You name it, and there’s an Instagram account dedicated to it. Everyone knows that on Instagram, reality is blown out of proportion and only the best details of people’s lives are presented. The same, absolutely, can be said of yoga.
Just take a quick look at the yoga hashtags and accounts online and what sticks out is all the incredibly acrobatic positions, held by some of the most flexible and athletic people, in photogenic and trendy situations.
And that’s the kind of picture of yoga each one of the thousands of people using social media will see – despite the fact that all these impressive and amazing balances and poses are a result of years and years of dedicated training and practice. It’s not something anyone can just do overnight.
Does it make me “bad” as a yoga business owner that I have no real desire to achieve belief-defying poses involving fitting my legs behind my head and balancing on one arm?
There are some important things to learn about yoga that many lifelong practitioners will always tell you about yoga. The first is that achieving complex poses takes a lot of hard work, and attempting them without preparation or practice can lead to injuries. More importantly, it’s vital to remember that most of yoga isn’t about these extreme feats of flexibility. Rather, it’s more important to focus on doing the simple poses well and working within the limits of your own body.
With some Instagram yogis achieving upward of 750,000 followers and posting 40 or more times each week, it’s understandable that some observers could see yoga as just too difficult. But that’s not the case – yoga’s what you make of it, the average yoga class won’t involve you hitting the perfect scorpion pose or folding yourself up as small as possible.
I love to try out ambitious poses on occasion too and see what these dedicated practitioners of yoga have been getting up to on social media. So, it would be wrong to say that Instagram has a purely negative effect on yoga.
By raising the profile of yoga, I hope that Instagrammers have had an impact on getting more people into yoga classes. And if people are happy sharing their gradual progress on social media with friends and followers, then how much harm can it really create?
It’s just very important to remember that yoga is about your own personal limits and working at your own pace towards improved strength, flexibility and fitness – not just aiming to do the most ambitious headstand or snap a great photo of an advanced pose in front of a blazing sunset. Try new things out when you feel you’re ready and be sure to have fun while you’re making progress, but never feel under pressure to emulate what you see on social media, or think that that’s what it takes to “do” a yoga class. For most of us (yoga teachers included) those feats are a pipe dream and would take more time and dedication than we care to give, or a body that we simply don’t have.
At Sweat Studios, our yoga classes promise to always keep it simple. We build yoga poses up in stages and there’s a level of everyone – novice to expert. Classes are for all levels and we promise we won’t make you turn yourself into a pretzel. Book a class online now or get in touch by calling 01908 673811. If you’re new to yoga, take a peek our information for first timers.