Health and Nutrition / Yoga Musings

Yogis and Cigarettes

A few days ago, on my way to yoga class, I passed by a young man, probably in his late 20’s or early 30’s, who was puffing away on a cigarette, right outside the studio. I was a little annoyed because when people smoke out there on the sidewalk, smoke wafts up and comes into the windows. There’s nothing like taking in a mouthful of cigarette smoke while you are in Savasana…

Imagine my surprise when, just two minutes later, I saw the same exact guy who was smoking a cigarette outside the studio in my yoga class! Believe it or not, this is not the first time something like has happened. I’ve been in class a number of times and set my mat next to someone who reeks of cigarette smoke.

What’s up with this?

I don’t want to pass judgment on yogis who smoke, and I realize that we are all struggling to break free of various harmful habits and addictions. (I’ve even heard that some pretty famous yogis, like Ana Forrest, are smokers, but this may just be a rumor.) Yoga, in fact, can be a very good way to help someone to stop smoking. But still, even if someone is trying to kick the habit, it just seems strange to me that someone would have a cigarette right before yoga class, and right in front of the studio. To me, that’s almost (but not quite) like slamming back a beer before going into an AA meeting.

I wonder if other people have also run across yogi smokers, and I’m especially interested to hear from yogis who are currently smokers, and how smoking fits into their yoga lifestyle.


22 thoughts on “Yogis and Cigarettes

  1. Many do slam back a beer before AA. Thank god the group is there because those are the ones who need it most. Smokers to yoga follows similar logic. I’d rather see a young smoker in the hot room than an old smoker on a hospital bed. Let’s show people love and hope.

  2. I’m a smoker who doesn’t smoke (anymore that is). I will always be a smoker. I have always enjoyed smoking and probably still do but eventually I came to the realization that smoking was inhibiting my practice in so many ways and I made a choice to not smoke to hopefully achieve something more. I don’t not smoke now for health reasons etc. Its just that I found something way more satisfying, and I really enjoy and relish the freedom that yoga has given me, from the addiction and habit. I don’t judge persons who smoke, because I know what its like to be hooked in. For the smokers out there,…you just have to want something more than that nicotene fix. 2) drink LOTS of coconut water (cigs taste nasty with it) 3) structure your life so that 5 minute smoking break becomes an inconvenience rather than a ‘sanctuary’

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