An Ode to the Yoga Selfie

Lately, the yoga selfies have been getting a lot of backlash. If you are out of the loop here is an example blog post: About time we stopped the yoga selfie . Yes, I can see how yoga selfies can be misinterpreted, I understand that it can bother people... But, at the same time I feel that this type of attitude has nothing to do with the spirit of yoga. For one, it is judging people and assuming they are show offs, or that they want and crave attention. It is a holier than thou attitude that does not really consider people's stories, what they are going through and how the yoga selfie and the challenges in instagram could be helping them.

If you search for a challenge hashtag on instagram, I doubt you will see a bunch of show-offs. In fact, what I see are regular people trying hard to work on themselves, attempting to reconnect with their bodies and to feel good with who they are. Yes, their pictures could me misconstrued as simply showing off an Asana, but they are also making themselves vulnerable by putting forth all of the imperfections they may see in their practice and their bodies. They are embracing their own forms of yoga, they are embracing who they are. It is not easy to make a fool of yourself in front of a group of global spectators. Trust me, my Asana practice is nothing to show off about...

I can speak from my own experience with instagram vulnerability. I started to take part of the #summersplits2014 challenge to help me get back to yoga after a major surgery. Today it has been four weeks since my c-section. It is still a little painful, but after generating and housing a tiny human being for nine months, I felt sad and empty and needed my yoga back as soon as possible. As I cannot take on a full Ashtanga practice yet for another 2 weeks, I decided to take on Kino McGregor's challenge.

The challenge is not only helping me get back to yoga by slowly building a flow of poses (I am repeating old asanas and adding on poses each day), it is also helping me embrace my postpartum body. In the past nine months, my body has been stretched, my organs have been displaced, and my hormones have been driving me to the brink of insanity. Embracing who you are after a baby is tough. You have to accept the new person you have become, the new curves, and the stretch marks. Being part of this Instagram challenge has helped me embrace who I am. I take a photo, I look at it, I recognize my imperfections, I accept them and move on. I showcase it to the world because I am proud of the woman I have become. I have become a mother, my body has accomplished the amazing feat of generating life. I am proud to share the new me. So, all I have is love and acceptance for the yoga selfie.

And, if you still think that yoga selfies are out of control and a bit ridiculous just think about this: Yoga is a transformative practice. Even, if people start out with the intention of showing off with through the yoga selfie, odds are that with a regular practice their psyche will be transformed by yoga. They will learn with yoga to turn inwards, to worry less about Asana and more about the other limbs of yoga. It just takes time... Trust the practice and let others work through their issues... Let them proudly display their journeys online. And in the meantime, take a yoga selfie and join in the fun....

Posted on October 6, 2015 and filed under Articles about Yoga.