October 6, 2011

10 Crazy Habits You’ll Pick Up When You Start Practicing Yoga

Are you a beginner yogi or thinking of getting into a regular yoga practice? Here are the 10 habits you’re likely to pick up (some have nothing to do with yoga!).


*Yoga Month discount at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa in Costa Rica – mention Elephant when booking.


  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. 



*Yoga Month discount at Maya Tulum Resort, Tulum, Mexico – mention Elephant when booking.



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



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Rochelle Dec 28, 2015 12:49am

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.

Bobby Sep 20, 2015 10:48am

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

burnadebt Sep 20, 2015 7:43am

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.

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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: www.lafinfinger.com.