10 Things Yogis Don’t Admit About Yoga Class.

Via Jennifer S. White
on Apr 23, 2013
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I love being both a yoga student and a yoga teacher.

I adore the connections with my fellow yogis, and I appreciate new and fun sequencing and warm rooms. There are, however, a few things that most people won’t tell you about their time spent in a yoga classroom. Well, I will.

1. Yes, you do need a pedicure. Of course, I see your toenails. I’m not even suggesting that we all walk around with painted toes (we’d really have to work in order to get most men on board with that), but it would be nice if you simply cared for your feet just a smidge. In other words, get that sh$t taken care of. Thanks.

2. You’re not the first person to pass gas, and you won’t be the last. The teacher side of me has experienced several situations involving flatulent students. It happens. After all, we are working our bodies; twisting, bending, using our abdominal muscles. There are even yoga poses to relieve constipation. Don’t be embarrassed if this happens to you (easier said than done, I’m aware), but do keep in the back of your mind that seasoned teachers and students have likely encountered these noises before, and that, unfortunately for the rest of us, the old saying “silent but deadly” holds a fair amount of truth. 

3. Consider holding off on that extra garlicky dinner entree. Working out in a heated room can feel amazing—unless you happen to be practicing next to someone who’s sweating out that overly seasoned food from last night. Food for thought.

4. Your pants are see through. No, it’s not just Lululemon either. I’m telling you, fellow yogis, be a pal and let someone know that you saw more than either of you wanted during your wide-legged forward fold.

5. Your boob fell out—so what. Sure, there are some women who flaunt their girls like no one else on the planet owns a set. Still, there are others who freak out when a little side boobage happens. You know what, we’re all human; it’s okay. Pop it back in and re-focus in your breath.

6. I’m glad I was a gym rat. The studio I practice at now has showers, which is awesome—and I’m so glad that I used to be a regular naked Sally (yeah, I just made that term up, booya!) at the gym back in the day. Of course, I’m partial to getting dressed alone, but I really don’t care if someone else sees me putting on my underwear after my shower. In fact, I wish you were more comfortable too, because it would make the whole experience better for all of us.

7. Take child’s pose. That’s so cool that you’re trying out new postures and really putting your heart into your practice—but you’re turning bright red and I can’t hear breathing next to me. Trust me, take a moment to sit the next pose out—you’ll enjoy the rest of the class that much more.

8. Is that a fan or your ujjayi? This might sound kind of weird, but sometimes during my practice in the slightly heated room, I’ll be in a pose and really feeling overly warm (shocking, I know), and the student next to me (when we’re mat to mat, which happens a lot on weekends) has some great ujjayi breath going on, it feels a little bit like a tiny fan is blowing on my sweaty, sticky arm—and it feels spectacular. So keep working that ujjayi, yogis!

9. I don’t notice you on your mat. Sorry, I’m positive that the crow pose you just rocked out was stellar—but I didn’t see it because I’m here for me, not for you. Remember this when you worry that people see you fall, or judge you for basically any other reason. I would wager that well over 99 percent of us don’t see, don’t know, don’t care what happens on your mat. 

10. Listen to your lyrics. Occasionally, teachers will play songs, and I wonder if they ever listen to the lyrics before adding them to class playlists. Keep in mind, that some students can’t help but hear the words that are blasting, even if they are focusing well during their practice. While I admire using new or eclectic sounds (I do too), please consider that what you play might negatively affect others, especially if the lyrical content is not uplifting.

There are a million different directions that I could have taken this list, but I think I’ll start here and, perhaps, call it “part one.”

Another good thing to keep in mind, is that if you experience it, or notice it, while you’re on your mat, or up in front of the classroom, then the likelihood is pretty darn high that you’re not the first one.

So keep on practicing, keep on trying new things—and, for goodness’ sakes, try taking off your shoes and checking out the condition of your feet at least one other time during your day besides the yoga studio welcome room.



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Ed: Kate Bartolotta


One thing we can admit: yoga can heal our self image.

Yoga with integrity:


About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


40 Responses to “10 Things Yogis Don’t Admit About Yoga Class.”

  1. livetstrae says:

    Fun 🙂

  2. Karin says:

    Interesting….but doesn't number one and number nine contradict each other? If you truly are here for yourself and not noticing other peoples' practices, then how are you noticing their feet? Maybe you shouldn't be looking. 🙂

    I agree there are a lot more….so I'm looking forward to 'Part Two'.

  3. katybrandes says:

    Oh, I agree … other people's feet gross me out. Ugh.

