Warning: you might not want to read this site if….

Published on June 3, 2011 by      Print
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You might not want to read the collection of Recovering Yogi confessions if you are at all attached to your naïve and idealistic perception of the yoga world.

If you think that “yoga” is the same thing as “the yoga scene” and you have any glimmer of a hope that your local yoga studio is going to be your sanctuary and your yoga “guru” your salvation.

If you think it’s inconceivable or even unlikely that your favorite yoga teacher is sleeping with his/her students, or if you are capable of acknowledging this might be true but chalk it up to your teacher’s authentic, flawed “realness” as a human being.

If you believe in manifesting abundance. Or manifesting anything. In general.

If you think Yoga Journal is a really deep read and you would actually quote the Yoga Sutras.

If you think yoga studios exist sheerly for the good of mankind and somehow magically exist outside of the capitalist system we in the West live in.

If you think your yoga is better than their yoga. If you think your teaching style is the best one. If you think that all yogis are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

If you like to tell other people what to do, think, believe, or feel. This includes telling people how often, or for how long they need to practice.

If you pride yourself on your vegetarianism/veganism/rawism/any-ism and fervently believe the world would be a better place if everyone believed and practiced your ism and only your ism.

If you think that anyone at a party wants to hear about the latest yoga workshop you attended.

If you think that going to a teacher training or ten entitles you to diagnose anything other than a student’s foot placement.

If you have a problem with swearing.

In other words, if you like your yoga bubble, by all means, stay in it! This site is not for the feint of heart.

However, if you are in spiritual recovery, so to speak, from the world of vacuous, meaningless yoga-speak and narcissistic yogis and yoginis, welcome to Recovering Yogi. You are home.

Filed under: Or How About This? and Tagged:


  1. linda says:

    personally I’m over the Love and Lite Stepford Yoga Wives…..

  2. Amelia Catone says:

    my name is amelia catone (not shakti, thanks kimberly) and i approve of this manifesto (that’s not actually trying to ‘manifest’ anything). good one!

  3. FaerieRebecca says:

    If you can’t laugh at yourself when you fall over.

    If you think yoga is a competition for who is stretchier, more limber, thinner, has the best “yoga butt,” etc.

  4. Don says:

    If you can’t distinguish humor, satire and self-deprecation from mean-spirited vindictiveness.

  5. Mr. Slippers says:

    I read Recovering Yogi solely because the Recovering Yogi gals are wicked hot. Well not “solely”. Maybe not.

  6. Emily says:

    This is why I love this blog.

  7. EcoYogini says:

    bahahaha. my favourite:
    If you think yoga studios exist sheerly for the good of mankind and somehow magically exist outside of the capitalist system we in the West live in.

    LOVE this.

  8. Ang says:

    My spiritual tramp stamp that shows just above my $125 low rise yoga pants (they cost more because you can use them for hot yoga too) and I LOVE your site!

  9. Matthew says:

    Popping yoga bubbles, taking names.

  10. joe k says:

    As you point out unfortunately that the crazy world outside a yoga studio is the same as inside( well almost) 90% of the people walking around this world would have improved health, better control over mind body and spirit! That’s what yoga was designed to do or do you have some other ideas on what it was designed to do! The unfortunate thing is the week sheep look to the guru’s of money not the guru’s of the highest teachings this goes again inside and outside a yoga studio. If your guru sucks, chances are you are being directed to develop your own guru, the one inside you!

    An entertaining read all the same yogini’s…Joe

  11. Yogini5 says:

    Oh, I still want to read this site. Even though I am now down to only one (1) yoga teacher, after I have alienated all of them with what I thought was my approach to yoga [as opposed to how they want to project and protect their image(s)].

    This one remaining teacher works out of a studio. By definition, that is a “yoga scene” to me.

  12. Cathy L says:

    I am going on 60, and have finally realized that despite my YTT, and a degree in Occupational Therapy, I cannot be telling anyone what to do and who to be. shit, I don’t eve listen to myself half the time…Thanks for keeping it “real”.

