Why Breast Implants & Yoga Don’t Mix. ~ Brenda Blanco


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Source: allwomenstalk.com via Monique on Pinterest

Yoga can help you destroy or feed your vanity. The choice is up to you.

When I first started practicing yoga, I was definitely ego-driven. I loved how it changed my body. The one thing it couldn’t change was the size of my boobs. As luck would have it, I discovered a growth in my breast and the doctor recommended that while I was in for surgery to have the growth removed, I should put some implants in. That recommendation, combined with an unshakeable memory of a past boyfriend telling me that I would stop traffic if I had my breasts done, convinced me to go for it.

I hoped the new boobs would help me look hotter, quieting the insecurity I’d felt since my chubby childhood and igniting my then sexless long-term relationship.

In the beginning, they were great. I looked like a Barbie doll in all of my clothes and I got lots of attention from everyone, except the intended boyfriend. Our issues were not about my body, but I hadn’t figured that out yet.

As I grew in my yoga practice and became a teacher, the boobs definitely got in the way. Certain poses that require you to lie on your belly or place your hands under your chest were almost impossible. I also felt self-conscious when teaching yoga in certain Lululemon tops. I often had to adjust so that they didn’t pop out too much.

The boobs also made me wonder if the reason why more men took my class was about how I looked vs. my ability to teach great physical yoga and philosophy.

Most importantly, they got in the way of who I said I was.

I practiced being real in life by living by the yoga principles and diet, but these two things were very fake.

After the implants, my long term relationship ended and I started dating. I had a lot easier time meeting guys with them. They were the hottest guys I’d ever dated, but probably the most superficial too. I’d never been the type of girl that guys went after to just sleep with, but it seemed that now I appeared to be that kind of girl. The boobs and my yoga teacher job made guys think I was easier, but I still wasn’t.

After some small heartbreaks, I hooked up a with a much younger guy. He was gorgeous and fun and loved that I was a yoga teacher.

I remember asking him once the first thing that attracted him about me and he said my boobs.

So that was obviously the beginning of a very sexy, but limiting relationship. After a year of huge ups and painful downs with this 22-year-old heartthrob and manipulator, I finally said goodbye to him for the last time so I could focus on myself and why I was so unhappy even though I had everything I ever wanted. I realized that busying myself with boyfriends and work were keeping me from figuring out how to truly be happy.

I took this time to go to a few yoga and life-coaching workshops on my own. I realized that I had a lot of childhood issues that were still plaguing me today. I visited my dad to resolve issues I had with him. I also started making friends with people who lifted my spirits vs. previous friends that criticized or competed with me. These changes made a huge difference.

As time passed, I started to see myself more clearly.

For years, I had been masking my pain and insecurity with fun hair, jewelry, sexy clothes and fake boobs, but that hadn’t made it go away.

As I started to strip away these layers, I realized how much I hated my fake boobs. They made me uncomfortable in yoga class and nervous about health risks that come with aging and having children. The only two things holding me back from taking them out were my fear and my ego.

I went for a consultation with the original plastic surgeon and he told me that they looked great, but I scheduled the removal anyway. After the appointment was set, my monkey mind was set off. I worried about complications that might occur during the surgery, even death. After a trip to the gym, in which I noticed how much attention and confidence I felt with them, my vanity won the battle and I called to cancel my removal surgery.

That night, the universe spoke to me loud and clear.

As I was about to jump into the shower, I noticed a text on my phone. A beautiful young student of mine texted me this:

Student: I have a question for you. Not sure if you had your boobies done, can’t remember. If so, how did it affect your yoga and how long till you were able to get back in it? If not, I’m sorry!

This did not feel like a coincidence to me.

It was my sign and this was my response:

It’s really funny and ironic that you are asking me this question. Here’s why. Before yoga, I had a growth in my breast I had to have taken out and the doctor told me while at it, I should get implants. I had been a heavy kid and had extra skin in the breast area. This made me insecure. I thought implants would make me happier, but they didn’t.

They feel weird and give me anxiety. They also make it very challenging to practice yoga. I recently scheduled a surgery to get rid of them. This took a lot of contemplation, because every time you go under, you are risking your life.

Yoga has taught me to love myself in my most natural form. And that is why I will do it. I don’t need them. In the end, it’s your choice. But I will still tell you: you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, inside and out. You don’t need them. They are not worth risking your life. You really are perfect already. Often, we pick at anything we can about our bodies because we haven’t dealt with our insecurities deep inside of us. That is true for me. I hope you don’t do it and that this information helped. It is my truth.

