After reading the article I Don’t Do Yoga and It’s All Because of You a few weeks ago, I immediately wanted to post my own ten cents on the subject of yoga photos.
However, I didn’t want to come across as defensive and polarizing. Not to mention it was just too easy to see that she was projecting her own insecurities onto the yogis in the skimpy bikinis – myself included – so I kept my thoughts to myself.
Yet that article has crossed my mind probably every day since I first laid eyes on it. And so I have to address why I post yoga selfies because, well, I post them constantly and don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
Long before I read that article I had a good talk with myself about posting yoga photos. Is it too ego based? Am I looking for validation outside of myself? Are these photos making a joke of everything that yoga is meant to be?
Yes, all of these things could very well be true. But the awareness of even asking the questions was enough for me to check myself. To recognize I did indeed have the right mindset about the whole thing.
I am not tall and leggy. Nor am I a Lululemon ambassador. In fact, I’m not even a yoga instructor (though I will be in two months).
I am five feet tall with the shortest legs you’ve ever seen. The only Lululemon apparel I own is hand-me-downs from friends. I’ve been practicing consistently for four years which is less than half the time my favorite instructors have been teaching.
But I still post those damn selfies and this is why:
I haven’t done yoga in front of a mirror since I quit 24 Hour Fitness four years ago so I have no idea what my form looks like. Photos of myself show me what is not properly aligned so I know what to pay extra attention to.
This is an obvious one that has been much talked about. It’s sweet that we want to track our progress. To see, over time, our feet moving closer to our head is pretty damn cool. In this way we can motivate ourselves to keep practicing.
Confession: this photographer hates having her picture taken. But yoga has (mostly) changed that. My body looks better doing yoga in a bikini than just standing there in a bikini. I look longer and more defined and it makes me happy to have my stubby strong legs.
When I started posting photos of myself doing yoga, I was just happy to be able to stick some difficult poses and share them with the world. Then I got featured as an Instagram Yogi to Follow (and I’m still wondering why…). Now, to be quite honest, I’ve started receiving free swag from yoga companies in exchange for some social media love. I’ve essentially started building a yoga business without meaning to.
I effing love what yoga gives me: strength, power, and flexibility. In body and mind. Judging by the number of likes and comments on my yoga posts in comparison to my other posts, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m inspiring someone out there to get in touch with their inner yogi. I know I certainly draw a buttload of inspiration from the strong, bendy people that fill up my feed.
And quite frankly, if you don’t like my yoga selfies, there’s always the Unfollow button. I won’t take it personally.