  4. Fun article but personnaly for me part of yoga is learning to be non-judgemental. I never took time to notice the condition of somebody's toes.

  5. klareng says:

    You don't notice anyone on their mats (number 9) yet you notice their toes, how red they are, whether their pants are see through or their boobs are falling out. And you could care less about seeing anyone rock crow but you make damn sure we get to see you. judgemental much?

  6. Jennifer White says:

    Thanks! I am poking a little non-serious fun. However, I do tend to notice other people's feet more often than I'd like to admit while we're milling around outside before class begins, but to be fair not taking care of your feet has been a neurotic pet peeve of mine for years 😉

  7. Jennifer White says:

    Read the commentary above. Also, I'm being playful.

  8. Jennifer White says:

    I make sure people see me in crow? Your comments don't make sense, and I think you're the one being judgmental. I'm just having a little yoga-related fun. Take a chill pill and a dose of your own advice.

  9. Jennifer White says:

    Thanks 🙂

  10. Jennifer White says:

    I love feet! (When they're taken care of hahaha 🙂

  11. Gabby says:

    Yikes! Take a moment to breathe people. Take note that the author is also a TEACHER. It is very easy to notice someone’s neon pink underoos through see-through pants, or catch an accidental peep show. As the author would say, “turn up the corners of your mouth and SMILE!!”

  12. Patricia says:

    I love your tongue in cheek posts – they always make me smile. And on the toe thing YES. I still remember walking into the yoga room at the local YMCA…and tragically noticing a fellow's neon green toe nails. And it wasn't nail polish. Years later and I'm still haunted…..

  13. Patricia says:

    And then there was the time a sweaty guy's toes smacked me across the nose. Yep, a little scarred from that one too….

  14. Jennifer White says:

    hahahaha! And thank you. I'm extremely grateful that you get my humor—and maybe I'll have to seek some advice on part two 😉

  15. Shivaya Castle says:

    yup, I caught some nasty toenail fungus in Bali a few years back n the toenails on my left foot have basically fallen off- nothing left to pedicure n look scary-medications don't help-got any positive suggestions? Then take care of yer own sh*%#t

  16. Jennifer White says:

    Thanks, Gabby! 😀 I'm sadly not shocked by how ill-equipped some yogis are at laughing at themselves. Of course, I'm being silly. (Also, I'm referring to the FB postings rather than here.) Thanks again xo

  17. amySaysOm says:

    I'm one of the FB posters. I love poking fun at myself and at yoga. I think too many yogis take things way too seriously. I just worry that people see an article like this and think "Wow…if that's what my teacher (or the student on the mat next to me) is really going to be thinking, maybe I don't want to try yoga after all." I'm all for having a good time, but just like practical jokes, it's not fun if it's at someone else's expense. More importantly, I'd be sad to think that someone would be turned off from yoga because of catty comments like some of the points in this article.

  18. Jessica says:

    Maybe some inquire (not sure if that is how to spell inquire? inquiry?) all around. Who's business am I in? Love Byron Katie!

  19. Different Jessica says:

    I wonder about that see-through pants one. This came up just the other day. It was the dreaded wide-leg forward fold. I saw…well…not everything, but I bet I saw more than she'd have wanted me to see. But I didn't know her AT ALL. I'd never seen her at the studio before. Should I have said something or just live and let live? It's not as if I've never seen it before. So where does live-&-let-live become help-a-sister-out? I seriously wasn't sure!

  20. Jennifer White says:

    You know, you gotta do what you're comfortable with, but this happens more often than you would think! Just speaking from personal opinion, but if it were me I'd want to know. I guess not everyone got or appreciated my humor in this article, but I think if you're uncomfortable you could try being discreet when no one else is around (I know I would appreciate that) or inserting a little humor into the situation (without being unkind). I think this is a tricky situation! Good question!

  21. michellec433 says:

    Love this post so much! Its not cool seeing someones patterned undies through their pants or leggings, its a distraction. I even tell people in public if I can see their undies through their leggings. Although, I can't help but laugh if someone farts in class, or even myself. It is like my inner 4 year old just decided to pop out for a min.

  22. Jennifer White says:

    We all have an inner four-year old child somewhere in us—and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! (I know my inner child is pretty darn silly, obviously.) Thanks for your positive feedback on my article and for having a great sense of humor 😉

  23. Sara says:

    Didnt find this catty at all!

    I came to yoga late in the game (55) so some habits are hard to cure: I laugh easily. One day after class, after getting into my first head stand caused me to burst into surprised laughter, my teacher approached me & thanked me. She said that I had reminded her that laughter is a part of yoga, and that she needed to laugh more often…

    Go for it!

