10 Things I Will Never Do In Yoga.

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Mar 26, 2012
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Competition, Wanderlust and porn:

Here are a few of my not-so-favorite things about yoga.

Ten things I will never do in yoga:

1. A yoga competition. It’s supposed to be “non-competitive.” Besides, I will probably kick your ass.


2. Ignore the teacher, and especially close my eyes and make the finger mudra while the teacher is talking. Puhleeese. Can you imagine if your kids did that while you were talking? Or your partner? “Um, I can’t hear you, because I’m uber-meditating.”


3. Go from down dog to handstand, to forward fold and press back up to handstand and then float to Chaturanga, Plank Pose. Okay, maybe not never, but certainly not now. And certainly not in a Level One Beginner Class. I don’t need that much attention.


4. Yoga Porn. You know what it is, where someone is doing a one-armed handstand on a cliff. It’s hard enough against a wall. However, if I looked as good as the girl in her underwear for Equinox, then I would absolutely do yoga in my skivvies.


5. Glorify the whole lying broken on a bathroom floor thing. I must have read at least 200 blogs that begin with someone being broken somewhere. In fact, that did happen to me, and it was much better when I stood up and brushed myself off.


6. Lose my sense of humor on the mat. Or anywhere else. And especially not in the really hard poses. I will laugh my way to enlightenment, or I will quit and try again in my next life.


7. Turn down a cupcake because it isn’t gluten free. Or a drink.


8. Attend a festival called “Wander” and “Lust” because I’m married and generally very happy at home. Unless they pay me a lot of money. As Cyndi Lauper says, money changes everything.


9. Start a class with meditation because I think that is cruel and unusual punishment. If more yogis actually read the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, they would understand that the whole purpose of practicing is to get to the seated meditation, and not the other way around.


10. And never, again, will I put my trust in a “guru.” That also goes for being part of a cult, worshiping pagan rituals and hanging out with lots of Wiccans who are apparently having sex in covens and not inviting me. At least I hope I don’t. But really, who knows? I didn’t know about any of that stuff in the first place in Anusara yoga because I was too busy being non-competitive with my handstand just in case, you know, I needed to kick anybody’s ass.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta


About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at www.YogiMuse.com. And you can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.


76 Responses to “10 Things I Will Never Do In Yoga.”

  1. Louise Brooks says:

    Ilana, it is clear you do not have a sense of humour. Take your own advice and stop reading EJ. For some reason you seem to take yourself and yoga far too seriously and this point in your life. Come on back when you can laugh at yourself.

  2. paul says:

    My apologies for the control freaks of the world. May they never have indigestion, allergies, mental breaks or mental illness. May they always teach those who haven't yet learned and who respect their teachers' limited capacities. May they always have a clear inner guide. May they always hold and never cling. May they be surrounded by people that love and support them.

  3. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}10 Things I Will Never Do In Yoga.. Kommentare Kommentare   « Ernährungstipps für Yogameis… […]

  4. Vision_Quest2 says:

    You, becks, are preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned. Seated savasana in the beginning, seated pranayama, seated chanting on all the chakras, seated child's pose that goes on for minutes!

    All great!

    Guess I'm just a hatha student at heart. Wannabe-old school, at that … lol

  5. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Control freaks are overrepresented in the general population of yoga teachers, imho … It is an occupational prerequisite … lol

  6. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Me, too. I'd felt the same vibes 25 years ago when the mild type of hatha yoga taught at that time, had the restless, chest-out aerobics students checking out the class.

    My first taste of yoga ever, actually had been very much like Yin yoga, over 40 years ago.

  7. VQ2 says:

    So what?

  8. Danielle says:

    I love this!! Until I read it, I didn't even realize i was thinking some of the same things!

  9. catnipkiss says:

    I have noticed the trend of readers/commenters not having much of a sense of humor when the author is clearly using humor as his/her angle. There are too many people who take themselves and others REALLY seriously! One article I read recently even had a disclaimer (sense of humor, folks!) at the beginning (I think it was Kate?) and still got blasted for being disrespectiful, angry, whatever…. Sometimes, to me, the comments are funnier than the original post just because of this. For the record, I am guilty of baby yoga porn: a crooked triangle at Machu Picchu (but hey, I had on jeans and hiking boots, and had to leap into the pose in the right spot with a twelve second timer, on a hill and in mud…) To the porn analyzers it's akin to a breast-cup rather than the money shot 😉 BUT HEY, IT WAS AT MACHU PICCHU! And I am volunteering at Wanderlust in July, but don't worry, you won't see me in handstand there, unless supported by a few gorgeous yogi men (I just can't get it up alone!) – Alexa Maxwell

  10. Carrie H says:

    Wow! #2 happened to me a few weeks back for the first time, by another yoga teacher! 🙂 Ah well. I just found it amusing and reminded the gentle beginners to find the teacher that resonates with them!

