I F*ing Hate Yoga.

kids-climbing-on-mom-doing-yoga
Sure, I’ll just keep a quiet mind and focus my intentions on not screaming at my kids.

That’s it. I can’t take it any more. Yes, social media, I am a runner. No, social media, I do not love yoga. I do not like shirts with twisty straps. I do not believe there is a weather situation inside or outside in which one should wear pants and a bra top. Just because I have a messy bun and wear spandex everywhere I go does not mean I’m chomping at the bit to see another sucker doing Warrior 3 in her latest Fabletics™ by Kate Hudson shipment.

Look, I barely have time to squeeze in not-enough running and I don’t even know where my foam roller rolled off to after I touched it about nine months ago. I don’t remember my last shower, but now I’m supposed to find room in my heart for yoga? Sorry, I don’t have time for anything that requires me to maintain a “practice” unless I’m getting paid.

How has yoga infiltrated running so deeply? Is it some Lululemon conspiracy to keep us wearing that ugly lavender chalk color? To sell us sports bras that don’t even support my tiny boobs during a run? I’m old enough and have had enough kids now to know gray spandex is the devil’s cloth, so why do people keep buying it? You know, I bet if you look deeper than Instagram, you’d see that runners don’t actually love yoga, they’ve just accepted it into their athletic lives because it’s all around us, bludgeoning us with a more “feminine” version of fitness and adding meaningless meaning to … stretching.

Ew.

Paprika drinks coffee from a straw with her yoga.
I need stimulants with my yoga it’s so effin’ boring.

You know why I hate yoga the most though? Yoga is boring as shit. Even yoga-lovers know it’s boring. Why else would they keep inventing stupid yoga variations if they weren’t bored to tears pretentiously stretching at room temperature? Hot yoga, cold yoga, competitive yoga, drunk yoga, high yoga, yoga on a mountain, yoga on a beach, yoga in the grocery store, yoga in my face everywhere I freaking go.

And don’t get me started on yoga studios. If I wanted to lay around purportedly relaxing in the dark for an hour I don’t need to pay $35 to do it with a bunch of pretentious people in expensive anti-stink fabrics bandying Sanskrit-sounding crap through trickly tinkly sounds coming from a speaker hiding behind a candle and a Bonsai tree. I can actually relax for free without the cedar-scented miscellany when I engage in my favorite unpaid practice: napping.

“Oh, but yoga teaches you to connect breath to movement!” you cry plaintively. Save it, sister. When you move your lungs will breathe. Trust me. Your brain stem does all the heavy lifting here, and you don’t even need to think real hard about it. Just go with the flow like you’re used to, sheeple.

Sure, some people are really into yoga. That’s cool. I get that those really-into-yoga people know a ton about yoga: all the different varieties; intense poses; best practices; and on and on. But it seems to me like most of the people who wear twisty shirts and pose for photos on Instagram are not practicing some sacred ritual, they’re fancy stretching. Fancy stretching is still stretching no matter how thick the incense cloud is that surrounds you.

Real yogis don't wear fitbits, Pumpkin. And they drink tea because of water-borne pathogens.
Real yogis don’t wear FitBits and they only drink tea because of water-borne pathogens.

Anyway, back to those runners on Instagram who just can’t help but tell us how much they loooooooooove yoga. You know why I think so many runners on social media love yoga? Because it comes with poses, which makes life so much easier. I mean seriously. How many times can one runner prop her phone against a fence as she runs by pretending she’s not staging a photo? I get it, you’re sick of the old guys walking their dogs looking at you funny and yoga comes complete with different poses to mix up your feed. I can kinda see the appeal of posting a photo of yourself doing your downward dog or dead crow or crouching tiger or whatever because, I’ll admit, it’s a lot easier to get one of those artsy shots with the exposed brick in the background doing yoga than running. But, even so, I still f’ing hate it.

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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43 comments

  1. I love this and can relate so much. I’m a dance teacher and therapist in training, and yoga has invaded both of my hobbies as well. No, I don’t want to cross train my ballet students in yoga. No, I don’t want to incorporate it in my therapy sessions. Yes, I am still a valid professional without needing to connect with my body and cycle my breaths and learn Sanskrit. I’ve tried to like yoga for 10 years and I’ve had it. Not a single style, class, or instructor did it for me.

  2. If we feel that yoga, (or life for that matter) is boring, we are not accessing the state of mind that can be fascinated with the body, mind and world as it is. Really good practice will help us access this way of perceiving; with being deeply intimate with our direct experience of being alive, sentient, and inter-connected. At the heart of good practice, the experience of self and world become so seamless, so close, so rich, as to become indestiguishable from love. It can become clear that such a relationship with life is the very thing that is sought in all our other acquisitive behaviors. And yet for many people, there is no real interest in this kind of relationship to life. Or perhaps, they are just not accessing it in their practice, for whatever reason. Either way, it is okay. There are a million other things to do in this world…hopefully, none of them are boring.

