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

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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. 

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


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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. joy says:

    man…my ass hasn't seen a size 6 or 8 or 10 since I started yoga 5 years ago…wonder what I'm doing wrong….

  2. loren says:

    Yoga Sutras have nothing to do with yoga? Hm, I'd beg to differ. Asana, if anything, has less to do with yoga than the sutras do, and yet we objectify asana to no end in the west. My prayer is more of us read the sutras, not less.

  3. Lizzie says:

    If this article was called, 'The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (some of which YOU THINK have nothing to do with yoga), if you have no clue what yoga is actually about and are doing it because you think it's cool and you want to be ridiculously thin,' THEN it would be funny! 🙂

  4. Petra says:

    Just love it. Its so true….just listen to my yoga-mates in the rest-room..i will try to not laugh the next time when hearing this 🙂

  5. Noemi says:

    I started yoga a week ago! I'm very happy of my choice. I honestly don't know what to think of the article, because I know a few about yoga, but it doesn't convince me at all. Thank you anyway, it made me smile.

  6. Rachael Wharton says:

    Most of the things mentioned in this article happen to you as part of the transformational process which yoga, when taken seriously, actually instigates. They are not meant to be done as part of the in yoga thing to do. You can’t actually help falling in love with Kirtan and wanting to be vegan when your heart opens. And you genuinely care less about dying your hair, clothes, etc because you learn to love and accept yourself as you are.

  7. Ashley says:

    Thank goodness there are people who understand that kirtan and the yoga stutras have Everything to do with yoga. You do realize that when asana first came into existence it was to prepare yogis’ bodies for meditation, right? Yoga is not only about contorting yourself into poses (and taking pictures of yourself in them)–and if you think that, you have a misguided and shallow understanding of it.

  8. Hannah says:

    Elephant journal, I am veeeerrrrrryyyyyyyyy disappointed with you. You have become increasingly sold out over the past few months and this article is very characteristic of that. Stop trying to get more clicks and weed out this shit. What impact is this having?
    P.S. the picture at the top of this article is absolute bull. That is not a post, it's bad for your neck, and its overly sexualized and sexist and gross and representative of the ways the West has seriously messed up yoga. You can do better.

  9. sabine says:

    to the writer who commented that animals would find a way to eat us if we let them; so therefore let's eat them first:




    no compassion in that Yogi heart of yours, is there.

    Keep reading articles and looking at pictures, maybe do a class once in a while to upkeep your mental image of yourself as a Yogi and leave the world to the rest of us who give a crap.

    peace out,



  10. Danielle says:

    kirtan, the yoga sutras and mala beads do have something to do with yoga. also, although not necessarily being vegan, being a vegetarian is following ahimsa- 'to cause no harm, no violence, no injury'- one of the 5 yamas listed in the yoga sutras. following these 'trends' actually perhaps reflects a deeper understanding or a pursuit of a deeper understanding of yoga as a philosophy and not just yoga as a fashionable form of exercise or fitness and a place to wear some super expensive new yoga pants to.

  11. burnadebt says:

    You may not care about eating the steak at your 30th birthday party, but the cow certainly does. Ahimsa and vegetarianism are a huge part of yoga. Western animal agriculture is torture: for the animals, for human animals, for public health, and for the environment. It is not something to joke about.

  12. Bobby says:

    Should be retitled “10 Things Privileged White American Girls Will Do When They Start Yoga”

  13. Rochelle says:

    I agree the sexing up of yoga is cringeful and stinking of ego driven voyeuristic distortion of a beautiful spiritual physical art form ….those who use the excuse "oh why is it a problem showing women as sexual" have missed the point…. there is nothing wrong with women as sexual beings, we are and have always been so . Woman is a beautiful and powerful being. Its the contextual objectification of women's bodies that is disturbing. wow the abuse of women and our bodies is so entrenched in our unconscious mind set that the blatantly obvious has been dumbed, numbed and repeatedly regurgitated as freedom. If you understand the power of energy Prana and life force you will understand what Scot Newsom is saying…..there is a fine line , I Know and can be hard for some to detect … but one knows the difference between practice and abuse.

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