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
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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


Relephant Read:

Yoga People Do Strange Things.


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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. Rhonda Leigh says:

    I LOVE this!!… :}

  2. Kim says:

    Kirtan and reading the Yoga Sutras have nothing to do with yoga? Kirtan is part of a bhakti yoga practice and reading texts like the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita is part of a jnana yoga practice.

  3. jwoods says:

    soooooooo true

  4. Thaddeus1 says:

    Got to go with Kim on this one…kirtan, the yoga sutras, Bhagavad-gita all seem to be pretty intimately connected to yoga. I would even go so far as to include non-violent diet considerations, given that ahimsa is the first of the yamas. If you don't think that the yoga sutras and Bhagavad-gita have anything to do with yoga, where praytell do you think yoga came from?

  5. yogiclarebear says:

    LOL! Love this, funny Lee Anne. No need to over analyze the humor here everyone!

  6. Tyger says:

    "On your deathbed, will you really be glad that you didn’t have that steak on your 30thBirthday?" – It's not all about YOU you know… I scored a mere 3 out of 10 anyway.

  7. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  8. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Love it!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  9. tensirk says:

    brought a smile to my face. Love the humor behind it, plus its true 😉

  10. Scott_Newsom says:

    I think I'll start asking all of my female students to dress like the one in the upper picture, cause that is so appropriate for the practice you know. Maybe a little too much covered up top, but hey, we will get there. Before long, yoga "journalism" can objectify women just like they deserve.

  11. peaches says:

    that made me feel kinda dirty.

  12. yellow says:

    really not helpful. sarcasm and the "who cares" attitude aren't congruent with the mindfulness of Yoga.

  13. Mike says:

    I agree with the last few posts. The sarcasm and objectification could have been excluded. And I don't appreciate the jab at vegans and vegetarians.

  14. Heh says:

    #11 You will become–or continue to be–overly sensitive about your "image" regardless of having embarked on the yogic path. Humour will only serve you if it boosts your ego, instead of deflating and humbling it. Yoga will become another article of fashion you place upon your self-objectified self.

  15. #11 You'll fall into the (ironically very very Western) romantic idea that everything in India/Tibet/prettymucheverywherebuthere is pure and spiritual and everything western is impure and inauthentic.

  16. justin says:

    Definitely kinda funny and true but honestly what actually has the least to do with ‘yoga’ is yoga asanas. Very interesting how twisted we have made the yoga practice so that spiritual scriptures and non violent diets are considered not to have anything to do with yoga.

  17. Jason Gan says:

    My thoughts exactly

  18. spinty says:

    #11-You'll get a cheesy tattoo of an Om or perhaps a verse in sanskrit. Hey, at least it's a step up from barbwire or a Tasmanian devil.

  19. elephantjournal says:

    Mike brother, I think she's making fun of those who try on veganism as lifestyle, instead of from real inspiration. I think she's…kinda on your side. Humor! ~ W.

  20. elephantjournal says:

    Scott brother, needless to say, but seems like saying it is needed, she's making fun of yoga as fashion, yoga as lifestyle…I think you two are on the same "side." Humor!

  21. elephantjournal says:

    Blammmm! Correct. Taking oneself seriously is, indeed, a requirement to fit in at many spiritual retreat centers (I've lived at several for many years).

  22. elephantjournal says:

    I think, personally, as a vegetarian (trying to move toward veganism despite mean vegans hating on me; last night I found a "cheese" that was okay, yay!)…she was making fun of those who try on veganism or vegetarianism as a sort of fad, not those who practice it out of personal passion and compassion. ~ Waylon

  23. elephantjournal says:

    Love that. So true. In Boulder, there's always a few Tibetan "Rinpoches" (teachers) who haven't studied, don't practice, party (which is great, no probs there) and are supported by donations.

  24. elephantjournal says:

    Love that! See… Though it's far more serious and less fun that this one.

  25. Molly says:

    nice stereotypes!

  26. Anthony says:

    You guys are all assholes. It's funny. Stfu.

  27. Wow. says:

    There was no jab. Stop being so defensive. This is life.

  28. ehhhh says:


  29. Guest says:

    some of it was funny and some of it was pretty ignorant and disrespectful to real yoga as it reads like a lame Cosmo article. Real yogis shouldn't care about clothing size and also can wear and use malas without concern for image. Real yoga is about spiritual union and self-realization. This type of humor and self-mockery only makes yoga seem like a hobby and not a serious practice for anybody that reads it. I appreciate some humor in these articles but this was in poor taste IMO and catering to the weak-hearted. We need some more inspirational articles too.

  30. Be nice. says:

    that's not what she was saying. Why do you and so many people on here try so hard to find negative things to say about people's work?

  31. guest says:

    great post!

  32. OMG. Really? Humor isn't acceptable in the yoga community? That explains a lot, actually.

  33. bdbbluff says:

    Regardless of who we think we are or who we are trying to become we will always have teeth and fists.

  34. Shallan says:

    Eating gluten-free in response to celiac disease has nothing to do with being over-zealous. I am not sure why it was included in this article, since it is an auto-immune disease and not a choice.

  35. Mike says:

    Try giving up all dairy for 21 days and not replacing it with vegan "cheese" until the 21 days is up. It will be infinitely easier.

  36. Mike says:

    Really? I live my life perfectly fine without taking jabs at other people's lifestyles. Strange world you live in.

  37. Mike says:

    I agree with you, but it was unnecessary to call veganism "over zealous." Veganism is cruelty free, healthy, and good for the environment. Why call that over zealous? Shouldn't we all strive to be the best we can for the planet?

  38. Kathy says:

    Boo for cynicism, superficiality and sarcasm.

  39. Aaron says:

    FYI eating gluten-free is often recommended in association with many popular diets including Paleo for reasons other than celiac disease (i realize that you don't need to be GF to follow Paleo – that's not what I said). The author is clearly not saying that the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads have nothing to do with yoga, but that her decision to read these texts over the magazines that make her feel like herself was an anti-yogic decision. This article is funny and true (no matter what you believe) because it is one persons account and it is "all about the author" because this is a blog post which is by nature meant to be "all about the author." If you are taking this article personally, you may want to revisit point #10.

  40. Jennifer says:

    I had the exact same reaction to the comment about the gluten-free comment. It is not a "lifestyle choice" I would wish on anyone else.

  41. Dax says:

    Thanks for enlightening us, Kim. Where would we be without you? Oh, I know… enjoying a light article on EJ.

  42. […] The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga). ~ Lee Anne Finfin…. […]

  43. Loved this! Sooo true! Confession though…after many many years of practicing yoga, still not a huge Kirtan fan (but am sloooowly willing to change my attitude about that;) And p.s. I have Celiac & wasn't offended by the gluten free comment…lots of folks doing it because it's trendy, "clean," or they heard someone famous was doing it & assumed they would lose weight…whatev.

  44. Valerie Carruthers says:

    Lee Ann, you are a yogi after my own heart.

  45. […] The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga). ~ Lee Anne Finfin… […]

  46. whatever says:

    if you weren't into yoga you probably wouldn't need to mention that your cat is a rescue cat.

  47. Scott_Newsom says:

    The article was funny. I laughed. I lked. The pic is just another in a long line of abuses of the female form on EJ though. I wish EJ too the Yamas and Niyamas more to heart, especially within the Yoga section. Brahmacharya in practice would bring great beauty to these pages.