In this social media era that is endlessly expanding it seems like there are no limits. The information is already there before the actual event even happens, and due to this accessibility of information online, yoga has become more popular than ever.
I started practicing yoga through YouTube and if it wasn’t for social media, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now. I created an Instagram account because I knew all the yoga was “happening” on that platform and in order to look for inspiration, I had to be connected.
Since then, I found so many inspiring yogis on social media sharing some really useful information, great tips and beautiful captions. Chances are that without all those yogis out there, I’d lose motivation for the practice with time and I am ever grateful for everything I’ve learned through social media.
However, over the past years Instagram has brought not only unlimited possibilities of inspiration, but also quite some frustration, also in the yoga world. This is what I call the InstaYoga effect, not only because it’s mostly related to Instagram, but also because with Instagram, yoga became an instant experience rather than a life long journey. Although there are many dedicated yogis sharing their true journey on social media, there are also many self-proclaimed yogis who think they have the legitimate right to teach yoga after one year of practicing only because the poses come easily for them. Most of these are ex dancers or ex gymnasts with beautiful asana practice, but very few knowledge about this ancient philosophy. Beautiful picture-perfect poses are often misleading, and people trying to imitate them get caught in the idea of perfection. In many aspects, yoga has become a final goal instead of every day journey and so many injuries have happened while trying to “get to that pose”. I am also not very fond of practitioners (teachers, students, ex dancers, “true” yogis, wannabe yogis) telling how long did it take them to get to a certain pose. As if yoga was some kind of competition.
Understanding that every body is different is key to understanding yoga practice. It’s ok to be inspired by a certain pose and put it into your everyday practice, but having a strong awareness that your body is unique and accepting that maybe you’ll never be able to get there. If so, would you still be practicing?
Words by Rea