The Importance of Social Media for Yoga

I love social media. I love Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (ok not really social media but it kinda is) you name it I probably love it – except Twitter, I feel like thats just a step to far… I’m serious. I post a lot of pictures of myself on these platforms, maybe I’m self obsessed, a show off, a lime light stealer. Who knows? I can’t even say so myself because I don’t decide those things, society does and when society accepts something as the norm I will not question it. There are exceptions in society of course, a guy I’m dating asked me “why do you have to keep posting pictures of yourself? Whats the point of all this hashtagging?” I assume he thinks I’m vain which I think is rich coming from anyone who takes the time to gel their hair. We’re all vain in one way or another – it’s how we get accepted into society in the first place. But back to the story my answer to him was “I want to be a yoga teacher, I want people to know I practice yoga and this is my online CV in pictures, when I have a following I won’t be a struggling yoga teacher begging studios to hire me, I’ll be well known, idolized and people will want to know where I’m teaching and maybe when I announce my I’m a certified teacher, someone will reach out to me and offer me a job”. That not only silenced him but impressed him and he now sort of encourages it.
Social Media is a new form of resume. It’s an online CV that allows everyone to look at you, your personality, your looks, your style and how you work with and relate to the world. Yoga was not a popular form of exercise till only recently and I think yoga cannot thank social media for creating awareness to the practice. Most people think yoga is just some mild stretching, lots of chanting and cult like voodoo but youtube and instagram have changed all that. It’s allowed society to look into this mysterious world and see for what it really is. Maybe not so much the spiritual side but most definitely the physical. Handstands, back bending, legs behind the head are things I didn’t even know existed in yoga and only in Chinese contortionist shows during Chinese New Year or in the circus or gymnastics. Essentially social media made me realise yoga is actually pretty cool. How cool would it be to be able to do a handstand or headstand? How awesome would it be to put my foot behind my head? How awesome is yoga point blank and this is exercise? I get to wear cute clothing, just practice within one mat and it’s only an hour? This is what social media has done for yoga. It’s created awareness, realisation, admiration and aspiration to society. It’s created a desire which in return created money for yoga. Bet the kids are using social media in their supply and demand diagrams at school now.
Social media makes yoga relatable. Closer to home, something people will not be intimidated by. Gone are the days when you feel very shy and scared of going to a yoga studio because you’ve been following them on instagram for so long you feel like you know them and you just stroll right in. Hey you probably know a few yoga poses too that you’ve tried from instagram right? Social media has also allowed people to be “with the trend” out are the days of overspending at overpriced Lululemon and in are the newer brands sponsoring Kino MacGregor as she struts her stuff on her youtube channel. Social media has allowed for a self practice. It’s allowed people to try something at home before they jump into an intimidating class and see if they could like it for themselves or maybe even be humbled and realise they need real classes and a physical teacher to help them. Lastly social media has helped yoga to create what is today on all levels. The accessibility to the yoga world is better than ever for anyone at any age. If anyone has seen @getfityogagirl on instagram you know what I mean. Seeing an over weight girl who could barely do a lunge and just over a year lose over 60lbs and can but her foot behind her head has created an inspirational yoga story without the help of Oprah creating incredible awareness inspiring others to practice yoga as well.
I love social media, it’s built up my confidence with random strangers liking my photos but it’s also made me more determined to keep practicing and better my asanas. It’s my online CV, everyone can look at it and hopefully I’ll make money out of it. You need to be business smart in yoga, advertise, advertise, advertise and why not do it for free on social media?
Erica Tenggara (200hr 7/14 Weekend)

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