Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Stopping Yoga Selfies – Nope not me

on August 4, 2015

After posting about how much I enjoyed doing the Sweaty Betty Get Your Om Back Instagram challenge, a friend posted this piece about yoga selfies on Facebook this morning.

Monica had five points about why people should stop posting Instagram photos;

 

  1. Even people in a Bikram yoga class wear more clothes than these scantily clad women

 

Yes in a Bikram class people wear more than a bikini but often not that much more and to the beach some people wear bikinis, some swimsuits and some cover ups. If someone is comfortable posting a photo of themselves in a bikini shouldn’t we celebrate that no matter what size they are? If anything I want more photos of women in bikinis but maybe more range of people. You don’t need to be a size 6 to wear a bikini but for heaven’s sake don’t wear a size 6 bikini if you aren’t a size 6.

 

  1. You never see them doing Downward Dog or Warrior I; it’s all about looking good.

Yep, never. Oh wait have a look at the challenge photos of me in Downward Dog and Warrior Pose. Oh and look, here’s Instagram yoga challenge goddess Rachel Brethren in Three legged Dog and Robin Martin in Child’s pose Nope I never see photos of advance yogi’s in simple poses.

 

  1. You rarely see images of men, women older than 30, non-Caucasian women or overweight people in these images, so it does not represent the composition of your average yoga class.

 

I’m over 30 but female, Caucasian and not overweight so I pretty much fall into this band of people on Instagram. However at least for the yoga classes that I go to 90% of the class is female, Caucasian, not overweight and under 35, so for me that a similar demographic post yoga photos to Instagram.  Have a look at the hashtag #BlackGirlYoga or #curvyyoga or the lovely BoysofYoga for an alternative look at yoga. Maybe what we should be focusing on is working on getting more minorities to start doing yoga in the first place?

 

  1. Often the alignment looks dangerously wrong, but most people will just be staring at her body, wishing they looked that good in a bikini.

I’m quite honest that my alignment isn’t perfect and actually for me taking photos and looking at them has helped me work out what needs to be improved in my alignment. I very much work under the hashtag #practicenotperfect

 

  1. Yoga on the beach isn’t fun, the sand gets everywhere…

Yoga on the beach can be fun. It’s generally more relaxed, you need to focus on being internal and not caring about what others think as there are usually people who will stop and stare. I like outdoor yoga and would do more if I lived somewhere that it didn’t rain quite so often. Plus sand gets everywhere no matter what you are doing on the beach even if it’s just sitting about reading a book so you might as well do something you enjoy.

It’s all about what type of challenge you take part in. If the challenge is about doing handstands and inversions then it’s likely to have more advance poses. Yes people are going to post more picture that they think they look good in. For the Get your Om Back challenge the photo that got the most ‘Likes’ was this one.

IMG_5196-0

That’s a photo that I’m fully dressed in non-yoga clothing with a non-perfect execution of not too advanced pose, yes if you can get your foot to your head it’s advanced but no chance was that happening, but it was in a pretty location in the sunshine with a smile. I like it as a photo of me, not just of me doing yoga and as a memory of the walk that I took with a friend that morning.

This has made me think about why I am taking part in another challenge for August. It’s a challenge called #YogaCampSummerSun and it’s a only for part of the month leading up to an event in the US on the 21st August. I’m not taking part ‘properly’ in that I’m not tagging all the hosts, using a million hashtags and all the other requirements that are needed to win the prizes. For me this challenge is about focusing on improving my practice along with trying some poses that I’ve not done before. I liked it as the people leading the challenge aren’t all super yogi’s with amazing poses in beautiful places being 99% of their Instagram feed.

I get that some challenges can seem like they are only for people that are already perfect in each pose and that photos must be taken of you in your bikini/underwear/super designer yoga wear in beautiful locations but for me I’m very much leaving my ego at the door and taking poses where I happen to be that day. I was very luck during July to be on holiday and in some beautiful places that made some amazing backgrounds to my yoga poses but I also posted photos of me in my PJ’s in my kitchen.


So far in August I’ve posted photos from my living room, the promenade during a walk with my niece and the café that I walk past on the way home, all very exotic locations. Oh and I’m fully dressed in all of the pictures too.

In general I agree with some of what Monica says in that currently there isn’t enough diversity in yoga selfies and Instagram challenge photos but surely the way forward isn’t to stop people posting photos it’s to encourage more people who aren’t perfect to post photos, take part in challenges and generally become more engaged in encouraging people to try yoga. So this Caucasian, non-overweight female in her 30’s will continue to post photos of herself doing yoga in a bikini if I happen to be at the beach/pool that day and want to take a photo of myself doing yoga, I’ll also probably take quite a few in my living room too though.

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5 responses to “Stopping Yoga Selfies – Nope not me

  1. LOVE THIS POST.

    #practicenotperfect!

    Like

  2. […] a big fan of doing yoga in random places and taking so called Yoga Selfies which I really enjoy doing in interesting and slightly odd places. However I don’t do it […]

    Like

  3. I can see both sides of the argument. MOST of the posts are gorgeous women (not just skinny, but literally pretty,) not sweating, dressed well and with a good backdrop. it’s a photo shoot and not a yoga practice. sometimes i do click “like” and learn new poses or transitions. but despite a daily ashtanga practice for years, i feel more in common with the “normal” pics (like pajamas in the kitchen.) To each her own. We can all avoid seeing yoga selfies if we want.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Live young. says:

    Absolutely loved reading your post!! I agree with everything and support your continuance of yoga selfies! I’ve been overwhelmed with the community and support I’ve received from social media. Keep it up beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dalg says:

    On point 3… I’m male, 50, and 90% of the time I’m the only male in the class I go to. Other guys drop in, realise it’s not as easy as they thought, and never appear again. I can’t get why more men don’t do yoga.

    On point 5… It doesn’t matter WHAT you’re doing on a beach. The sand gets everywhere. If you won’t do yoga on the beach because and that’s the excuse, then you may as well stay off beaches period, as yup…. the sand is going to get everywhere 😀

    Like

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