The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga). ~ Lee Anne Finfinger

Via Lee Anne Finfinger
on Oct 6, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

Bonus! Best yoga video you’ve seen for a long time.

The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga).

  1. At least once, you will force yourself to try to be vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free (insert any over-zealous diet here)/drink Kombucha/buy bottled water before class and pour it into your sustainable water bottle before the teacher/students/Whole Foods cashier next to you sees.  (If you’re craving meat, just eat it! On your deathbed, will you really be glad that you didn’t have that steak on your 30th Birthday?)
  2. Your iPod will now include a heavy serving of Kirtan music that you will listen to on your very long commute to your yoga studio. (It’s cool; if you want to listen to Kirtan occasionally, go for it!  When you start listening to it while driving and falling asleep—time to go back to your old playlists. Do not switch over to NPR!)
  3. You will pretend not to notice that your ass now fits in a size six instead of an eight, but you’re secretly thrilled.  (When you get down to a four though, watch it. People will talk.)
  4. You will go back to your natural hair color/remove your hair extensions/cut your hair short in an attempt to stop paying so much attention to your vanity. (Try not to cut it too short—the growing out process is a bitch and then you’ll just need more hair extensions. I did.)
  5. You’ll attempt to read the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Upanishads while your stack of fashion magazines calls to you from the next room. (Really, why can’t I like Rachel Zoe and yoga? Now that I’m thin enough to actually wear her clothes, why should I pretend I don’t want to?) (See #3.)
  6. You will take a retreat. Hello, Kripalu!  (It’s ok—those other people probably are weirdos. So are you. Eat your breakfast and shut up. No really, shut the f*ck up—it’s a silent breakfast.)
  7. You’ll start taking photos of yourself in yoga poses. Often. And you’ll think that other people care.  It’s like the modern-day version of the vacation slideshow. No one gives a sh*t, but they’ll pretend like they do so that you do the same when they whip out their own photos.
  8. You will at some point wear mala beads, which will break all over the floor of your 6:15 A.M. class.  (Basically, it’ll end about as well as when I wore my Grandmother’s rosary beads to dinner at age six. Silver Lining: The company was kind enough to re-string them for free, and now I just wear them like a really cool wrap bracelet. It’s very hippie chic. Thank you September Vogue.) (See #5)
  9. You will become a cheap date. Remember, you just dropped two sizes and you continue to spend at least an hour a day sweating and twisting and breathing. You’ll be buzzed from one drink!
  10. You’ll get over yourself. If you teach yoga, you’ll hope that people show up because they like taking class from who you really are. If you practice yoga, you’ll keep showing up and you’ll realize that the other sh*t doesn’t matter. 

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

 Originally published by our elephriends over at Recovering Yogi on September 19, 2011. 
Photo courtesy of Anton Belovodchenko


Relephant Read:

Yoga People Do Strange Things.


Facebook is in talks with major corporate media about pulling their content into FB, leaving other sites to wither or pay up if we want to connect with you, our readers. Want to stay connected before the curtain drops? Sign up for our curated, quality newsletters below.



About Lee Anne Finfinger

Lee Anne (LA) Finfinger is a full-time Yoga Instructor, born and bred Pittsburgher. She and her husband live with their rescued cat, Harmony. When she’s not in a studio, LA can be found baking, traveling, hanging with family and friends, mentoring in the community (yeah that looks like B.S, but it’s not!), reading, writing and knitting. She can be found at:


248 Responses to “The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga). ~ Lee Anne Finfinger”

  1. looker says:

    bunch of angries on the yoga board.. I read and enjoyed the article.. envious of the size 6 thing.. (and the 8) Keep on keeping on friends.

  2. […] My good friend and fellow yogini WH sent me this link today, which really burst my yogic bubble. And all along I’ve been thinking I was special and finding The One Truth! (This awesomely funny yoga humor is copied from Lee Anne Finfinger’s article on Elephant Journal). […]

  3. Bippim says:

    total bag of crap.