  24. Different Jessica says:

    Yeah, I suppose if I could grab her after class and say…oh crap, I can't even think of a easy, breezy, funny way to say it. Help me out internet! What a no-big-deal way to tell someone you can see her goods through her pants?

  25. Jennifer White says:

    I love it—and I couldn't agree more. You know, laughing a tiny bit during your practice helps to relax your muscles and deepen stretching postures—and smiling is just plain fun. Go, Sara, for trying yoga and go, Sara, for sharing your joy. Thanks!

  26. Dan says:

    "I used to love those pants, but I discovered they don't wear well after repeated washes. That and I noticed they were showing off my goods!"

  27. Emily says:

    I don't notice you on your mat.
    I notice the heck out of your feet and whether or not you need a pedicure.

    So you don't notice others' practice but you make a judgment of their toes/condition of their feet? As a former ballet dancer (16 years) with very bad feet, I can first of all say that no amount of pedicures/hygiene will undo what years of abuse to my nail beds have done. I have spent the majority of my life being self-conscious about my feet… then I found yoga. A practice that teaches mindfulness, nonjudgment and lack of ego, made me feel confident while barefoot. Statements like "get that sh*t taken care of" are not very mindful of other peoples' situations and it saddens me that you thought it was important enough to bring up.

    Unless a person's feet are dirty/smell bad, you might consider focusing more on YOUR breath, YOUR, practice, and YOUR ego, not the way your neighbors feet look.

  28. chang says:

    no thanks, I don't really like feeling other ppl's breath

  29. Darren says:

    You forgot #11 for the guys: it’s ok to rearrange your man package. Do it quick, do it discreetly. Otherwise Gomukhasana is going to be Gonnacrushyournutasana.

  30. Jennifer White says:

    Hahahahaha! and uhhh, maybe I should add this to list number 2 when it goes up soon 😉

  31. Yes, you are right. Especial thanks for your research. I like yoga and will not forget your suggestions.

  32. Rachel says:

    Nice post! I don't think the author meant she's judging your feet- it's not a shape/general appearance thing. But bad foot odor or noticeable fungus/bacteria is bad news! Bringing unclean or unhealthy feet into a class can sour the experience of surrounding yogis. Nobody expects you to get a $60 luxury pedicure or cover your feet (because truly, we are not here to judge, we come to class to learn and draw from within), but a little maintenance goes a long way to show respect to your classmates- and yourself. It takes less than a minute to clip those toenails! The point is, an unkempt or bad-smelling foot draws negative attention to you and away from the practice.

  33. Betsy A says:

    I really enjoy your post. I’m always amazed on how people that accused others of being judgmental seem so judgmental and angry, life is about letting people be, if we don’t like it , let it go and continue your journey, remember if you don’t have anything to say , “shhhhhhhhhh.” You know . Ughhhh I hope i’m not doing it . Anyhow great job Jennifer. Oh and remember fellow yogis clean well in between the toes

  34. Matt says:

    Now people, give the girl a break. everyone seems so judgmental , Relax and enjoy what life has to offer, Don't pick apart every-word that is expressed. Everyone has a opinion, this is my opinion 🙂 Have a lovely day

  35. Matt says:


  36. Guest says:

    ALL yoga pants are see through in wide-legged forward fold. Simple solution is WEAR YOUR UNDIES. Patterned undies are always a better choice than a money shot. Always. Namaste.

  37. Kaity says:

    It's not the farting.. It's the queefing that is so embarassing. I always know when my period is coming! It is uncontrollable! At least you have the option to hold in a fart.

  38. Debbi says:

    I always notice toes, feet in down dog at the beginning of class. Not judging, just noticing. And yes, if your ass is in my face in wide legged forward fold I will notice if your pants are see through. Wear your undies, don’t I really don’t care. However, if my boob popped out I would honestly probably disrupt the class laughing, sorry.

  39. TracyL says:

    This is so unfair, and is the very reason why I WON'T take yoga classes even though I desperately need them. I have toenail fungus, through no fault of my own, and I already feel like a leper. I've tried everything to get rid of it, spending several thousand dollars over the past 5 years. I have to pay $150.00 per pedicure because most nail salons won't take me as a customer. And now I have to worry about how the instructors will be staring at my feet? No thanks.

  40. FizzyLifting says:

    I feel for you TracyL. It is, indeed, unfair. Try getting a pair of yoga socks with the grippers on the bottom. Worked for me. What the other students and instructors don't see won't hurt them. Or you. 🙂