Bad Yogi: 3 Ways to Be Authentic on Social Media

Since filtering what we share on social media has become the norm, Bad Yogi Erin Motz offered to take us behind the scenes of her Instagram account. Steal her best tips for getting real.
erin motz bad yogi eagle pose

Since filtering what we share on social media has become the norm, Bad Yogi Erin Motz offered to take us behind the scenes of her Instagram account. Steal her best tips for getting real.

We’ve all gotten pretty used to filtering what we share on social media, and this isn’t always a bad thing. Filters (both the literal and figurative kind) are fun, pretty, and often help tell the story or paint a clearer picture of the message we want to get across.

These filters can become harmful, though, when we rely too heavily on them and end up masking any semblance of reality in favor of a completely phony, fabricated picture. Like airbrushing is to the world of modeling, so is filtering to the world of social media. It's so pervasive and “normal,” we start to think perfection is average and our flawed human selves are the one-off freaks.

Instagram vs. Real Life

The Bad Yogi’s Tips for Authenticity on Social Media

There are a few easy ways to keep social media authentic without necessarily having to air all our dirty laundry, though.

1. Let vulnerability peek through.

No, you don’t have to share all the grisly details of the fight you had with your ex last night, but letting the world see that we’re real, feeling human beings is a good thing. Putting out picture-perfect images when you’re falling apart on the inside could, arguably, not be in your best interest. Sharing our vulnerability allows us to really connect with the humans on the other side of the screen. As bad of a wrap as social media gets, it’s often full of really supportive similarly struggling people who want to be there for one another. Don’t be afraid to tap in to that sometimes.

2. Share the occasional flop.

Okay, I’m totally guilty of this too. As a yogi, I’ve taken countless pictures of myself in yoga poses and shared them on social media. And sometimes, those great pictures have been more the result of luck and a quick shutter speed than of actual practiced skill—if you know what I mean. The reality is, no one is perfect and the journey of falling and picking yourself up to try again is usually even MORE inspiring and interesting than the perfect end result. The flops are fulfilling, too, so I’d advocate for us all sharing more of those!

See also Bad Yogi: 5 Lessons Yoga Taught Me About Failure

3) Make your social media more…social.

I think a lot of people (again, I include myself here, too!) fall into the habit of making social media a flashy show-and-tell and forget about the opportunity for making connections. Show-and-tell is awesome and was probably one of your favorite days in elementary school, so it’s equally fun on social media. But it’s also great to talk TO your friends and followers and not just AT them. Start a conversation, chat them up, ask a question. Take some time to get to know them as much as they get to know you through what you share.

Social media isn’t inherently bad or harmful, and we can make it an even greater place for connection when we let the veil drop and let authenticity lead the way once in a while.

See also Social Media for Yoga Teachers: What Works + What Doesn’t

Listen, I’m not your traditional yogi: I’m the carnivorous, red wine, and French cheese-loving type and I teach vinyasa flow. My aim is to keep my classes fun and accessible, both in the studio and online. You won’t hear much Sanskrit, I totally forgive you if you don’t know your asana from your elbow, and I firmly believe that yoga is for everyone, from the kale-loving vegan to the prize-winning deer hunter. I may be a Bad Yogi, but if I’m being totally honest, teaching yoga has been one of my greatest pleasures; I practice to feed my teaching, but I teach to feed my life. —Erin Motz

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Catch up with her on:
Instagram: @erinmotz
Facebook: @erinmotzyoga
YouTube: badyogitv