YogaClear your mind and indulge in what makes you happy. – alex elle

Ok so I get this question a lot. As someone who once flooded my instagram feed with photos of new poses I could finally do or improvements and then all of a sudden.. stopped. “Why did you give up yoga?” Well for the record, I never stopped doing yoga, I just stopped posting photos and here’s why…

My yogi Instagram story

July 2013 I discovered Laura Kasperzak, better known as LauraSykora, on instagram. I thought she was AHMAYZING. Still do.

I was like “I wish I could do that” as I sat there and scrolled in awe and so I decided to teach myself yoga.  I would occasionally go to live classes but they’re usually so pricy so I made habit of practicing at home. As a self taught yogi I would practice my flows in front of my iPad that was recording the entire thing.

This was originally so I could see my form and see where I needed to make adjustments.Then I saw how my body was able to do these amazing things that I wanted to share it with the world.

I wanted to be like Laura Sykora! So for months I would post these incredible poses I learned to do. I stopped at one point for a few months because someone called them thirst traps HA.

That was definitely not the intention. And then I decided that I was doing it for me and people could think whatever so I started posting again. But why has it been 9 months since I’ve last posted my progression?

An easy answer is I moved from an apartment, with an open concept floor plan that was easy to record in, to a town home where I literally have no open areas to even record. I have a “yoga room” but no good angles to set up my camera and this was probably a good thing.

The real answer is I saw myself getting to a point where I would only get on my mat to take a photo for instagram. My practice went from hours to a 5min warm up and snapping a photo and then I was done because I “accomplished” something.

I was finally able to touch my head with my toes or I finally balanced in a scorpion etc. I must celebrate by sharing it with the world and then go have a glass of wine. This was my mindset. I LOVE yoga but I was getting so consumed with keeping up with the IG yoga community that I forgot WHY I was doing it.

Yoga literally changed my life. That’s a story for another day but it was important for me to step back to appreciate the craft of my practice.

It’s not about being able to do a certain pose but more so about becoming one with who I am and letting the flow serve as an opportunity for meditation and letting go of everything else around that may be consuming me. So I stopped taking photos and I stopped posting. If this means I gave up yoga then so be it. I had to step back and remind myself why I fell in love with it.

What I do today

Today I practice about 2x’s a week and my practice is incredible. I got back to the basics. I’m not pushing myself for poses but more so for strength in my flows.

It serves as a way to relieve the many stresses that I deal with and is also a great way to ensure that I’m stretching all of my muscles especially since I’m a runner and I lift at the gym I want to ensure that I don’t hurt myself. And most of all I’m doing it for ME! 

This isn’t to knock anyone for posting photos of your asanas just as long as you don’t lose your practice for likes on instagram.   This also isn’t to say that will never post a yoga photo again but for now I’m using this time to do work within myself and within my own practice.

Check out my yoga compilation:

~Vanessa.Michele

This post first appeared on vanessamichele.com.