Yoga on Instagram: Is it a platform for posing?

Whether it’s what you do when you just wake up, on your commute, or any minute you have spare, we all have those moments when scrolling through Instagram is a lot more interesting than being in the present moment. Did you see Kino McGregor do the splits in that amazing outfit with that awe-inspiring backdrop? Yes, I did too. In fact, I see hundreds of #yogaeverydamnday #beachyoga #yogalove posts every week and to be honest, I do it too.

The Instagram world of yoga has created this image that yoga is for flexible people, who travel loads and have cute yoga outfits. Whilst taking pictures of you doing a yoga pose on the beach or on a mountain looks really good – and yes I do it too – it’s important to remember why you started practising yoga in the first place.

I started practicing yoga over a year and a half ago. Working in a fast-paced, non-stop city usually gives you signs that you need to slow down and take a step back from time to time. This sign usually comes in the form of a freak-out of sorts. Mine happened during a conference for 500 people, slap bang in the middle of London.

I’d heard about yoga, but always coined it as breathing myself to boredom for an hour. I was reluctant to go to a class, so YouTube was my first point of call to start practising and after about a week of asana and pranayama, I felt amazing and made it part of my routine!

Instagram has always been a favourite social media platform of mine, because it inspires me. Seeing well-known ‘celebrity’ yoga teachers on the screen and reading their captions and blog posts makes me want to better myself as a human being. It doesn’t scare me to see @yogagirl floating up into a handstand, it pushes me to keep practising and I know I’ll get there one day.

When we’re swept into the world of Instagram, it’s important to remember that yoga isn’t about balancing on your head, doing a backbend with a leg up in the air on a mountain, or sitting in a lotus pose on a beach. These pictures are great, fun and creative, however, it’s important to remember why we started practising yoga in the first place. It could be to get fitter, become more flexible or become more mindful. And if you’re just starting out, don’t compare yourself to anybody. Yoga is a personal practice, it’s for you only and remember that throughout your journey.

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