Recently there have been many negative opinions floating around on the internet regarding the yoga community on Instagram. People joke that its trendy, or vain, or encouraging too much screen time, etc. and I agree with all of these things to an extent. But after being involved daily in the community, I see something so amazing and powerful happening that the negatives aren’t that big of a deal.
I started @domestikatie_ originally to help promote myself for future teaching opportunities. I was encouraged by my best friend Kirstyn Macartney to share the food I cook, the places I go, and my yoga practice with others. I post beautiful photos, mostly taken by my boyfriend Brandon on an iPhone 4S, of us enjoying the majestic island we call home. My goal with my photos is to hopefully encourage people to not only try yoga, but to go outside and find beauty no matter where they live. I have always wanted to find a way to combine my love for the environment and spreading environmental awareness with my love for yoga and a healthy lifestyle. Right now I feel that Instagram is one way that I can do it. The crazy thing is…it’s working. I have had countless people tell me that my photos have encouraged them to take their practice outside, to have a deeper appreciation for where they live, to find the beauty around them no matter what their situation. People have told me that Brandon and I encouraged them to try yoga or to start a more regular practice. People I have never met before in my life, who maybe live on the other side of the world have told me that I have had a positive impact on their life.
There is so much positivity and encouragement coming out of the Instagram community (I say community because it really is a community). There are so many yogis who have met over Instagram by finding other yogis who live near them or by making efforts to attend yogi meet-ups. Some of them talk every single day (whether they have met in person or not) and provide support and love for each other. The daily and monthly yoga challenges make people start yoga or encourage them to practice every day. Every month I notice hundreds of new yogis getting involved. One of my favourite things that my teacher Natalie Rousseau said went something like this “People always say ‘Yoga is so trendy now’ and my response is ‘Not trendy enough!’ Until each and every person gets on their mat and practices and meditates each day, yoga will not be trendy enough”. Instagram is helping with this!!
I have personally been encouraged by numerous people on Instagram. Whether it is a creative new pose I want to try, or a sequence I can play with and teach, or someone showing their vulnerability, there is so much to learn from these amazing people. I get to see how my Instagram friends have progressed. For example, @simply_lydie. This girl has completely transformed over Instagram. I have watched her learn to handstand, observed her flexibility increasing and strength building, and even seen her face plant a few times♥. She is amazing! And @aprildel28 who is always spreading her love by commenting on the beautiful photos she sees. @mackenzieyoga who posts some outrageous transitions but provides something for me to work towards. @danasfeast who loves nature photos and is such a kick ass yogi (that crow press up!!). I have met people that live in Victoria that have actually come to my classes like @this_is_my30 and @running_yogi. I have reconnected with people from my past because we have a common lifestyle like @dr_lazlo. I hope over the summer to plan Instagram meet-ups in Victoria so that I can meet all of the other lovely people that I communicate with over Instagram but have never met.
I am not saying that Instagram is going to save the world or is the only way to start yoga but it has the ability to encourage positive habits and lifestyle changes. That is why I will continue to post yoga photos of myself and my friends in beautiful places on Instagram until I feel that I am not creating a positive impact or am no longer finding joy in it (which is hopefully never!).