Apologies in advance today for my ranting, but this has been weighing on my mind for a long time and I can’t hold back any longer. Listen, Instagram is an amazing place. It has allowed me to connect with many of my students and is a place that inspires me daily. Instagram can also be a place where comparisons run rampant and unhealthy expectations are formed. Yoga Instagrams trends are no exception; in fact, a lot of them scare me!
Hold up – I’m NOT here to bash on yogi Instagramers (I’m one of them), but I’m more interested in spreading awareness to newbies who are feeling shitty about themselves because of these posts. Teachers out there – I applaud you for doing your best to teach on Instagram through a single photo. I struggle with getting the right message across too.
But for real, all my beginner yogis out there (and some of you intermediate yogis too), let’s release the Instagram standards. Yes? There is not perfect pose. You can’t compare how a pose works on someone else’s body to how is “should” work on yours. This is the premise for my rant today.
So… without further adieu…
Yoga Instagram Trends
Of course, there are plenty others, but these are the ones I touched on in the video…
Right vs Wrong
This trend has been going on for a while and CAN be very helpful. However, it is also hard to use one photo to help people find what is the right thing for their body. Also, I cringe at the words “right and wrong.” This does not account for anyone else’s body type or what level of yoga you are practicing. It creates standards that lean towards a perfection model and yoga is NOT about getting it perfect.
To do this… try this…
Again, great intentions… but I find very few of these poses to be helpful for beginners, or even intermediate students. Of course, there are advanced yogis who are looking to further these practice and this can help them. However, these are usually not accessible for the majority of yogis online. In fact, I look at half of the “try this first” poses and they’re challenging for me, even after doing yoga for ten years.
Just don’t let these poses wreck your confidence. Your warrior II is JUST as badass. Okay?
Crazy Ass Poses Everywhere
As I state in the video, I LOVE when people share their cool poses and amazing locations they are traveling to. BUT, I fear that the overwhelming number of these photos results in people feeling intimidated by yoga, possible injuries, and a rejection of the yoga foundations. Yoga is NOT about handstands or crazy flexibility. I just encourage people to post all of yoga, the child’s poses, the warriors, and the headstands (if you’d like).
As for the travel photos, get on with your bad self. I just want to remind you to enjoy where you are. Don’t go to cool places JUST to take cool photos. Enjoy yourself. Be present. THAT is yoga.
If you are offended by anything I said, remember I am saying all of this with love for the teachers. I just have an awful lot of concern for the yogis who are beating themselves up to perform to these ridiculous standards.
Your practice is exactly as it should be. Your body is changing everyday. Appreciate where it is and what you can do TODAY. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, but shower yourself with so much love instead.
Opinions? Please comment below!
Have a badass day.
I love this! I am not flexible to begin with, but as a beginner, I am always comparing how I look while doing poses to those of others and it makes me feel that I am doing them wrong, or not good at yoga. Thanks for the reminder 🙂
I couldn’t agree more! Yoga for me is a practice….ongoing, never truly ending, personal. It is a tool of self awareness and acceptance as much as it is a physical exercise. To be able to accept exactly where you are at this moment, on this day is yoga. I enjoy seeing the lovely pics of other yogis doing their thing but it’s important to remember, that is their journey not yours.
Exactly, I just want everyone to feel good about where they are today and stop the comparison. AND stop the over simplification of what yoga postures should look like 🙂