We’re halfway through October and I thought I’d update you on where I’m at with this yoga challenge.
I definitely haven’t posted every day for a few reasons. One, because I fear my friends and followers on Instagram may get sick of pictures of me in yoga poses and two, because I don’t want to just get into the pose to get into the pose. It’s asking for an injury and it’s not the reason I’m taking this on. There have been several days where I’ve actually gone to yoga and practiced the pose of the day but didn’t whip out my camera to snap a picture.
In this article from Yoga Download about yoga selfies, the author points out that yoga challenges like this one “can be a great way to get yogis motivated for daily practice, they also can be a perfect way to encourage mindless, ego-driven practice….a recipe for disaster and injury.” I don’t need anything else to encourage mindlessness or my ego – they are both doing just fine on their own, thank you very much.
But then I realized my ego was getting in the way when I was choosing not to post my photos because they weren’t as pretty as the ones that were chosen by the challenge sponsor. I wasn’t on a beach or in a forest or wearing a perfect form fitting outfit. Sometimes I have challenges with alignment and my clothes are definitely always wrinkly. I’m usually just in my living room. So I’d snap the photo and then I wouldn’t post it because I’d think “it’s not as good as those other ones!”
I had to give myself a good pep talk after this because the whole reason I took the challenge on was BECAUSE of those kinds of photos. It was because yoga should not be intimidating or exclusive – it does not and should not require fancy clothing or a perfectly calm setting. Even at my studio, I’m often the only one in workout pants from target and a tank top. Sometimes I start to get down on myself for “not looking the part” and then I realize that I don’t need fancy clothes to get into poses (in fact all I need is my pajamas as in the picture below). And you know what? No one else is looking at me and thinking “she doesn’t fit in here.” If that feeling comes up, it’s on me. People wear what they wear because it’s comfortable, because it’s an expression of who they are, or because they are trying to fit in a way that is specific to them. Like most things, it has nothing to do with me.
This challenge is giving me the opportunity explore some poses in a different way, realize where I have tightness and trouble with alignment and go deeper into the poses. I set my self timer for 30 seconds, which is often longer than we hold a single pose in the flow classes that I go to, so I’m enjoying the chance to integrate stillness.
I’m not as playful with it as I thought I’d be. I’m still not comfortable busting out a yoga pose on the street or in the grocery store or in the line at the coffee shop. I’m not on trails or by the beach or in fields that often, and when I am, I rarely have a photographer to shoot the picture. I mostly like doing them at home on my mat, with Hippo near by (as evidenced by the photos). Which perhaps is fitting, as yoga is helping me feel more at home in my body and myself.
I’ll check back in at the end of the month to let you know my final thoughts!
What’s your favorite yoga pose? Would you ever do a fitness challenge?