  13. Lisa Clibon says:

    Great piece!
    You may not want to read this site if you read about any character who resembles yourself and you can’t laugh.

  14. cursingyogi says:

    Ha! a place where i belong. loved every part of it. Now i don’t feel so bad about still being on antidepressants, coffee, & swearing yoga practitioner.

    • Yogini5 says:

      I hardly every curse, but that had more to do with my upbringing … only very, very slightly to do with being hypereducated; and absolutely NOTHING to do with any involvement I ever had in “organized yoga” (phraseology purposely similar to “organized religion” and similarly hypocritical …)

  15. Liska says:

    … or if you think yogis have to forego sarcasm in order to get into lotus.

  16. Shawn says:

    Is this supposed be funny? I think the author sounds a bit jaded. It would be nice if at the end you touched upon some aspect of humanity that I could connect to deeply.

    *phew* Just had to get that out of my system. ;-)

    Did you write this in a cabin in Idaho? Should I be expecting a plain brown package from you in the mail? Cuz I have one for you, just waiting for the right time to mail it.

    • Nicola says:

      Jaded? Not a word that came to my mind. Try “aware, astute, awake, intelligent, witty, thoughtful”.

      Milarepa, the most revered Tibetan yogis and poets of his day, would have agreed with these ladies. He actually refused to become a lama in a monistary saying “they put on the yellow robe and have more business dealings than lay people!” That was back in the 10th century AD or thereabouts, long before capitalism and marketing. Nothing much changes in human nature, and any industry that hauls in $6 billion a year is bound to attract charlatans. So this is what we see in our age – a society of spiritual seekers without anchor or knowledge. So they cling and cling to something that resembles spirituality. It is easy to repeat words, and go through the motions, convincing oneself that one has attained some kind of spiritual essence or truth. Actually recognizing the illusion is the point of yoga.

      These ladies have recognized the illusion of yoga.

      I thank them for this site!

  17. janafish says:

    Yogateacher and I’ll try to make my students take that piece of advise! ;-)

  18. Tomasz Goetel says:

    This is the shit!!!! Your shit is my kinda shit. Let’s all keep the Light on, shiiiiit! Now, I’ll go back to reading more shit :)

  19. Michelle says:

    I still love yoga!!! and i love teaching it.

    I do often wonder if what i’m doing is wrong since everyone else stopped drinking caffeine, liquor, swearing, and started eating raw food. I let people laugh, it’s fun to somersault over when trying bakasana… Yoga can do so much.. but so can just learning to be aware of your body. Is it weird that I also teach women to dance on poles?

    i’m digging your site!!!

    • Yogini5 says:

      No, it is not weird. The way yoga is today, and the kind of students it seems to attract … pole dancing is the next yoga …

      • vanessafiola says:

        True story: When I first moved to LA I took pole dancing classes at S-Factor and was convinced that there was a way to teach a workshop on yoga and pole dancing, since there was a fair amount of similarity between asana and the, umm, moves. During this time, I was assisting my teacher at Yoga Journal – San Francisco and taught all of the other (female) assistants some of the things that I’d learned. I ended up dropping it because a) the shoes were stupid and b) I didn’t like the underlying message. (Maybe it was just that studio??) That said, it was a lot of fun.

        So there you have it.

  20. beka says:

    I love this. What IS the correct response when a student asks you to diagnose and treat their injuries/ailments/mental disorders? The polite smile and suggestion to visit their doctor only prompts them more. Ack.

  21. Leena says:

    This is Simply Awesome!

  22. leigh ann says:

    fucking brilliant. i am a recovering yogi and i worship this website!!! found yoga in college, absolutely fell in love. practiced daily for years with two amazing teachers, went to kripalu for some real soul WORK. started teaching, got certified, ran my own space for a while, but all the while struggling with who i was vs. who i thought the yoga world thought i should be. after one too many encounters and experiences with ridiculous teachers, selfish, greedy studio owners, wives of super star teachers and over priced workshops and YTTs i said fuck it and walked. some of the best experiences i’ve had to date have been free. my stay at kripalu, my 10 day Vipassana sit being at the top of that list.

