We’ve all been there: the next train is late, the queue at the supermarket is seemingly endless or you simply don’t get called in the waiting room. These are all typical situations in which we reach for our cell phones and look around on social media.
There’s nothing wrong with that in general. Many of us use Instagram & Co. to combat boredom. However, in addition to entertaining cat videos, there is also a lot of content that can make us feel envious and, in the worst case, even make us feel inadequate.
So how can you use social media in a yogic way? I have put together three tips for you.
Choose wisely which accounts you follow
Not all accounts with the word “yoga” in their name are spreading real yogic content. Many are simply self-promotional and full of perfectly edited pictures of beautiful people in acrobatic asanas. Still others claim to lead a yoga-influenced lifestyle while simply practicing asanas as a sport and otherwise knowing nothing about yoga.
Think carefully about what you want from the content that appears in your feed. Do you want to learn something? Do you teach yoga and want to use Instagram as inspiration for your classes? Or do you just want to be entertained? In the latter case, simply aesthetic visual content will do. With the other two options, you shouldn’t be indiscriminate and only follow people whose content really helps you – see point 3.
Someone is more advanced in terms of asanas or has a “better” figure? Remind yourself that you are not worth less because of this!
As mentioned at the beginning, some images can cause you to compare yourself and not do well in your own eyes in this comparison. If you feel inadequate or simply not good when looking at certain content, remove it – see point 1.
In any case, try not to compare yourself to others. Acceptance, a principle that often accompanies us on the yoga mat, should also accompany you in your yogic use of social media. Just because someone is stronger or more flexible than you doesn’t mean they are ‘better’ than you. Always remember that even these supposedly perfect people have their insecurities.
Be inspired and learn
Used correctly – or yogically – social media can provide you with lots of instructive input. You can also get a wealth of great, creative ideas from the right accounts.
Once you have put together a good selection of meaningful accounts, you will be able to learn and take a lot with you. Some share valuable knowledge about anatomy, others share their ideas for creative sequencing, others make yoga philosophy accessible to everyone.
Draw knowledge and inspiration for your own practice and teaching from the content of the accounts you follow.
What’s your experience? Do you use Instagram & Co. Who do you follow? Who would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments!