You can hate on my selfies and portraits and bikini videos all you want because they "aren't yoga" and my account name has yoga in it. I am secure enough in myself and have been sharing on ig long enough that negative comments like that don't phase me. But one thing I will ALWAYS speak to is when people say that sharing yoga online or on Instagram isn't real yoga and that I (we) are not real yogis because of it. I will be the first to admit that taking pictures in pretty places for Instagram isn't what my real practice looks like. That does not take away from who I or anyone else on this platform is as a yogi. It isn't our pictures that determine our yogicness, it's our real life.
There is no one definition of yoga. The actual physical practice (I.e. what you see on here) is based on the theory that working the body helps bring about awareness in the mind, and eventually a union between the two. That's a simplistic definition, but you get the point. And while posting on this platform isn't always an example of our regular asana practice, it is an example of the unifying nature of yoga and the yogic community. Yoga brings us together in so many ways. When we are on our mats, we are all in the same place. We are all brought together by our desire to practice. When we step off our mats and into the world, yoga unites us in other ways. It brings us together with similar philosophies, similar practice experiences, and similar desires in regards to working on ourselves. Yoga also brings us together physically. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into class at a new studio and walked out with a new mentor or friend. All of my current real life friends, our people I met through this online yoga community.
Call Instagram Yoga vanity, egotistical, whatever you want. What you can't say is that it doesn't bring people together in all sorts of ways, and that union is part of the essence of the practice. Yoga is more than asana. Yoga is more than what you can see. Yoga is more than this platform. You'd do well to not forget that the next time you feel like passing judgment.
📸 @karmacaptures with @martina_sergi, @haileeyoga, and @martina__rando