The other day I was chatting with a good friend of mine about blogging. She has a travel blog with more than 1000 followers both in Facebook and Instagram, and is fully active with collaborations, contests, etc.
We were discussing about the pictures that create more engagement in social networks, and the conclusions made me think of the contradictions that “beautiful” yoga pictures carry within themselves.
I’m plenty aware of which yoga photos in Instagram instantly catch my eye. Gracious postures, stunning backgrounds, trendy clothing, beautiful hair and fit bodies.
During the dark cold winter, my yoga pictures have been nothing but “boring” yoga at home. Same wall background, artificial light, repetitive clothing and hair in a bun.
A couple of times I thought I could let my hair loose and see how it looks in a photo, but the reality is that doing yoga with the hair down is super uncomfortable for me. It goes to my eyes, it gets on the way, not what you need when you are upside down or already struggling to balance or stretch.
I also thought I could go out to the communal gardens of my flat complex like I did in summer, just to change the background a bit for my dear “followers”. But considering how cold it has been, I haven’t tried yet, not even at the weekends!
I don’t get that much better with the clothes selection. I do have a few pairs of leggings and tops to never run out, and that is more than enough for me right now. All from normal, affordable brands, as I still don’t see the need to spend +£50 on a top or a pair of leggings.
The thing is that… doing “beautiful” yoga pictures, instead of enjoyable can become a real pain if we take them too seriously. The way I understand it, yoga should be about being comfortable, listening to your body, and accepting what it is.
With yoga being such a beautiful and spiritual practice, why forcing the situation so more people like your pictures, but the whole package offered is completely prepared for “marketing” purposes? In my opinion, that directly contradicts the whole philosophy.
This is not to say I’m against “beautiful pictures”, I love them actually, who wouldn’t?! But when the search for a “pretty picture” is jeopardizing your practice, I think we should stop, and set our priorities right – if what we want is an honest and enjoyable yoga journey.
That said, I can’t wait for the summer to arrive, to be able to enjoy my yoga outdoors and proudly take “cooler” yoga photos without having to go out of my way – despite the asanas being the same, no matter where we are.
In the meantime, I’m opting to keep it real and do what comes naturally. Opting for enjoyable, warm, relaxing and real-flowing yoga.