Who Are You?

alice-caterpillarYesterday I shared my plans for my birthday:  108 rounds of sun salutation, Surya Namaskar, and a start to a year of yoga.  I know that it’s a bit brash of me to ask people to give me a birthday present and especially one that will take a fully year to complete.  I do have some very good reasons for asking you to give me this.  If you’ve seen through the smoke screen—excuse the smoking caterpillar reference—then you clearly realize that I am really asking you to give something to yourself.

What is it that I really want, what is the gift I want you to give yourself?  Well, to learn that you have to play a little game with me first.  This all started with me asking for birthday presents and a birthday party isn’t really a party without games, right?

First, watch the video.

Now for the game.

Who Are You?


  • You will need a piece of paper
  • A pen or pencil
  • {Optional} A timer.  Using a timer is completely optional.


  1. Read through all the rules before you begin.
  2. If using a timer, set it for 15 seconds.
  3. You have 15 seconds to answer the caterpillar’s question, “Who are you?”
    • If not using a timer, this may take a while.  Take as long as you like for each round.
  4. Write your answers on the paper.
  5. That completes one round.  Repeat 5 more times.
  6. The more answers you give, the better.  Be creative!

Ready.  Set.  GO!

Now, look at the answers you gave.  Your name is likely in there somewhere.  Your marital status is likely there as well as your career.  How many things did you write down?  Were there more things in the first and second round than the fifth or sixth?  Did any of them repeat?  What is the total of the things you wrote?

What you wrote is, most likely, not who you are; rather, what you wrote are the many, varied roles that you play every day.  I am Ramdas.  I am a husband.  I am a father.  I am a programmer.  I am a son.  I am a yoga teacher.  Those are only roles I play and yet it is so very easy to believe that I am those.  We very rarely—more likely never—stop to consider the subject in those sentences, “I”, who or what is this “I”?

If you are brave enough to start a year of yoga with me on Saturday, and you will have to be very brave indeed, then you will begin to shed these roles who you are not and will begin to experience who you are.  Why will you have to be brave, very, very brave?  Because you will be venturing into the unknown and the unknown can be quite frightening at times.

Why would I ask you to do this?  Because traveling into the unknown, letting go of the belief that you are the roles you play, leads to true freedom.  You are no longer limited by the roles you play.  You can still play them, sure, but you will play them in ways you could never have imagined.  You may even discover that these roles play themselves while you sit back and enjoy the show!

What I really want from you is for you to be free.  Saturday is just the first step, come take it with me.

Jai Bhagwan