Accessories of the Yogi

Traditionally our Rishis and Yogis used certain things like accessories. Here we list them.

tapasvibhyo ‘dhiko yogi
jnanibhyo ‘pi mato ‘dhikah
karmibhyas cadhiko yogi
tasmad yogi bhavarjuna
The Yogi* is regarded as superior to those who practise asceticism, also to those who have obtained wisdom (through the Shâstras). He is also superior to the performers of action, (enjoined in the Vedas). Therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna!

*Yogi definition: One who is perfecting the science of uniting the individual consciousness with the Ultimate consciousness. YOGINI is the female counterpart. A yogi or yogini is the paragon of perfection.

Paramhansa Yogananda said: “Yoga is the beginning of the end.” It may be takes as yoga/ samadhi as the culmination of human life and beyond.


sucau dese pratisthapya sthiram asanam atmanah
naty-ucchritam nati-nicam cailajina-kusottaram

tatraikagram manah krtva yata-cittendriya-kriyah
upavisyasane yunjyad yogam atma-visuddhaye
–Bhagavad Gita Ch. 6/11
Establishing a seat in a clean environment that is not too high or too low, a yogî should cover his sitting place with kuça grass, a deerskin and a cloth. Sitting on that seat, fixing his mind on one point and controlling all the activities of the mind and senses, he should practice yoga to purify himself.

Tiger skin is the best as it generates electricity in the body quickly and does not allow leakage of electric current from the body. It is full of magnetism, according to swami sivananda. Then comes deer skin, sheep skin,  mat made of darbha grass or even a folded cloth will do. Or mats made of natural material. They never used rubber yoga mats. Yogis also used tiger/ animal skins as clothing.


Yoga danda or meditation stick is used for two purposes. One is for japa on rudraksha mala, second for making the breath flow in both nostrils. If the flow is blocked in left nostril the danda is place in your armpit. In the pic below shiva keeps the stick is kept under the left forearm for doing japa.

lord shiva meditating


Rudraksha mala is known as the JEWELLERY OF THE YOGIS. It is used to provide among others, psychic protection.


Kamandalu or the water pot is traditionally made from the kamandal seed. The pic below of the pot is considered to be the original pot.

kamandalu water pot


This is common among yogis living in societies. They dont wear rubber and leather shoes as they ruin eyesight and consciousness.

wooden sandal paduka
wooden sandal or paduka


This ash is used to keep the body protected from insects which may disturb or feed upon the yogi’s body. Yogis normally smear their whole body with it from head to toe.

 ash smeared aghori baba

These are some of the accessories used traditionally by yogis. This doesn’t mean that one without these is not a yogi. REAL YOGA HAPPENS INSIDE. Here is a modern yogi–Sri M.

sri m mumtaz ali

The, there are others who go about as they like– one may mistake them for a mad beggar. You may not even know that they are yogis or yoginis. Pictures of Mayamma–a avadhoota, below.

mayamma with her disciple Rajendran

mayamma with her disciple Rajendran

“The mind of the yogi practicing meditation on God is so disciplined and unwavering, like a light which does not flicker in a windless place.”    —Bhagavad Gita Ch. 6/19

“but the yogi who strives with zealous mind, purified of all sin, through many lives perfected, then comes to the supreme”

—Bhagavad Gita Ch. 6/45



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