Her reaching out gave me the courage to take out my implants and I am grateful to her for that.

I want to be a role model for true beauty, not the manufactured beauty that our society promotes so heavily.

If you want to look hotter, do things that make you happy.

True beauty is your glow, not silicone or any other products.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and save yourself time, thousands of dollars and scars.


When Brenda began practicing yoga in 2005, she was working as a senior marketing executive for a major oil company, a job that left her stressed and unfulfilled. Yoga gave her the clarity to see the life changes necessary to find happiness and the courage to make them a reality. Brenda chronicles her true stories in the past and present of her colorful journey as a yoga student and teacher in the NYC area in her Girl Gone Yoga Blog. Her hope is that they inspire you to not just practice yoga, but also live it. As you will see, it can be fun, scary and hilarious. Read more at girlgoneyoga.com.


Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett


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45 Responses to “Why Breast Implants & Yoga Don’t Mix. ~ Brenda Blanco”

  1. Karen says:

    Great Article, Brenda! It's so important to recognize that we are our own teachers, you know? So when we talk about the importance of inner beauty, it is because we need to hear it! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Helen says:

    Lovely article. Thank you for sharing it. xx

  3. DanielleDD says:

    Very well written, and honest. I struggle myself with these issues!

  4. Lauren says:

    Now imaging naturally having boobs so bug they're embarrassing, and trying to work around those in yoga class…34 G's don't do so well in any posture that has me on my front! I've long been considering a reduction surgery, but have avoided it because of the cost and a fear that I'll be unnaturally changing my body.

    • Brenda Blanco says:

      Hi Lauren 🙂
      Remember that most people are too busy judging themselves to worry about judging you so why be embarrassed. Be grateful for what God gave you and practice loving your body as it is. Change your mind instead of your body and you will be a lot happier.
      As for yoga, make it work for you, not the other way around. Work on updogs instead of cobras and when they take backbends on their bellies, do bridge, wheel or camel so you get your backbend in, but more comfortably 🙂
      Much love,

      • I enjoyed this piece and agree so whole-heartedly with much of it. Just wanted to add to Lauren's comment here that a few years ago I had a student with very large breasts that caused her a lot of discomfort—not only in her yoga practice but in her life, as she had persistent upper back pain and difficulty sleeping comfortably. When she went home to India for a visit with family, she ended up having a reduction surgery. Although she had to take several months off from yoga while recovering, she is overjoyed with the results. She feels more confident and comfortable in her own body. Her back pain is dramatically reduced. Her yoga practice is more enjoyable and she sleeps better. So while I agree that it's important to learn to love our own natural bodies, I believe that it's also okay to take steps to alter them if doing so would improve our quality of life.

        • Ellen R says:

          Prajna, wanted to add to your post. My mother-in-law had breast reduction at age 69. Her post recovery statement was that she wished she had done it 50 years ago. Huge breasts are uncomfortable, draw unwanted attention, and make face down yoga very difficult to impossible.
          Brenda, it is fine to love your body as it is, but sometimes changing it is good too. If Lauren was born with a cleft palate, you would not tell her not to surgically change it. Sometimes we have too much of a good thing and taking a little away can liberate us.

  5. monika says:

    Dear Brenda, credits to you for a fantastic article and a courage to share. you are an amazing lady!

  6. […] Now I am doing something that I’ve always wanted to do—editing other people’s writing. […]

  7. Yasmin Yoga says:

    I really enjoyed this article. Nicely expressed.

  8. shanan says:

    good honest writing. Thanks for sharing your experience so genuinely. may others be inspired by you.

  9. […] Why Breast Implants & Yoga Don’t Mix. ~ Brenda Blanco (elephantjournal.com) […]

  10. ggarciaordonez says:

    Congrats, Brenda, for sharing this with the world! You've done it so clearly & beautifullly as well! I see you xxxx

  11. Awesome Brenda!

    Your courage and willingness to open your heart here will help many people considering a similar decision.

    Nothing is more attractive than authenticity!

    Love and blessings.


  12. Guest says:

    I got implants, too. But mine were to replace breast tissue lost to cancer. Not sure how much of your article is about confessing your perceived vanity and how much is about the actual difficulty doing certain poses.

    • kkatx says:

      Try reading the whole article again, word for word. An entire process unfolds, not just a certain specific topic or two. Did her story offend you, just curious. She did have a tumor removed, which means she also would have lost breast tissue in the process. Breast implants are always about ego, btw, no matter what the stated reason for them might be. If a human can detach from ego, then appearance will never matter. Easier said than done, for sure, but still is ultimately the truth.