    • Mara says:

      @leigh ann: totally agree. And yes, Vipasanna is my list-topper. Nothing clears out the mental crap and stories and bull-shit like sitting with our neurotic selves in silence for ten days…. And not needing to pay some “guru” $3000 for it.

  23. Mara says:

    God damn I love this site…. Om shanti, bitches!

    ; )

  24. bendybyatch says:

    you forgot to exclude people who have changed their names to:
    “Dharma”, “Nirvana” “Prayer”, Raghunthnasshabhagavandastic”
    (aka “Julie”, “Carl”, “Michelle”, and “Steve”)

  25. Sarah Meno says:

    At least I’m not the only one.

  26. Rebekah says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  27. michael blossom says:

    if you think its just a coincidence that many of the other people who like yoga so much are of a similar race and socioeconomic background as you are.

    if you think commercial/corporate yoga is not the same bunch of bs repackaged into something even more ego-gratifying- “spirituality”! (at least in the eighties fitness was kitschy- can I get shout out for jazzercise and leg warmers? hell yes!)

  28. Dan Endy says:

    I am HOME. I’ve been in different religious communities with fake people who suck but now I’m home. I can breathe again and not have to “hold the line.” Thanks for being here. Just started yoga about 6 months ago and definitely have run imto all the people you mentioned. The stereotypes don’t work nor do their superstar/rock star personas. Fuck.

  29. Ter says:

    Whoah! I’m no the only one who wants to punch someone when they imply that children in Taiwan are getting prostituted because they have a “scarcity” mentality. I’ve recently been looking into getting a teacher certification (yoga) because I love what it does for me as far as alleviating physical pain like nothing else. But this is exactly what I’ve been concerned about. I’ve seen so much hypocrisy in the name of “spirituality” … damn. I’d hoped that somewhere, somehow, I could help people with chronic pain without being berated for eating dairy.

  30. kitschywoman says:

    Fuck, yes! You had me at “swearing.” <3 I'm already an anathema in yoga class, as I practice as a counterpart to my speed skating. Too much flexibility will kill my joints, thankyouverymuch. And, no, I'm not going to go for that leg bind. My thighs are twice the size of yours, and I'm not about to blow out a knee trying to forsake power for flexibility. It's a delicate balancing act, my friends. And having to hold my potty mouth makes it that much worse.

  31. Puce says:

    Just starting Yoga in a very nice club where they care about me being overweight and that’s good. What is annoying are the yogi “friends” I have that are now “Hey, since you have started yoga, come with us to meditation retreat during your only 14 days of holiday! Don’t spend it with your boyfriend, he does not understand you” (roughly…) or “Now, you should stop eating meat. I don’t care if you love it, you have to”.
    I am still crazy, I am still swearing and I don’t intend to stop yet. Thanks for your refreshing website!

  32. Puce says:

    Of course, I forgot the most important word in my first sentence. “where they DON’T care about me being overweight”… Well, they just care about me, not about my weight.

  33. Nicola says:

    I’ve been practicing yoga nearly every day for the last 6 years, on my own, for the very reasons described in this site. What a breath of fresh air! I’m glad I found you.

  34. Michael Heggen says:

    I’m not a yogi (past or present), but I have a low-tolerance for bullshit—especially neo-hippie anti-science woo-woo bullshit—so, I love your site. Snarky and well written!

    That said, there is this wince-inducing sentence: “This site is not for the feint of heart.” A feint is something I teach to my fencing students, not something that has anything to do with being squeamish.

    Otherwise, carry on!

  35. Yogilisa says:

    And I just got burn by light don’t know what that means LFOL and just when I thought that there is no more good (honest)people in this word found your page I love everything and yes I do laugh when I fall and disturb all those “uptight people”
    And when I mean that I’m referring to the silicon my bubble got burst the first week of yoga and currently want to go to teacher training not so much for the teaching but grow has a person ( in spiritual way since I’m 5’2″ and don’t think I’m getting any taller) and pop went bubble when heard the $$$ and told that it was about ho you know to get scholarship and not your honest desired of learning and hope so a let the beast talk oh that felt f@$$”" amazing thank you all!!!

