What Does Yogini Mean?

Definition of Yogini
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A yogini is a female practitioner of yoga. The male equivalent is a yogi or yogin. Yoga teachers will often refer to their students as yogis and yoginis during class. You don't have to have achieved any kind of mastery in order for these terms to be appropriate. They are used to mean students of yoga. A class that is all women is sometimes called a goddess class. 

A Brief History of Gender in Yoga

Until fairly recently, yoga was practiced only by men and boys.

In The Goddess Pose (2015), author Michelle Goldberg writes that her subject Indra Devi became the first foreign female student of Krishnamacharya (often called the father of modern yoga) in 1938. Until then, he had refused to teach yoga to women outside his family. He only took on Devi as a student reluctantly when pressured by his patron, the Maharaja of Mysore.

Devi became instrumental in bringing yoga asana practice to the United States, and more specifically to the women of the United States, through her books and work with Hollywood stars. Today, there are many more women than men practicing yoga in the U.S., according to the 2016 Yoga in America Survey conducted by Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance. They found that 72% of yoga practitioners are women. This prevalence has even led some men who are unaware of yoga's history to wonder whether men can do yoga at all. The answer, of course, is yes.

There is room on yoga's mat for people of all genders, whether that be male, female, or anywhere in between.

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