  3. I hate yoga too. My sister is always trying to get me to go to hot yoga, and I have zero interest. I do like Pilates, weights, toning, stretching and various aerobic activities, but for some reason, I just hate yoga and find it incredibly boring.

  4. This post had me in STITCHES! I have tried explaining to my husband why I do not like yoga and this really hits the spot. I used to take a yoga class when I still danced and I fell asleep EVERY SINGLE TIME. I was absolutely bored to death!

    Fabulous post 👍🏻

  5. I love yoga. Excepting all the things you mention, which I likewise hate, I love yoga. For reasons of my own.

    But today, I hate yoga. Your post hit the spot. Thanks!

    (And no, no namaste.)

  6. Hi-larious. I loathe yoga. The pretense. The pomp. The circumstance. The non-stop posing and over-bendy everything. Stretching those tendons and ligaments into origami animals. Conforming and performing like circus animals standing on one leg atop a small platform. Yoga Sucks. :-P

  7. Thank you for writing this! I feel the same way and I’m not a runner. I find it boring and exactly what you said “fancy stretching”. I think the physical component of it is beneficial, as a part of health and fitness but that’s it. I don’t like group fitness to begin with and then you mix in the rest of what yoga is supposed to be and I really hate it. I hate yoga talk, the whole snobbish culture and thinking they are more spiritual than the rest. ?

  8. I love the term “yoga industrial complex” – too funny. I’m a yoga lover but I’m hit or miss with classes. I go weeks/months/years without stepping foot in a studio, just doing some fancy stretching on my own. Then I get on a kick and hit the studio on a regular basis for a while. Yoga is there when I need it, how I need it. I have learned a lot about how my body works, alignment, how to do a resting meditation vs. a moving meditation (for me, running is a moving meditation). You know what I F-ing hate? Boot camp classes. I have friends who can’t shut up about the local boot camp place… whenever I go it feels like a ploy to keep me distracted long enough to get through the hour, which isn’t my thing. But hey, to each his own.

  9. “Loving Yoga” seems to be mandated, runner or not. If you say you’re not interested, you’re likely to get a, “I pity you, you poor ignorant, old dinosaur” look. Eff that. ?

  10. Thank you!! Yoga just stresses me out. Maybe that means I’m doing it wrong… but after fleeing due to panic attack 45 minutes into an hour-long class last year, I decided I’ve given it enough chances and I can now officially just accept that yoga is not for me. But everyone else going on and on about it does get old…

    1. I think for some of us who might be a little more tightly strung than the average person, relaxing things might actually make us more tense. I mean, any time I tell myself to relax or try to relax it backfires! But I just might be a hopeless stress case :)

  11. I hated yoga until i found the right teacher and the right studio. I still hate lots of other forms of cross training though. Sometimes we just hate thins and that’s ok. I agree that lululemon and gray spandex are lame. So is “heathered” any color=== sweat stains. Anyway, I have a lot of theories as to why yoga markets to runners but not enough brain power these days to get them into a coherent paragraph.

    1. I know for a fact that if I decided I wanted to do yoga and invested the time in finding the right type and instructor, etc for me that I could really get into it. I don’t have any desire to do that right now. I don’t literally HATE yoga, but I think you and most people get that ;)

  12. I have tried yoga, several kinds and many more times than once. I have no coordination and very little spatial awareness, plus I don’t know the poses, so as the teacher/guru/whatever is going through them at lightning speed I feel like a totally inept fool for not being able to get my left-right correct and for not being able to keep up… By the end of the hour I am utterly NOT worked out but I have an anger migraine and want to drink heavily. If yoga is your thang, do it. I’ll stick to left-right-left-right-left-right. I have that down pretty well. Namaste.

  13. I get it. You hate yoga. But I’m sorry that you hate yoga. I think you are missing the point of yoga. Those poses you are hating on? All those handstands? That’s not yoga. Just poses. If you don’t want to do yoga, don’t. But some of us actually really love yoga and find it to be the perfect complement to our running. Really. #truth

    Lululemon? That’s a whole other story. They aren’t yoga.