  4. Julia says:

    Perhaps some of the self righteous angry vegans venting on here need to be reminded that ahimsa extends to how you communicate with other humans as well as your diet. A little humour and self deprecation never killed anyone. The article made me laugh because I too have wrestled with vegetarianism following study of the yamas. I continue to struggle with it despite my best intentions because my body still craves meat occasionally (the spirit is strong but the flesh is weak!! AAAAHHH)! If you are vegan and you feel healthy and strong and dont look like a wilting plant I salute you… you are very lucky. You are going straight to yoga heaven… Just dont hate on those less holy than you.

    • SwamiHenderson says:

      No kidding. If the self is like an illusion, shouldn't we not take it so seriously?
      Who wants to live in a world without laughter?

    • Bijou says:

      Please point one out here because I have read some very nice comments from vegans speaking from their truths and along comes some mean comments from many meat eaters here to criticize them. Sorry you feel the heat, but animals deserve better and anyone who wants to protect them is in a no win situation.

  5. yamilet says:

    Hilarious!!! but doubt number 10 is the real thing about Yoga 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow. You really can tell who is a fool when they open their mouth. The author has no clue what yoga is or what its purpose is.

  7. catybell says:

    Jesus glad I dont do Yoga…..

  8. Jeffrey Scios says:

    She looks like a porn star in the top picture! Yoga?

  9. Maya says:

    i did not relate to this AT all!

  10. […] not sure if I was amused or horrified that I could totally identify with this funny article on Elephant Journal. I sure did get a laugh though. And yes, I’ve done all […]

  11. Scott says:

    I thought this article was fun and made me interested in finding out more about yoga. After reading the posts of so many people claiming a commonality with yoga and also seething with negativity, I have decided i know enough about yoga as I need to know. Thanks for helping me check one more curiosity off of my list.

  12. Scott says:


  13. maru says:

    How come restraining yourself from flesh has nothing to do with yoga? Ahimsa sounds familiar?

  14. tea says:

    honest,open article where i felt that author shared her experience and perhaps others can relate,being doing yoga for 5 years and topics just didn’t is what it is

  15. layne says:

    Pretty funny article – guilty as charged (except I dye my hair). But I want to know where these stock photos are coming from. Is this chick in a yoga pose…in her yoga boots & panties? 🙂

  16. […] not sure if I was amused or horrified that I could totally identify with this funny article on Elephant Journal. I sure did get a laugh though. And yes, I’ve done all […]

  17. BrajaSorensen says:

    Number 6 got a burst of laughter outta me….well done. But you forgot the "Will wear several layers of ultra thin, uber cool yoga gear, all different lengths, each piece showing somewhere thru or on top of the other, and combinedly hanging at different levels over your Hardtail foldover damned hot yoga pants. You've never worn so many layers and you wish like hell you didn't have to, but how can you just do yoga in ONE T SHIRT?? Loser!"

  18. I've done numbers 5 and 7!

  19. Sara says:

    I love this list because when I first started practicing yoga, I’m fairly certain I did all or most of the things on the list. Then, I got to Number 10 and my practice really took off- not just in asana, but in how I am in my daily life too. I’m still semi-vegan (OK- I eat local meat once a week because my husband loves to cook, and he was starting to be sad that I wouldn’t eat what he made),I’ve studied the yoga sutras because I want to and not because I felt like I “had” to, and I try to practice ahimsa in my words as well as my actions (which is more than I can say for some of the posters on here…ahem). Yoga is about being true, living from your truth, and keeping it real- whatever that is for you. Maybe we could pass on the heavy helpings of judgment that are being handed out and try out #10 for size- you know, just to see what happens :).

  20. Sara says:

    Love this again.

  21. jonathan says:

    As a guy, I'm definitely not relating to this.

    I feel like the Yoga community needs to start focusing on the other 7 Limbs. We'd be much stronger if we could do so.

  22. Anne-Li says:

    So fun, honest and true 🙂

  23. meganromo says:

    Any yogi who doesn't love this has, uh, shall we say: issues. It's fantastic. I've been practicing for seven years and have been a vegetarian for five, cut my hair off (pixie cute, I think!) three years ago, have lotsa kirtany music on my iPod, go to yoga festivals, and dropped two sizes.