  13. Ally says:

    Thank you for this. Long story short, I was literally about to make a call to a surgeon and hit my EJ bookmark and your article has stopped me in my tracks. I'm choosing to embrace my own perfection.

  14. You are truly a just right webmaster. The website loading pace is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a fantastic activity on this topic!

  15. laura says:

    thank you, thank you for this!

    "A" cup girl

  16. thankfulBF says:

    this article is wonderful. my girlfriend was about to get implants when i showed her this and some other things. theres a natural way like massages and idk maybe yoga and foods that naturally grows your breasts. this was kinda a great way to kinda compromise on the subject. for us.

  17. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/04/im-all-nat

    Hi Brenda, I wrote this article about a year ago. I thought you might appreciate it. ~Rebecca

  18. Meg L says:

    Hi Brenda! I am so glad to have stumbled on to your blog. Last summer I moved from my home in NY with my fiancé and our son. Since the move I have been homesick and a bit lonely. I love my fiancé and our son is possibly the greatest little man in the whole wide world (I may be slightly biased here :)) but I have just been unhappy with myself and missing the comfort of good friends and feeling good inside and out. Back in NY I would go to a hot yoga class about 3 times a week and I loved it. I felt great and to be honest loved the results. I too have had body issues (who hasn’t) and almost three years ago decided to get breast implants. Since then I have not practiced yoga. I loved them at first and when I was healed and tried to go back I just felt uncomfortable. After breast feeding my son for the past year and constantly being worried about health risks for myself and him I’ve developed a hatred for my implants and have been researching getting them removed. I want to practice yoga again and find the clarity it brought me. I also want to love who I am and not feel half fake. The constant anxiety and worry they bring me definitely doesn’t help me with finding happiness in this transition.

  19. karren says:

    this really works. It's not cheap, but it is worth it since it worked. By the way I had to copy and paste the link manually for it to go through. Other than that thanks for making me aware of this product.

  20. 21% overall increase in cancers for women with implants, compared to women of the same age in the general population.

    Implant patients were three times as likely to die from lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia as other plastic surgery patients.The study is based on medical records and death certificates of almost 8,000 women with breast implants, including silicone gel implants and saline implants, and more than 2,000 other plastic surgery patients. ( National Cancer Institute (NCI), Boston University, Abt Associates, and the Food and Drug Administration, with Dr. Louise Brinton from NCI as lead author. )

    For more information visit: http://mhlnk.com/D471B5F4

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  22. Becky says:

    A very interesting article, I am glad you are happier now and wish you all the success in the future.

  23. Hello there, I discovered your site via Google at the same time as searching for a related matter, your web site came up, it appears good. I have added to my favourites|added to bookmarks.

  24. Stella says:


    Enhance your breasts, better than implants.

  25. bluemotion says:

    Natural methods of breast enhancement should always be tried first before contemplating surgery.

  26. You're situation must be very hard because when you are in the yoga class, you seem to be shy of your bust which is contrary when you are outside the yoga class. Just be careful and feel confident about it.

  27. There is a safer way than Breast Implants.

  28. Petra20 says:

    I am still not sure if I go for breast implants but after reading this article I really need to think it over.

  29. yogi ma says:

    BEST article I’ve ever read on this site! You are brave, honest, REAL. Thank you!!!!

  30. Ka says:

    You sound insecure. Your insecurity is not a reflection of the universal truth. I have had implants for 10 years and practiced yoga for the last 5, with no problems. Consider how what you say effects others and what is true beyond your own personal experience – thanks!

  31. Laurel says:

    What would you recommend for someone who loves their implants and plans to keep them? I am new to yoga but I am always worried that I am putting too much pressure on them, or stretching too far, that I will damage the breast pocket. I was born with a breast deformity and had it fixed with surgery, and i LOVE them – but they are rather firm and make up probably 90% of my boob volume, I was totally flat.

    Is yoga still safe with implants?

  32. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time

    a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment.

    There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service?


  33. AngelA says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I have my breast augmentation scheduled in 10 days…but I have HUGE doubts now…. And I am a yoga instructor as well…or am I if I am looking to follow and promote this plastic "beauty" standard pushed on us by men and media? I have been asking why I wanted them? Guessing– attention, but now I understand I don't want That kind of attention, which is animalistic and more on a degrading side… I want to be recognized for my true beauty and mind. So I am canceling my surgery and I know I am doing the right thing.