    1. Many many runners enjoy a rich relationship with yoga and many many runners are happy to tell the world about how much they love yoga. I am happy for them. Not many runners who hate (mildly dislike are not interested in, whatever) yoga speak up, so I did … just went a little over the top with it and had some fun :)

  14. This is just as bad/troll-ish as all of the blog posts hating on running that exist in various corners of the internet. Look, if it makes you happy and healthy, do it. If it doesn’t, fine. Don’t hate on other people, what they wear, etc. I’m all about sticking it to the corporate man (lululemon DOES freak me out, yet), but this post… It just makes you look and sound as ignorant as people who don’t run talking about how much running sucks.

  15. This is very….salty.
    hehe
    I totally agree though. I have tried to get into yoga because everyone says runners should do it…I just can’t! It’s so freaking boring!

  16. Haha…thank you so much for the amazing post. Ok..I am a runner that got into Yoga 18 years ago (pre Lululemon) because of an injury I sustained and it was part of my rehab. I have practiced mainly on my own but with a great teacher who is so NOT a Lululemon teacher style teacher(?) I took teacher training well before every studio (and there weren’t that many then) had training. I have taught now for over 10 years and to be honest, your commentary rings so true to me. Ok..I don’t hate Yoga, I hate the culture around it. I hate the snobbery that comes with it these days. It is a business now and I am sure I am sounding like an old hippie here. The only thing to come out of the, what I like to call the Lululemonization of Yoga, is that people that may have not want to get off the couch are getting off the couch. Going to following your blog…love the writing. : ) Cheers

    1. EXACTLY. My favorite studio here in town got taken over by Lululemmings (my favorite term, for which I cannot take credit), and I’ve been maybe twice this past year…but I do my own thing for prehab/rehab.

    2. I think this is a key point: separating yoga itself from the whole yoga industry that has sprung up around it, complete with “star yoga teachers” and $100 leggings and endless yoga selfies on Instagram. I love yoga! But I hate all the other stuff!

      Kudos for the word lululemonization.

    3. Amen to this. I don’t hate yoga (and I say this as someone who has fallen asleep in class more than once). I hate the yoga-industrial complex. I also love running. But I hate the manufactured sisterhood of manufactured goods that’s trying to convince me to buy #allthethings.

  17. Is it just me… or has Yoga also been taken over by … ummm…. crossfit bros.

    You know, the guys who are all like “Running is horrible for you! Eat paleo! OMG no heels! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU! MOVEMENT!” My last two yoga instructors have been guys heavily involved in crossfit and it’s really strange. I don’t know what they expect, but it’s very “live your entire life in pursuit of fitness (but only my kind of fitness), and who cares if you have a 9-5 and 2 kids. I did it (but it’s my job, I have no kids)”

    No? Just me?

    (But I do like my fancy stretching in moderation – but hate the twisty tops)

    1. Yeah, I have no problems with yoga, but I do have problems with the whole WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!? movement. There is nothing wrong with you, or with me! Like Tea quoted above, do what you like!

  18. Does this mean the salty’s “yoga: a runner’s companion” instructional DVD box set is on hold ?

    1. No, it’s just been renamed: “Cilantro does crow for 12 hours to prove yoga isn’t easy.” Please see above re: rebuttal post.

  19. Fancy stretching ??? I hate yoga too. Did it for awhile because I thought I should. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  20. Hahah, I have always wondered why more runners don’t realize yoga is just fancy stretching. Everyone went all anti-stretching (“OMG, it’s so bad, don’t stretch before/after a run or anytime else!) but started going crazy over yoga (“OMG yoga is amazing, it’s great before/after a run or anytime!). Yea, it’s the same thing. I asked my PT about this and he said yoga is better because “it’s all about the breath” but I don’t know. That said, I do actually do some very beginner-ish yoga (on the tv, in the comfort of my home) because I still think stretching is important… so I’m a bit hypocritical, but I get you Salty. In the words of “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Do what you love, and f*** the rest.”

    1. Ha! I do some poses in my stretching routine too and when I was rehabbing my diastasis recti the breathing aspect of my routine was critical. I don’t doubt that a dedicated yoga practice and even a little bit here and there can be very beneficial. It’s all good. I just personally am not a big fan. Can you tell? :)

    2. Well maybe the reason “more runners don’t realize yoga is just fancy stretching” is because….it’s more than just fancy stretching?! I am a runner who does yoga too, BTW. Possibly the mistake you’re making is confusing yoga with the people who you see doing yoga, and who you assume are lifestyle twits who are just in it for the fancy lycrawear and nutribullet smugness. Yoga draws on ancient wisdom about the body, mind and spirit. If you really want to know what it’s about (and fair enough if you don’t, it’s not compulsory), read The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Then get back to me. Or not.

      1. Did you know I even have a yoga tattoo?

        But I know, and I heart you even though you hate yoga. I even heart this post.

        Composing a rebuttal post on my run this morning.