What I Learned From Doing a Social Media Yoga Challenge - Yoga Journal

7 Things I Learned From Doing One of Those Social Media Yoga Challenges I Always Thought Were Obnoxious

Our writer never thought she would participate in one of those social media yoga challenges, but she found it surprisingly rewarding. Here are 7 things she learned from the experience.
yoga challenge

Gina Tomaine used to make fun of yoga challenges—until she tried one for herself. 

We’ve all seen them, and we’ve all subtly mocked them: those bandwagon-jumping yogis who only post a pose when it happens to make them look great in a bikini (OK, kind of fair), when they’re in Tulum and want to show off that sunset, or they’ve hopped on a yoga challenge over on Instagram (#yogaeverydamnday).

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Social media challenges can get a bad rap, for obvious reasons. Yoga shouldn’t be about self-indulgence or gaining followers—it should be about personal development, flexing our muscles and our minds, and, for some, stretching our spirituality, too.

I always felt like I was too cool for a yoga social media challenge. I’d been practicing yoga therapeutically for a decade, before Instagram was a thing. Why would I ever need to post about it? Until one day, my local yoga studio—owned by a friend of mine whom I love and respect (and who is not social media showy)—happened to offer a simple, seven-day challenge.

Each day, we were charged with posting a simple pose, along with modifications, intentions, and mantras to go with it. To participate, I just had to get on the mat and post a picture of myself in that pose—and tag the studio (@yogahabit), along with the hashtags #7daysofyogahabit and #inthehabit. “No judgment, no pressure, just presence,” the studio owner urged.

For whatever reason, at the time I felt compelled to participate. I think, looking back, it was because I was struggling so much with finding some stability: I had just made a major job switch and returned from several weeks of travel in India. I felt all over the place, and I needed something to make me feel reconnected with my body and my purpose back home in Philadelphia. So, I gave up on my hang-ups about yoga and social media posting, my concerns about image and how it would come off, and I gave it a genuine, heartfelt try.

Here’s what I learned. (Oh, and spoiler alert: I won the whole damn challenge: a free month of unlimited yoga, chosen at random from those who participated. How’s that for good karma?)

Here's What I Learned From a Social Media Yoga Challenge