Yogists are followers of the practice of yoga, originally a Hindu practice found exclusively in India, but which is today famous all over the world. The follower of Yogism is generally someone who believes in the practices of yoga but not necessarily the cosmological and metaphysical aspects that come with it. That is not to say they only practice physical, or hatha yoga, a series of stretches and poses designed to strengthen the body; yoga involves many practices, only one of them being physical yoga: From jnana yoga (intellectual yoga), to karma yoga (the practice of charity), to bhakti yoga (the practice of respectful adoration), yoga provides several paths to spiritual well-being. The Yogist utilizes any number of these paths, as well as other similar techniques and observances they find helpful.
Yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years, although it was formally codified by the sage Patanjali around the year 400. Confined generally to India and South Asia, yoga was largely unknown in the West until the Theosophical society helped introduce it in the late 1800s. In the 1960s, hatha yoga saw a huge boom in popularity in the West due to progressive and multicultural movements such as the hippies and its association with several celebrities, such as the Beatles. Today yoga has become synonymous in the West with hatha yoga only, and its other branches are not widely known. The devout Yogist practitioner looks to all the branches for inspiration, even if they may favor one over the other.
A good explanation for the various practices of Yogism can be found here. Yogism devotees might choose to practice some and not others, or embrace all of them. Yogism is not a strict religion, but rather a suite of techniques and attitudes towards the world.
Yoga is a method for restraining the natural turbulence of thoughts, which otherwise impartially prevent all men, of all lands, from glimpsing their true nature of Spirit. Yoga cannot know a barrier of East and West any more than does the healing and equitable light of the sun.
— Paramahansa Yogananda
There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment.
— Jon Kabat-Zinn
As a longtime practitioner of yoga and a person who’s been involved in physical fitness my whole life, I can tell you, yoga helps you achieve altered states of consciousness. It is not just stretching. The only way you can say that it’s stretching is if you haven’t done it, or that you haven’t done it rigorously for a long period of time.
— Joe Rogan
Get ordained as a Yogist Minister