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A yogi or yogin (Sanskrit: योगी, feminine root: yogini) is a term for a male practitioner of various forms of spiritual practice; a person who is an expert at the art of Yoga.

The word is also often used in the Buddhist context to describe Buddhist monks or a Householder devoted to meditation. The Shiva Samhita, an ancient Sanskrit text on yoga, defines the yogi as someone who knows that the entire cosmos is situated within his own body. The Yoga-Shikha-Upanishad distinguishes two kinds of yogins: those who pierce through surya (the "sun") by means of the various yogic techniques and those who access the door of the body's central meridian of energy, and drink the nectar.

The word comes from Sanskrit Yugam (to yoke or join together).

As two animals are joked to the plow, the yogi seeks to join one's earthly presense with his/her 'universal presense' or Akal Purakh, just as the earthly Guru guides one out of anamalistic darkness into the light of divine presence - Akal Purakh.


Georg Feuerstein, The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga; Shambhala Publications, Boston, 2000 p. 321, 350.