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.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett