InstaInspirationPosted: June 3, 2013 | |
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration. Where it comes from, how it waxes and wanes, the intensity of some moments when one just has to go write (or run, or dance, or sing). It is a funny thing, inspiration, and it can come from the most unlikely places sometimes. Like social media, and for me these days it is culled from: Instagram.
Towards the middle of February, my staled practice was galvanized into a new form when I stumbled across the different yoga challenges that take place on social media. It was a fortunate find, because I was suffering through bouts of seasonal sadness, and without friends and family around it was tough to stay positive some days. The challenges led me towards a deeper level of study and meaning when I saw all the beautiful yoga postures and wisdom coursing through my feed. Though most days I wake early and practice without struggle, the aspiration to full locust rouses me to it on the days I’d rather crawl under the covers with Mr. Murakami. Practice daily has become a mantra, and my virtual yoga community helps to keep me accountable.
I moved away from pictures of formless landscapes and material acquisitions and have been putting my own form on display. Followers who I didn’t know gave my pictures a second glance began to comment about their attempts to incorporate more yoga into their lives.
Putting pictures of my Self onto the vast interwebs was hard for me in some ways, simple in others. When I was 20, my body was like a source of shame and the physical representation of a long buried sadness. In the years since, I’ve worked hard (some days and months I’ve needed to work harder than others) to move past my issues with the physical body.
But lately it has been effortless. A conscious choice to remove animal products from my diet (more on my new veganism another time…) has left me feeling calmer than I’ve ever felt, yet so energetic and full of hope. I’m proud of my more than five year progress with scorpion pose, and even though I can rarely hold it for more than half a minute, I am exhilarated by the strength of my muscles and my bones; I do not shrink away from the growth of my body–I am empowered by it.
For me, instagram ignited a circle of inspiration, inwards and outwards. Inside to myself, I reflect on my past, and celebrate my present. Outwardly, I share pictures of my asanas, not because I want to show off my body in a bikini or brag about my forearm stand, but because I want to acknowledge that I am happy, I am healthy, and I am dedicated to my yoga practice wherever I am in the world (right now South Carolina happens to be very hot). The encouragement I get from others inspires me back, and when people proudly tell me about their 30 minute practice on the beach, I am grateful that I am the one they want to share their accomplishment with. An ever broadening circle of inspiration.
I’m alone for much of my day. My son is still pre-verbal, and frankly I get pretty darn lonely. I post and comment on pictures throughout the day to keep myself company. I am wholly delighted that I am obsessed with yoga now, not calories, not shopping, and not comparing myself to others. I never care how many people like my pictures. My practice remains my own, and I always wait until I am done with my daily meditation and asana practice before shooting pictures. That they happen to add to the circle of inspiration that is the instagram yoga community pleases me greatly.