I truly feel that the Swami of Parmarth Niketan (ashram) is so wise, balanced and inspiring. His book Drops of Nectar give such an insight to a balanced, healthy and lovingful life. This is a small part on what he writes about yogis:
The ancient science of yoga was passed down form our rishis, saints and sages who derived divine inspiration while meditating on the Himalayas. Through their meditation, austerities and prayers, a treasure-chest of wisdom was bestowed upon them for the benefit of the humanity.
Yoga is not a religion. It does not require us to believe in a certain God or to chant certain mantras. It is an ancient science which leads to health in the body, peace in the mind, joy in the heart and liberation of the soul.
These days people take yoga classes to learn all about the various techniques of asanas, of pranayama and of meditation. But yoga is more than that: it is a way of life and its teaching should penetrate every aspect of our being – from our actions to our speech and to our thoughts.
Living in the ashram and practicing yoga, pranayama and meditation every day the yogic lifestyle felt so natural. I became so aware of my body, so perceptive that drinking coffee or wine or eating meat never even crossed my mind. The sattvic food in the ashram was beautiful. Fresh, easily digestive and of course vegetarian and served every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I felt balanced and strong, but of course also with some days being better then others. Especially when we did 4 h of yoga each day for a week. It was challenging, so hard, but I felt so alive and so clear. What I want to say is, being a yogini in India is so much easier then in Europe…