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How TikTok is Changing the Face of Yoga

The social media app's 15- to 60-second videos are cultivating the next generation of yogis. Here's what you need to know about the app all the young yogis are talking about.

Even if you’re not on TikTok, chances are you’ve heard of it. For the uninitiated, the Chinese video-sharing service combines the brevity of Vine and the story-telling capabilities of YouTube to create 15- to 60-second videos. Amid the dances and lip-synch videos, there’s a subset of yoga video creators. These yogis spread their love of the practice through challenges, partner postures, and heartwarming clips of their yoga evolutions.

Take Bholi Parihar and Divyansh Sharma, both 22, a duo better known as @ProYogaExperts on TikTok. They have received more than 1 million likes on their rhythmic yoga videos. The uniqueness of TikTok, they believe, is that “anybody can see your videos no matter if they follow you or not, so good content generally gets its appropriate appreciation.”

Videos on TikTok are promoted for the quality of their content—instead of the number of followers the creator has. That’s especially useful for developing an online presence in this influencer age, because, as the ProYogaExperts explain, “TikTok allows you to link your account to Instagram and YouTube, so you can add more followers onto your other social media accounts.”

Challenge poses and viral videos aside, the growing yoga community on TikTok is predisposed to follow yogis they can relate to. Twenty-three-year-old Faustine Chef (@fau.yoga) shares videos from her home practice and has amassed more than 255,000 likes in the process. Unlike Instagram, where often only the polished results are shared, TikTok captures more than just one perfect moment, says Chef: “On TikTok, you have to be real—to be you.”

@fau.yoga? Essayer de faire du yoga en mode unijambiste ??♀️ ##demilotus ##yoga♬ Happy Now – Kygo & Sandro Cavazza

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Through short videos, viewers watch Chef’s trials and tribulations associated with setting up a pose, getting into it, holding it, and flowing out.

The uniqueness of TikTok lies in both the brevity of its snappy films and in its youthful viewers. “I’m actually followed by a lot of teenagers,” Chef says. The outpouring of support and the ability to go viral from a snippet of your home practice leverages growth over mastery in this budding community.

See also 15 Amazing Teachers to Study with & Follow on Social Media

TikTok by the numbers

  • 1.5 billion downloads worldwide
  • 60% of US users are between the ages of 16 and 24
  • 1.1 BILLION views of the #yoga hashtag
  • 500 Million active monthly users—more than Twitter (330 million) and Snapchat (210 million)