Yoga on Instagram: a reflection

Yesterday, I had the wonderful experience of going public on Instagram for the very first time. I have previously shied away from allowing social media to influence my personal choices. Being the sort of person who tends to choose the rough road, the instant satisfaction of #instayoga, as it is sometimes called, did not come without its reservations. Ultimately, it was a friend of mine from Yoga Vermont who convinced me that cultivating a broader audience would be easier than expected. Since adding hashtags, I’ve seen my viewership skyrocket. I would like to take a moment to reflect on my quick decision in hopes I might shed light on that very human phenomenon of social validation.

Well being is a gentle warmth associated with our heart center that must be carefully managed from within. In that sense, viewer endorsement statistics must be understood exactly for what these are. Let me be 100% transparent, prior to the 21st of February I had only used the #febryouary2017 hashtag to add yoga photos to a group database compiled by Grateful Yoga’s owner Chrissy Lefavour. My most endorsed photo achieved 28 hearts largely owning to her studio’s annual 28-day challenge. Yesterday, I posted the photo you see below, and after only 17 minutes of circulation my old record had just been one-upped! Although I was skeptical beforehand, I recognize that yoga on Instagram can be heartfelt too.

ustrasana-c
Ustrasana C (reverse prayer) – Great for reducing upper back and shoulder tension.

It is thrilling to gain so much attention, not to mention additional followers in such a short period of time. But when the thrill is gone, it is sometimes important to be able fall back on a few core principles to guide future explorations. Here’s my amateurs’ guide to sensible yoga on Instagram:

  1. Freely show your appreciation for the yogis who appreciate your photos.
  2. Encourage yogis of all ages, races, gender expressions, body types and abilities.
  3. Discourage people with ulterior motives by recognizing genuine yoga when you see it.
  4. No expectations, no worries. True friends are the ones who will never give up on you.

This list is too tiny to be exhaustive. Perhaps I’ve missed something really important that you’ve learned along the way? Please do not hesitate to add any precept or proverb you might find most suitable. I would be honored to append my list with your heartfelt comment.

#namaste,

Bryan

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