Is yoga another victim of social media? This is a very important question that has to be answered. We are in the digital era, leaded by the image where the deepest knowledge is under the threat of the most fascinating yoga-asana picture. This is because we are overwhelmed by the social media on which many people rely as if it is the only reliable source of information. Very often people choose a yoga teacher according to the fascinating Instagram profile the yoga teacher has and not according to the yoga teacher’s knowledge. Hence, it is pretty sure that yoga is also another victim of social media.
We are going through the times of digital marketing. The dominance of image is prominent. For that the very well-educated teachers who are not body-flexible and which do not post their physical abilities on social media, they are mostly rejected by the practitioners. On the other hand there are extremely flexible yoga-teachers who lack, even the basic, knowledge but the practitioners prefer them because their social media are full of impressive pictures. Most of the times these apparently impressive pictures are so much edited and with so many filters applied that have no relation with the original one. Hence, it is obvious that in the people’s subconscious yoga-practice is related to flexibility and that good yoga teachers are those who can bind their body like a knot. But it is not so. This is just another proof that yoga is also a victim of social media.
The last decades the demand of yoga has been notably increased.
When there is increase demand of a product (yoga), market expands the supply of commodities (yoga styles) to satisfy the needs. But this does not always guarantee the quality of the product! In the current times of rapid commercialism yoga has been turned into a ‘yoga-product’ to serve the demands of market. Yoga philosophy is almost forgotten, yoga tradition is mixed with other traditions and yoga practice has undergone so many changes that it reminds more acrobatics or circus rather than positions that will lead us to understand our higher level of consciousness.
There are so many misconceptions around yoga practice which may divert practitioners from the ultimate goal of yoga, that is self-realization, to a body-eccentric exercise. And it is completely fine, because not everyone wants to reach the ultimate goal, but everybody should understand the difference between a holistic yoga practice and a body-eccentric yoga practice. Each and every one is free to choose as per will the suitable yoga practice. But are you sure that you are choosing as per your will? Are you sure that your will has not been hijacked and manipulated by virtual world of the social media? Are you sure that you are not caught up in the trap of ‘yoga-lism’? I understand that it is easier to focus externally (on the body fit, strength, beauty, etc.) because this is what we are taught since our childhood, to look outside. No one has never taught us how to focus internally, to observe our feelings, to understand our needs. That is why we will be attracted by the surface (image), rather than by the depth.
Social media are useful
On the other hand social media have helped the ‘yoga-product’ to become famous. Through social media the yoga practitioners get the chance to interact with many yoga teachers around the world, with whom they would not have been able to contact without social media. In the virtual world of social media yoga teachers offer many free live classes which help the yoga practitioners to have a taste from different styles and teachers, in the comfort of their home. In the ‘social-pedia’ yoga knowledge is spreading in abundance but not every time accurately. That is why before you adopt an information double check it and before you choose yoga teacher think, understand deeply your needs and then decide accordingly.