Yoga is more than just exercise; it is a philosophy of life.
Thousands of years ago, the intricate physical and spiritual pedagogy of yoga was codified in the The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, but that book is outdated, and harder to understand than Shakespeare! As yoga has evolved into an international phenomenon no longer relegated to hot, dusty, far-flung countries, it’s become clear that yoga philosophy, too, is in dire need of an upgrade. Nourishing inner peace, and combining mind, body and all of creation still matter, of course, but the practice has shifted focus, and today’s yogis are all about building community—and self-esteem.
Enter Instagram, the digital ashram of the twenty-first century, where yogis gather to heighten their self-worth, celebrate their good health and fortune, and foster their flock of oh-so-flexible disciples. In case you’re keen to join the movement, we’ve rounded up the best advice from today’s hottest yogis on how to showcase your most supple, sinewy, ready-for-your-close-up self on the mat, on the ‘gram, and in the world.
- Elevate your vibration. All the hype—all of it—is real. No more gluten, no more sugar, no more carbs. We assume you’ve already cleansed your karma of animal product. The more foods you eliminate, the higher you will hum, and the lighter you will feel #livingyourbestlife.
- #Speakyourtruth. Once you’ve whittled your daily consumption down to the barest of leafy necessities, let the world know. Spread the good word on kale! It’s our collective duty to inspire the overfed masses to give hunger a try. You—yes you—can turn starvation into a social media movement! A little yogi birdie told us that Instagram ‘friends’ are buyable in bulk—and oh so cheap!—from Russian wholesalers. Simply get your new drove of followers to donate one dollar for every meal you renounce, and when they don’t respond, publicly denounce their spirituality void. #notsoblessed
- Make your #soulsweat. Find a Power Vinyasa class that costs at least $25 per hour (it’s way easier than it sounds), and promises at least 25 chaturangas. You know, the yoga push ups? Otherwise you won’t bang nearly enough calories for your buck.
- See yourself as you really are. Sometimes self-care is stretchy! Take a deep breath, steady your gaze, straighten your spine, and reward yourself with a pair of leggings that cost more than your weekly paycheck. You’ll feel so good about yourself, you’ll be bound to pop a handstand in the middle of rush hour traffic. Post that and #theywillcome. (To your Instagram page, that is).A little yogi birdie told us that Instagram ‘friends’ are buyable in bulk —and oh so cheap!—from Russian wholesalers. Click To Tweet
- Expand your practice beyond the mat. Yoga isn’t just about pushing through painful micro-tears in your hamstrings until you can finally extend your leg 170 degrees. A beautiful way to expand your practice is to become an essential oils advocate #wellnesswarrior. With the right brand of oily aromas, you’re not just enhancing your wellness, you’re curing and preventing chronic diseases that have stumped Western science for decades. Build your business by pushing shockingly expensive — but very worth it — oils on friends, family, and unsuspecting strangers. (And no, we know what you’re thinking you naughty thing — those organic, discount Whole Foods oils just won’t do!)
- Don’t be afraid to #shineyourlight. Go ahead: sign up for that 200-hour teacher training. It’s an inundated, but growing field, and the best part is you don’t have to learn the Sanskrit names for poses anymore! (Why waste precious breath on fumbling through adho mukha svanasana when you can just say D-Dog?) You’re never too young or inexperienced to teach yoga.
- Manifest your spirituality. Don a bhindi and hop on a flight to the Motherland. Take a handstand pic in front of the Taj Mahal. Find rebirth by bathing in the Ganges, or any of India’s multitude of holy rivers. Pay no mind to naysayers, the laughing locals or human feces floating by. Experience the magic of kirtan and chant to bloodthirsty Bronze Age deities alongside other soul-seeking Westerners. Just don’t forget to bring your own mat, as many rolls of toilet paper as can fit in your suitcase, and plenty of hand sanitizer. This is India, after all, not Equinox!
- #Yogainfluencer. Yes, you too can change the world by posting daily photos of yourself nailing inversions, breathtaking backbends, and strenuous arm balances against idyllic backgrounds. Don’t forget to round out your page with inspirational sayings (preferably by the Buddha, or people with Indian-sounding names), luscious pics of bright green smoothies, and simple silhouettes of yourself meditating in the pink glow of a sunset.
In this wild and wooly world, we all need the occasional reminder to look inward. #yogaeverydamnday. Now hurry up and hit that handstand. The Taj Mahal awaits!