practice looks like.

Why I don’t meditate

There are a few reasons why I tend not to meditate, but the biggest is that I just don’t enjoy it. I don’t like sitting still and trying to clear my mind, and I would rather find other ways to clear my thoughts and recenter. Instead, meditation for me means finding time for myself, to enjoy things I like and practice a bit of self care. For example, I use the time I’m practicing yoga as my “meditation” time, or I work in my garden, or take some time to read a book.

Self care is an important way to keep yourself in a healthy state of mind, and whether that includes meditation or not is completely up to you.

Do you have to meditate to be a yogi?

Yoga and meditation are completely intertwined, and it’s hard to find a yoga class without meditation either at the beginning or the end. Some people may think that you can’t have one without the other, or if you don’t meditate that you’re not a “proper” yogi.

On this count, I completely disagree.

Not every yoga practice looks the same, and they don’t all have to look the same. Some people practice in groups at studios, and some practice in the quiet and privacy of their own home. Some only practice Yin, and some practice the sweatiest, toughest yoga they can find. These differences are part of what I find so wonderful about yoga. Each practice is as unique as the people practicing.

If you want to be the best yogi you can be, find the type of practice that works for you. Whether or not that includes meditation.