If there’s one social media platform out there responsible for constantly distracting me, it’s Instagram. With everything from professional food photography and ridiculous memes, to informative videos and hilarious boomerangs, there’s something for everyone to, well, get sucked in. For me, Instagram offers endless yoga inspiration—and luckily, the distraction is usually a positive one.
For so many yogis posting on Instagram, creating beautiful shapes in front of beautiful backdrops is the norm. Yet while I appreciate a great Dancer’s Pose in front of a Balinese waterfall as much as the next girl, I tend to focus on what’s below the picture: the caption. What I zoom in on is much more than just a stunning photograph; I love it when yoga teachers and practitioners share their dharma talks, write inspiring words of wisdom, and speak to an important cause. Take @yoga_girl, Rachel Brathen, for example, who built her 2 million followers through Instagram posts, stories, and creation of the hashtag #yogaeverydamnday, which includes over 4 million posts from yogis around the world.
So, whether you’re a poster, scroller, or both, here’s a little Instagram yoga inspiration that moved me this week. Here’s hoping it inspires you, too.
Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl)
Behind that “perfect” handstand is a fierce mama, entrepreneur, non-profit running yogi. Living in Aruba presents a lot of beautiful yoga photography, but it’s clear that Brathen spends a lot of her time and all of her heart writing her posts. Whether she’s talking about the struggles of loss, the challenges of raising a child, or celebrating positive body image, I find Brathen always has a strikingly beautiful perspective on life.
See also Rachel Brathen on Motherhood, #MeToo, and the Future of Yoga
Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn)
Bold and beautiful Jessamyn Stanley may be the new face of the NY Times’ Yoga Forum and a best-selling author, but she has also changed the way all of us look at “yoga.” Jessamyn is all about self-love, no matter what your shape or size, and she admits: “I don’t aspire to be a role model. I aspire to be a person who doesn’t hate herself. I’m not trying to inspire anyone. I’m a hot mess … what the fuck do I look like, trying to “inspire” someone else? Gimme a break.” However, her real-ness is relatable, and she applies the principles of acceptance both on and off the mat.
See also The Future of Yoga: 15 Millennial Yoga Teachers to Watch
Jessica Olie (@jessicaolie)
Jessica Olie created the “Let’s Start Yoga” e-book when she received tons of questions from fellow Instagrammers about how to do yoga poses. From there, her platform took off, connecting beginner yogis all over the world. I find her posts inspiring because she is a beautiful writer and talks about struggle, moving forward, and believing in possibility.
See also 6 Best Yoga Pants, According to 6 Top Teachers Around the World
Lee Tilghman (@leefromamerica)
Lee Tilghman, the smoothie-bowl loving, self-care advocate, has inspired the Instagram community with her passion for health, hormones, and healing. I can always look to Lee to post something very relatable. She always admits the things that everyone thinks, but doesn’t want to say—and she gives herself permission to mess up without it messing with her self-worth. I think it’s safe to say we can all take a page out of her book.
See also Irritable During Your Period? Do This on the Mat to Feel Better
Jules Hunt (@omandthecity)
I started following Jules Hunt when she was living in Brooklyn, NY, flourishing as a yogi, minimalist, and event leader, inspiring women to gather together and manifest their dream lives. I always admire the simplicity behind Jules’ feed:her home, workout routine, and life in general doesn’t include much “fluff.” She always talks about how to navigate change, and accept when the body and mind don’t always stick to “the plan.”
See also Essentials for Small Space Living
Mary Beth LaRue (@marybethlarue)
How often do we think about playing it safe versus dipping our toes in uncertainty? LA yoga teacher Mary Beth LaRue talks a lot about uncertainty—playing with it, fighting it, and giving into it—yet she proves that stepping outside of the box and chasing fears has its rewards. She decided last year she wanted to be a foster mom and her journey with “Baby A” has been so inspiring (and emotional!). La Rue offers a beautiful example of a well-respected yogi not just dealing with life, but really living it.
See also The Gift of "I Don't Know": How Mary Beth LaRue Is Embracing Life's Uncertainties