  34. breastlift says:

    I love my fiancé and our son is possibly the greatest little man in the whole wide world (I may be slightly biased here :)) but I have just been unhappy with myself and missing the comfort of good friends and feeling good inside and out. Back in NY I would go to a hot yoga class about 3 times a week and I loved it.

  35. guest says:

    Wow…I love reading about people's personal journeys..especially in loving themselves but this article made me feel really uncomfortable. Aren't we supposed to be supporting each other? Aren't we trying to create a world of total acceptance and empowerment? This article is loaded with assumptions, judgments and projection. As a yoga teacher we want to create safe space – I don't feel like you're doing that. I honor your story but assuming others are making decisions for the same reason as you is very dangerous. Perhaps this article, written by another elephant journal author, can shed some light http://yogalutionstudio.com/im-all-natural-with-b

  36. Nina says:

    Hi Brenda,

    I have 2 children and I breast fed them- my daughter for 13 months and my son 6 months. I saw many of my friends didn't breast feed their children for longer than 2 months. I didn't understand why. Now I do. Because I have lost my breast. I was 32B-32C which was not big but not flat. Now I'm an AA with difference of 8cm between 2 measurements. I hate looking at my body, and don't even feel confortable to take my clothes off. Since last October, me and my husband didn't touch , either kiss or make love. I regret that I breast fed my children. I regret also that I lost my breast. I'm thinking getting implants. But I do love Yoga and want to practise it more in the future. That's why i look for information about yoga and breast implants. I found your blog. I still wonder how do I do now, yoga, implant, fat transfer:.. I don't know. If there is someone out there with the experience with implant. How it is feel? is it cold inside? how to practise yoga? what to do now. please help me. my email is [email protected]. I would love some feedback.

  37. Chelsea says:

    I find it strange that your doctor recommended breast implants for a growth. I’m 24 now, but when I was 20 I too had a benign tumor. It was called a fibroadenoma. It was painful and would throb and sometimes kept me up at night. It was like awful nerve pain. It would wax and wane with my monthly cycle and the pain was so nagging at times. I still get lumps and bumps to this day, my doctor calls it fibrocystic breast disease, apparently us small chested woman are more prone to it. Anyways, I had that lump removed at age 20. I REALLY wanted implants back then, and asked my breast doctor about it. I thought it was a perfect time to sneak those implants in since she was already cutting one nipple open. She didn’t recommend it AT ALL so I only ended up having a quick surgery to remove the marble sized tumor and that was it. Did you visit a plastic surgeon or breast tumor doctor about your breast growth? Because I just can’t imagine a breast doctor recommending implants, unless your growth was cancer and the surgeon needed to take more tissues than the tumor away. I’m a yoga instructor now too and I am so so so grateful that fate never had it in the bags for me to get implants. I had wanted them since age 16 and even when I had a breast operated on to remove a tumor at age 20, my doctor is what kept me away from the implants. By age 21 I became completely over the idea of implants and really grew up then. I’m so grateful my world view changed on implants and I attribute that to my yoga practice and accepting my natural self. The complications that can arise from implants is not worth it, plus it sounds extremely uncomfortable. I can’t imagine not laying on my belly! I love my small breasts now and being able to not wear a bra comfortably. I would hate to have to wear bras 24/7 just to feel comfortable and I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it would be to work out with rocks on your chest. I would be mad at your surgeon if I was you, because he/she recommended the implants so you went through the awful surgery/recovery process TWICE. Once to have them put in place and once to have them removed. It sounds very paralleled to my own story, but we both ended up on different paths! I had the tumor removed without implants (even though I wanted them) and you had yours removed with implants, only to get them taken out years down the road. I truly believe if I would have gotten implants back then when they removed the tumor, I would have also eventually taken them out too. Great story though, I feel like I relate a lot, especially how our perspective of beauty shifted through practicing yoga. Yoga definitely teaches self love and acceptance, even if you weren’t searching for it.

  38. Lauren says:

    I also have breast plans but I got them for purely cosmetic reasons to correct horribly asymmetrical breasts in my early thirties. Doing yoga after my implants initially was difficult as it definitely felt like a sore stretching my chest. After a couple of months it was no longer an issue and I can do everything just like I did before. I’ve been practicing for a couple years since then and I don’t feel like they get in the way of my practice at all other than it can be sometimes hard to find sports bras that don’t show cleavage lol. I love my enhanced breasts and I’m glad I got them but they’re certainly not for everyone!

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