Why I Don’t Do Yoga Selfies
If you’ve been following my blog and/or Facebook page at all, you may have noticed that I never post pictures of myself doing yoga. Well, there was that one time I posted a muffin recipe and while the muffins baked, I instructed you to do the dishes then do some yoga, and there was a photo of myself in my kitchen doin’ a lil bit of ardha chandrasana accompanying it. But that’s been it, really. There are a few reasons why I personally haven’t really engaged in the yoga-selfie trend. And they have nothing to do with being “anti” yoga selfie at all….. In fact they mostly boil down to me being a very awkward person.
Reason #: I Have Kids
And because of this fact, I do not have a lot of time to practice yoga asana these days. My sons, as I write this post, are 1 year old, and 3 years old. I don’t get a lot of time to myself. When I do actually get some alone time, I am catching up on household stuff, or, just plain exhausted, and like a zombie, checking Facebook or Gawker or whatever. Do you know how many yoga classes I have been to in the past year, since my 2nd son has been born? One. That’s right. ONE. I can only get to classes within a certain frame of time where I have help for my 3 year old, and around my 1 year old’s nap schedule, and meal making and feeding and all that, so that leaves very few public classes that I can actually manage to get to.
I have done a bit of yoga here and there at home, but generally if I practice while my sons are around, my practice turns into my 3 year old riding on my back, and me having to pretend to be the “mama lion” while he is a “baby lion”. Fun times, but not very yoga-ish. So I wait to do a few poses before bed, when the boys are both asleep, after dinner, and dishes, and tidy up, and boys jumping off furniture, and bedtimes, and storytime, and the epicness that is evenings with kids. Frankly I’m exhausted at this point, so it turns into just a few poses before I go to sleep, sometimes while watching Naked and Afraid.
Therefore, my yoga practice has definitely been stronger in the past! A lot stronger. I don’t have an impressive practice to take photos of and post online. I do still love the feeling of yoga asana in my body. I love moving with breath. I crave going to a proper class so much…. But for now, my boys need me. They will not be small forever, so these days, I do the odd pose when I can. Once my boys are bigger and going to school, I can fill the hole in my heart left by their absence with yoga asana again. But for now it’s more important that I’m a mama lion. And that’s ok.
Reason #2: I Am Awkward
I once attempted one of those esteemed “yoga in a bikini on a tropical beach at sunset” type photos. This was before I had kids, or even pregnant, so I’m guessing about 5 years ago, or so? What happened was, my husband and I were on vacation at a resort. One day, after a day of laying in the sun and reading, and before dinner, we had some time to kill and we were just sort of walking around. I was still wearing my bikini under my jeans shorts. I had an idea, I asked my husband if he could take some photos of me doing yoga on the beach, by the water. First of all, let me say that me even asking him that question felt weird and awkward.
We had to find a part of the beach that was sort of tucked away, because I don’t like drawing attention to myself. I didn’t want to do yoga on the main strip of beach, where people could see me. (Can you tell the awkwardness is building already? I’m awesome like that.) We found this bit of beach where there were all sorts of rocks around and it was a bit wild from not being used. I then tried to “act natural” and do some yoga on the shore while acutely aware of my husband walking around taking pics. I should also add that whenever I am aware of someone taking a picture of me, I get extremely self conscious and start acting weird. Not on purpose, just because I forget how to act “normal”. It’s this amazing trait that I have.
I didn’t want to get too sandy, because I was dry and wasn’t planning on going back into the water, so I stayed on the shore where the sand was wet. But this was limiting to what poses I could and couldn’t do, since my feet were really sinking into the wet sand. The waves were very rocky as well; a storm was a-brewing. Sometimes the waves would smack against me pretty hard and splatter so that was a bit distracting. And then also sometimes people would walk by and I’d be all embarrassed so I’d have to stop. MOST AWKWARD THING EVER.
In reality, while on that vacation, I practised yoga either in the gym (only if there weren’t many other people in there), or privately, in our room, wearing track pants, and a sweater, because the room was always cold. Very much the antithesis of the sexy-yoga-beach-selfie. And no one ever took photos of me doing these things. The photos my husband took on the beach? I can barely look at them without cringing. So awkward.
Reason #3: I Have Limited Technology Skills
Okay, my story in Reason #2 was very much like an awkward photo-shoot type thing, not exactly a “selfie”. So, what if you are seriously taking a selfie. As in, you are practising yoga at home, or mysteriously, in an alley with cool graffiti all around, and you want to take a photo of yourself in a fancy pose? HOW do you do that?? I’m being serious. I literally have no clue. I am guessing that you have to prop up your iPhone (or whatever device you are using) and figure out what area the camera is shooting. I would assume that there is a lot of back and forth of checking the screen and marking out where you should be so that you are centred within the frame. And then…. is there a timer on the camera? Is this an app you can download? Again, not being facetious. I actually am this clueless. I feel as though there is a bit of technological knowledge to do this right.
Or you could do a selfie ol’ school style, I suppose, using a mirror, but that would sort of distract from the pose I would imagine, since you need your arms and hands free for most poses. Alternately, you could just have someone else shoot you, which isn’t exactly a selfie, but just yoga photos. I guess considering your hands are busy doing yoga, it would technically still be considered a selfie? Hmmmm. Well, that’s a whole other thing which would discount this reason altogether! But if we are talking selfies, in the literal sense of the word, then I am technological not advanced (yet) enough to partake.
A Different Approach
I try to take a different approach. My yoga practice isn’t impressive, plus I’m awkward anyway, and not too technically proficient, so therefore I do what I can. I try to show ways in which yoga has helped me become a more compassionate, aware, balanced person. Because at the end of the day, yoga is a philosophy. Asana is one way in which we explore, but it’s not the only way. Becoming more at peace in your life, enjoying and caring for nature, enjoying your family, having a good laugh, being genuine, are all ways in which the practice can manifest itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this to come off as some big criticism of yoga selfies. I enjoy looking at yoga selfies, and/or yoga photos. Images of asana can be beautiful and inspiring. Sometimes, they can even be very empowering. Sometimes I wish there were more photos of different types of people doing yoga. Perhaps this is a reason why I SHOULD be taking yoga selfies at this stage in my life. To show what an exhausted, busy mom’s tired, not very impressive yoga practice looks like! But I’m too exhausted and busy to do such a thing. Maybe one day, when I have more energy, I’ll hone my asana and my technology skills and become a yoga selfie-er. Or, maybe I’ll decide that I like to keep some things to myself, tucked away from the public eye, just for the love of it.