Yoga and social media.

I pick this topic because now a days the world is moving so fast. Social media is one of the most popular and trendy places to be, even though is just an fake space inside a phone, people use it for different reasons like:

  • Help their ego to decrease their insecurity on society.
  • Share their life.
  • Show of the places they were.

I do believe social media can be useful if you want to share believes, information and life experiences with others. It just depends on the reasons and purposes you use it for.

 

In the other side, Yoga is been jeopardized by this generation because of the way they have been teaching and modifying the technique of it. How trendy and famous yoga is? Well, you can see it everywhere gym, fitness center, conventions, courses, master classes, weekend activities, etc. and that’s how trendy is right now. The faster it grows the more modify yoga gets.

 

But, when I said I do believe in social media means (for me) that everyone who has a user account in any app is able to have its own judgment and profit. If you really take time to search for good accounts that provide quality information, then social media turns into a good source and motivational activity.

 

If guide my social media activity with some yoga believes, I am truthful to myself even though I can be connected to the world. For example, if I apply one or two limbs of THE EIGHT LIMBS OF ASHTANGA/RAJA YOGA, I will use:

 

  1. – disappearance of all suppressions.
    1. Ahimsa: non violence, which transforms to love of all. I won´t use my account to attack any person, believe or behavior.
    2. Satya: I´ll share myself the way I am and I live life.
    3. Asteya: freeing oneself of jealous instincts. Don´t watch anyone who make us feel jealous or angry.
    4. Brahmacharya: gain vitality and energy. Share our energy the way it is.
    5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness. No attachment to the amount of followers, likes, shares and friends we have.
  2. -
MIND FIT FOR CONCENTRATION.

The mind becomes capable, ready and fit to express all it carries inside. Your mind becomes able to create things within a short time. The science and ability to project anything you want is Dharana. Is a methodology through which your mind is fixed on an object, subject or an idea such that your consciousness is raised to a higher frequency or state. Your mind becomes capable for concentration in every topic or subject to need to share or read. You project anything you want, you find your own way to be in this world without anyone that disturbs you, you are completely conscious.

 

I try to apply how in this complicated social media world yoga helps us to be entire aware of what are we doing. There is nothing wrong with this world, we make good and wrong decisions through actions that are based on our level of conscience. Use social media to change the world, to return some of the joy God gives you.

 

 

#Instayoga

Scroll through Instagram or Facebook and you’ll probably come across someone contorted into a yoga pose, dreamy sunset location optional. With the popularity of social media soaring in recent years, it has become ubiquitous for yoga teachers and yogis alike to post pictures of them in a yoga pose, and I’m no exception.

When on Mount Rinjani…

Modern day yoga has the greatest focus on the 3rd limb of yoga, asana, or physical practice, where “The yogi conquers the body by the practice of asanas and makes it a fit vehicle for the spirit” (Iyengar, 1966 p. 41). Often times neglecting the other 7 limbs as defined in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, especially so on social media. Yamasand niyamas (moral guidelines or self-discipline), pranayama (translating to expansion of life force; usually refers to breath work), pratyrahara (withdrawal from the 5 senses), dharana (focussing on one thought at a time), dhyana(meditation; observing your thoughts but not reacting to them) and samadhi (detached, non-judgmental; Buddha-like enlightenment) are rarely mentioned on social media, mostly due to the fact that the target audience is largely just interested in the physical postures.

The paper Yoga on Instagram: Disseminating or Destroying Traditional Yogic Principals has drawn light on the flaws of posting yoga-related content on social media. Many people, especially yoga teachers, use it as a form of marketing – I personally am not against this because it’s free and if they have a large following, effective in getting their followers to come to their class. However, the paper finds fault in those who use it to seek validation or an ego booster, where it depicts a misleading perspective which goes against the yogic philosophy. In addition, the paper brought up the dangers of negative body image, where most of these pictures of young, toned bodies in tight leggings and a sports bra spurs comparison of one’s own body to that ideal, especially when tagged #fitspo (fitness inspiration).

But then again, yoga is derived from yuj, which means union in Sanskrit, and social media is a great platform for yogis all over the world to connect and draw inspiration from one another. Besides that, it isn’t purely about the asana – captions can often share a lot of knowledge about the asana or yogic philosophy and videos can give you tips to help correct your alignment. Many of these posts focus on achieving both physical and mental wellbeing, which goes in line with the traditional practice. As B.K.S. Iyengar wrote, “to the yogi, his body is the prime instrument of attainment. If this vehicle breaks down, the traveler cannot go far. If the body is broken by ill-health, the aspirant can achieve little”.

It definitely is a double-edged sword, where its benefits lie in the way people choose to use and respond to it. When used well, one can share knowledge about the philosophy, tradition and history of yoga and spread their love of yoga to their friends. Beyond that,  it’s called social media, so let’s make it more social – its an awesome opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and perhaps more importantly maintain those friendships, even if we’re oceans away.

Kyla x

Practising Asteya in a social media era

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, asteya is listed as one of the five yamas. Yamas essentially govern our external relationships – i.e. relationships with others and the world. Asteya is most commonly understood as non-stealing, or not taking what does not belong to you.

However, there is a deeper meaning behind asteya. Asteya also refers to non-covetousness, and being free of jealous instincts. By freeing ourselves from envying what others possess, as opposed to appreciating what we already have, we will not seek to possess things that we are not entitled to, much less take them from others.

Asteya is an important yogic principle that we can use to guide our lives in the modern era – an era of social media. In today’s Instagram/Facebook-obsessed world, everyone with a social media account can easily flaunt their seemingly perfect lifestyles and possessions. Social media feeds greed and covetousness – have you ever found yourself yearning to be as popular or as charismatic as some social media influencers? Well, I certainly have! Being constantly exposed to social media may manifest in an unhealthy dose of covetousness, where we find ourselves coveting what others possess – even if it may be entirely out of our means.

How, then, can we practise asteya? First, recognise that everyone has their own flaws and struggles, and that what is portrayed on social media is not always the full picture. By recognising this fact, we are less likely to associate expensive possessions or lavish lifestyles with a perfect or desirable lifestyle, or even happiness. This helps to steer us away from coveting such possessions.

Second, learn to appreciate what you have. Go beyond tangible or material possessions, and learn to appreciate the intangible. There are many things that we can be appreciative of – be it a harmonious family, a loving partner, or supportive friends. When we start to appreciate what we have, we will realise that what we have is special and unique to us. We stop comparing ourselves to others and desiring what they have.

Finally, go on a social media detox from time to time. Deactivate your social media accounts, or uninstall your social media applications temporarily. Replace social media with other hobbies or leisure activities. When you detach yourself from social media, you no longer face the constant pressure of aspiring towards that ideal or perfect lifestyle that is portrayed on social media. Instead, you get to immerse yourself completely in reality, and to appreciate what you have.

When we free ourself from covetousness, we are practising asteya. As the saying goes, “it is not the accumulation of things that ultimately give us satisfaction, but the accumulation of values and competency. The jewel of non stealing, asks us to build our competency with life itself.

Tan Tian Hui (August 2017, 200 Hr YTT)