    The especially good part: I'm happy with my choice. And the better part: I can laugh about all of it. If I've made myself into a cliche, no biggie. I like life this way. Awesome article.

  24. […] The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga)–Lee Anne Finfinger […]

  25. denise says:

    hahaha! I love this

  26. LeighC says:

    Erm, been practicing for 7 years and NONE of these apply to me…not especially the "buzzed after one drink" part…o.O Oh, and I was a vegetarian BEFORE I started practicing…lol

  27. guest says:

    hmmmm….I've been doing yoga for probably 9 years now and I've never done any of these things…..kinda stupid if you ask me…I get sick of all these articles in here that pander to all the yoga BS that is out there.

  28. cathywaveyoga says:

    11. you will wear your tight yoga clothes everywhere.. they are the latest.., you know.
    12/ You will wear your 'yoga hair' style everywhere.. a scrunched pony tail up on top..
    13. You will have a bunch of positive friends.
    14. You wil write about yoga and comment on others' works.

    Nic ewlist.. I couldn't resist.
    Oh, and I decided to color my grey due to yoga.. those darn mirrors and upside down poses revealed more grey than I choose to.

  29. meldeliz says:

    I got a great chuckle out of this. I love sarcasm and a sense of humor! And I do love how yoga snuck in and made me a lil bit of a hippie! 😉 The only thing I would like to suggest is to not mention pants sizes. I rock at yoga and I am beginning to teach it. I work HARD to eat healthy. But I may never be even a size 8… and that's ok! 😉

  30. […] The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga that have nothing to do with yoga. ~ Lee Anne Finfinge…. […]

  31. Katherine says:

    Love it!
    Awesome 🙂

  32. Angie says:

    #11 – You will begin to budget for replacing furniture broken while practicing headstands and handstands.
    Lighten up y'all! None of us know everything. ~Love.

  33. Ltiscia says:

    #11 – doing awkward upside down poses that have nothing to do with Yoga and posting them on Yoga related websites…..

  34. bobcat says:

    Love it. Many of us are obviously haven't reached number 10 yet. Keep practicing and all will come…and go…

  35. Shelby Yoga says:

    To me, yoga is all about freedom, and exploration; and this article is all about that! It's funny, light-hearted, sarcastic, silly, and a little controversial. So what? We are blessed freaking people, here! Look at us all — we all have the freedom to express ourselves and our opinions! I have a feeling that the author of this article had a good time poking fun a few of the quirks/generalities of the yoga industry of the west. I'm guessing that her passion for yoga and insights revealed to her while practicing, are credited in lending humor to this subject!

    We all experience yoga differently. Personally, one of the lessons I am continually learning through my practice is non-judgement. If we disagree or feel we are experiencing a different truth than another person, instead of casting judgment about right and wrong, why don't we give the person props for feeling free enough to express him or herself? When we build each other up and have compassion for other peoples' experience, that's where the magic of shared one-ness and love happens! We can't take life too seriously — it's good to have some fun, make some jokes, and laugh at ourselves. Who wants frown lines, anyway? *wink*

    #10 on the list is my favorite:
    You’ll get over yourself. If you teach yoga, you’ll hope that people show up because they like taking class from who you really are. If you practice yoga, you’ll keep showing up and you’ll realize that the other shit doesn’t matter.

  36. Mary says:

    First of all, poking fun at vegans or vegetarians shows that you do not have respect for the way others want to eat. Read the book "China Study" and maybe you will be enlightened! Also, listening to NPR news is intelligent and refreshing compared to the extreme right wing news you hear on the radio!

    • nunh says:

      I think the article was tongue in cheek (humor/ sarcasm) for most people (even vegans or vegetarians) however, I respect your opinion. I find vegans and vegetarians to be quite unable to discuss their lifestyle/ diet / viewpoints unless one agrees with them (similar to mnay people concerning religion, politics and money discussion).

