Yogi Steph Gongora (@casa_colibri) likes to highlight her yoga practice online, but when it comes down to it, the flashy yoga you see on Instagram isn’t indicative of a true yoga practice. She calls it “real yoga vs. insta-yoga.”
On one side of the image, she holds a handstand. Instructions illuminate the correct posture, such as “Legs straight & strong to maintain balance,” and “core engaged to assist in spinal alignment.”
She also includes some signs that help determine whether the person doing the pose is actually committed to yoga. Is the photo taken in a clean & clear yoga space? Does the yogi wear conservative clothing to minimize distraction?
The other side of the image portrays the insta-yoga version of a handstand.
Neutral colors to appear nekkid from far away.
Spread legs for camera. Duh.
Naughty duck face.
And, of course, “unrelated promo products cuz always be workin’ it.”
In her accompanying post, Gongora makes sure to acknowledge that the post was made in good fun.
“This is not meant to offend anyone, even if you do some of these things. Sometimes, I do too!” she says.
But her good-humored image definitely sheds a light on the impact of the social age on the portrayal of yoga. When likes and followers are as valued as currency, the focus with creative decisions easily shifts from craft and form to views and virality.
And that’s just not yoga.