  36. Raneigh says:

    Oh and forgot wasn’t yoga foundation is meditating
    With the body relax and so on would love to go where the land of true yoga is from and the teachers ho showed you that all is with in and not out we’re omg
    Dident know yoga clothes were so dam pricey and yoga mats are 100 like in what world I’m In but one thing
    I try every day is to be a better person for my 2 little angels and sharing the true gift
    Of yoga with them so they can grow strong and confident so don’t
    Need the fancy ness when have 2 true yogis at home…

  37. Giulia says:

    I dig this site! I’ve practiced all kinds of yoga, after a few years of really believing that some yoga was better than others. Now I see that it truly is about what’s right for each student, their body, their challenges, their age and gender, etc. The pretentious yoga scene stuff has always just been more amusing to me than anything. I was never in it to try to get laid.
    It’s fun to notice how the different schools of yoga attract different types of people. But I’m just there to be on the mat and fully be in my body for 90 minutes. It gets me out of my head.
    Having done a lot of workshops and YTT, my illusions about teachers have been brought firmly down to earth.
    Ultimately, though, I found yoga philosophy a bit lacking in real guidance for my daily life. I still consider myself a yogi, but in terms of a system of belief and practice, Buddhism has been incredibly helpful in terms of tools for living. I intend to stay equally nonsectarian as a Buddhist!

  38. C says:

    Laughed so hard reading this blog I have a side ache …:)

  39. Michael McBrearty says:

    The goal of practices like Yoga is to reach Enlightenment or Liberation, a complete psychological self revolution. To practice Yoga without achieving this radical change
    while beneficial, is ultimately as pointless as taking a journey without reaching your destination. And this state of freedom is not like Christian sainthood exceptional but rather the normal and expected outcome of Yoga, meditation, etc., after a long time of steady, daily practice. But it is an outcome that takes, not years but decades!
    “Walking on water wasn’t built in a day.” (Kerouac)

    To reach this goal one must over come obstacles. Some are exterior–over strenuous classes or negative “teachers”. Some are interior–our own fatigue and self doubts.
    But the great goal CAN be reached . . . .

    (The Three Yoginis who run this site are, I like to imagine, not jaded with Yoga at all, but actually super advanced Sages luring people into Yoga with their ironic, “jaded with Yoga” pose.) And, as regards the Yoga industry, who would disagree with them?

    In 2014, classes & teachers aren’t necessary. Every library has instructional Yoga books& DVDs. Instead of expensive classes, use a quiet corner of your room. Learn to listen to your own body. As Swami Sivananda wrote, “the greatest Teacher is within.”

  40. Jess says:

    It’s all perspective at the end of the day. What doesn’t work for one, works for others… belief systems and ‘spirituality’ however you choose to define that are very personal and it’s never the place of anyone to judge and ridicule the way a person chooses to live their life, regardless of how one (from a singular and external perspective mind you) views that.
    I understand the concept of this site, but it comes across as quite cynical and condescending. That will surely place me in the ‘whiny’ basket… but I’m just offering a different opinion. Perhaps it’s not so black and white, take what works for you and leave what doesn’t (which, by the sounds of it is exactly your philosophy), but why spend time ‘venting’ about people and a movement, so to speak, that doesn’t need to have anything to do with you.. Each to their own, we’re all on our own journeys. If it bothers you so much, pay no mind to it… but leave them be!

    Namaste…. ;)

  41. peter says:

    these people are just trying to utelize the 1000 characters comments

  42. madden nfl 17 says:

  43. Narisa says:

    This is just too funny. It’s great and I see so similarly. How can we laugh at our fellow human beings and ourselves without truly alienating anyone in the same breath, I’m sure there is a way!

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