  11. Guest says:

    Negative Nancy

  12. Michelle Marchildon says:

    This is awful, but I love this! I am so sorry that happened to you. I am 51, and I have been told many things about my handstand mostly from younger people. Don't worry, they will someday catch up to us and we should have the last laugh.

  13. Michelle Marchildon says:

    Ok, so you had me when you said I was gorgeous and phenomenal. I'm going to leave it at that. Thank you for your opinions. I really do appreciate them.

  14. Michelle Marchildon says:

    True. Sometimes it is nice to start with pranayama. But most of the time the students come to move a bit. My motto is give them what they want, then give them what they need. They'll benefit more from meditation at the end rather than at the beginning.

  15. Michelle Marchildon says:

    Katy — thank you. By the way, 3 things I recommend never doing: 1. Look down "there" after giving birth, 2. Ask if there's gluten in a delicious cupcake, and 3. Read the comments on a blog. Right now, I've had wine so it makes it easier.

  16. Michelle Marchildon says:

    PEOPLE, I AM NOT ANGRY! I'm not, really. And honestly, I have done all of this stuff. Everyone has. Lighten up. No, en-lighten up.

  17. Prema says:

    Two things I will never do in yoga
    1) lose my sense of humor
    2) judge another’s practice

  18. Denise says:

    haha. Quite enjoyed reading this. The only point I disagree with is number 10. If you find a true Guru, a Satguru wooowww, you will experience something new and different, the transmission of Consciousness is immediate if you accept Him/Her with an open heart. Of course there are many false gurus… but it could be a tad irresponsible, or maybe misguiding for many people who read this and know not much about the Guru topic… it will just reinforce other people's viewpoint about this, making more people sceptical about something that is real. Say, new people who know not much will read this from a truested source and say 'yeah, of course I need to stay clear from the whole Guru thing'… Guru means He who brings you out from darkness Gu- darkness Ru-light… and if we read a bit more into the Satguru topic it is the fastest form of obtaining knowledge…
    I agree with all the points are they are about how people misenterpret yoga – the yoga porn hahah, the yoga competition, the whole gluten free food, the showing off of our asana abilities in class, etc… you're right, they are against not taking oneself too seriously, being humble, going inwards, etc… but dismissing the Guru concept is not correct as it is a fanstastic way of going forward and inward in the spiritual path (if you come accross a really good one, need to be able to discriminate phonies from the real mc coy!). Many of the readers might know this, but it's not right for many newcomers who could easily be influenced by this opinion. You could have rephrased it a little….

  19. Denise says:

    Sorry about my grammar in some points…!

  20. Please would someone offer me a gluten free cupcake? Also a ceilac, it's not comfortable to eat a non gf cupcake so I can't "cheat" and take the non gf that people offer me. Where are you getting all these gf cupcake offers?

  21. Sara says:

    Thank you for keeping it real; enjoyed your book.
    Coming to yoga in my 50s: I may not ever make it into some asanas, but it's not because I will ever quit trying. If I feel aligned & beautiful inside, if my breath is flowing through my moves, if I can laugh: that is where I need to be. That is the teacher, that is the class, that is the best.
    As a caterer, I totally get the gluten issue!

  22. […] inward, listening to my own muscles, joints and breath. And, for the first time in my practice, competition and comparison with others had completely left the room. I was no longer using group energy to push harder and was […]

  23. Shivin Varghese says:

    well well,, Ppl like Andrew and ILlana wouldnt have lashed out on you calling you angry had you praised the Yoga porn or the "gurus" or the competition stuff… Well thats how many have been raised in yoga thinking its glamour just like modelling..

    I liked this article for sure. And let me remind ppl who call you "Angry Yogi" – well folks! those who practice yoga arent born saints, and supernaturals. They are humans having the same emotions as everyone else has. So If someone was expecting the Elephant Journal to be a self help book on positive thinking like the books by Norman Vincent Peale or Dale Carnegie, you BETTER STOP READING the Elephant Journal. I pity your narrow mindedness and the typical Western approach to Yoga. If this is not enough, FO!!

    Michelle, twas a nice read , i must repeat

  24. I'm just reading this for the first time.
    I hope you're okay with the giant crush I have on you now.

  25. jacquie says:

    Yeah, I agree with a previous commenter. I am nearing my final read on EJ. I don't find enjoyment in constantly positioning against some enemy, real or imagined.

    And for the record, I have had REALLY AMAZING EXPERIENCES at Wanderlust as well as other music and yoga events, and I am married, over 40, and happy 🙂

  26. dina says:

    LOL! I clicked on a link from Twitter not knowing who wrote the article and when I got to number 4 I thought to myself, "This must be Michelle's post." Sure enough I was right! Hilarious 🙂