      • onlyonelikethis says:

        I think we know the entire article was humorous, but two things; 1. It's not funny. Joking about abusing kids isn't funny either. I figured since this is a yoga community based on ahimsa people would understand and not crack jokes like that..on the other hand, I'm sure she really meant it as well. In the sense that we should all lighten up and eat a hamburger once in a while. I don't agree. I think we need to get tougher on animal laws and put an end to animal abuse right now. Not tomorrow, but now. No more jokes. These animals S-U-F-F-E-R. Which leads me to number 2. You are right, you can't talk to vegans about this stuff any more than you can crack jokes about kicking the puppy to dog lovers. I hope that now you understand, it was in poor taste.

  37. the_virtual_kid says:

    Believe it or not, some people actually believe in vegetarian diets!

  38. Guest says:

    This is so true. Been there done that 7 years ago. However, I don't agree with #10, you'll get over yourself. The yoga/new age movement encourages a self-absorbed obsession with finding yourself, your sacred mission to the rest of lowly humanity, and the bragging of the newest psychic experience (how does an inflated, ungrounded, ego truly contribute to society). In that yoga/new age scene I've met the most narcissistic, self-absorbed, demigod type people ever.

  39. […] >>Yes, most yoga instructors are very flexible. However, they are probably inflexible about what you eat, if you can drink, and how often you should practice… […]

  40. joanespring says:

    Since when was practicing a kind, compassion diet "over-zealous"? I'm pretty sure Thich Nhat Hanh doesn't consider being a vegan giving anything up. I know on my deathbed I will not regret having celebrated another year of life without depriving another sentient being of his.

  41. Jessica says:

    Don't be so sensitive! We have to laugh at ourselves once in a while. I've definitely been guilty of getting caught up in a pretentious (and non-yogic) mindset in response to how I THINK a yogi should be. People going through this will come around. Lighten up 🙂

  42. Yoga with Nicci says:

    Lee Anne, I absolutely loved this – thank you so much. In fact, I loved it so much that once I had stopped cringing and laughing at myself, I had to repost it on my blog…. It makes me giggle even more to see how many people have managed to get their knickers in a twist about your wonderful humour. Kind of proves a point to me…. Anyway, thank you and please keep up the wonderful writing.

  43. ianbatt says:

    Everyone LOVES my photos of me in yoga poses.

  44. Bijou says:

    This article is really disappointing to me. I just paid for the year a few hours ago and not only was the article encouraging others to give up something that we need to do to save our planet, I'm vegan 5 yrs and I absolutely do look back and wish I had done it sooner because it doesn't make me feel good knowing I created so much more suffering for baby animals and their mothers just because I had a taste for it. Ouch! That's a heavy load for someone to carry who loves animals. Some of the comments are just too nasty here. The whole thing just makes me want my money back. sigh.

  45. divine says:

    don't know much but object is to get close to oneself and try to maintain purity, irony is have seen many who have taken yoga as fashion trend and got in to too much self centered life style,

  46. kconnorsd says:

    I'm reaaaaaalllly surprised at the amount of people who have commented on here who have taken this article so seriously and personally! Sarcasm and satire are yoga sins now? If you really can't tell that this woman wrote this article taking a jab at some of the things a few of us have done and many still continue to do in relation to a beginning yoga practice, HUMANIZING these actions with a little self-deprecation, perhaps you could do with listening to number #10 a little more and chilling out.

    As far as the jab at the diets go, I cannot tell you how many times someone with a diet different to mine has sat and "kindly" told me how wrong the way I eat is, taking me back to those days as a child in school when the other kids told me that my Jewish family and I were going straight to hell……. and that's ok, right? But taking liberties in a satirical article to make a joke about your diet isn't? Everyone in their own time, vegans – just like those kids smacking me in the face with a bible and threatening me with hell did nothing but push me further away from Christianity, so does the moral berating by vegans to those who don't practice the lifestyle. Think about it.

  47. michelle says:

    looks like a few more people need to heed number 10 and get over themselves (me included)

Leave a Reply